How copyright turns a love of literature ghoulish

Under Japanese law, works remain in copyright until fifty years after the first January 1 following the death of their author. As of yesterday, works by authors who died in 1955 are now freely reproducible, and Aozora Bunko is, as usual, on the case. Their newly available authors are, as of right now:

While I'm most excited about readin' me up some Sakaguchi, I decided to celebrate by translating "Dreams", by Toyoshima. By this time next year, after all, it may be back in copyright, because There Are Those who want Japan to move to a 70-year system.

In other AB news, I have recently become aware of a nifty new(ish) program called Azur. It is a text reader with the ability and tendency to display texts in vertical lines, and it does this very intelligently and well. As the name suggests, it was designed especially for Aozora Bunko texts and it renders them beautifully -- but it's also done very well with everything else I've thrown at it, marked-up and not.

Probably its coolest feature, though, is its ability to turn a text file into a long series of images of that text file, so that you can read it on your cellphone, or digital camera, or theoretically any device with an LCD screen and a way to display your own images on it.

The theory falls down when faced with devices that do not allow easy paging through a long series of images, like my phone -- I'd have to press three separate buttons per page-turn, not to mention the fact that my phone's default image zoom isn't 100%. God, my phone sucks. But, Voyager do offer a handy list of which devices can handle Azurination, and how well. And I was thinking of buying a new phone anyway...

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Hey, sweet. Finally something that renders ruby markup.

Reminds me of Tofy (http://homepage.mac.com/asagoo/tofu/index.html). Does equally sweet things for roman text to ease on-display reading.


Yes! That is an excellent comparison. It is the Tofu of vertical, rubified, Japanese text.

I am having some trouble copying and pasting to different applications, though. That is a bit of a worry.

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