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No Derivatives — Or Else . . .

Glenn Otis Brown, February 28th, 2004

The New York Times today reports on a surreal U.S. Treasury Department Policy:

Anyone who publishes material from a country under a trade embargo is forbidden to reorder paragraphs or sentences, correct syntax or grammar, or replace “inappropriate words,” according to several advisory letters from the Treasury Department in recent months.

Adding illustrations is prohibited, too. To the baffled dismay of publishers, editors and translators who have been briefed about the policy, only publication of “camera-ready copies of manuscripts” is allowed.

The article does not make clear whether the policy rationale stems from concern for the moral rights of authors in rogue nations.

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