Tobler did it again

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Postby Dai D » 03 Sep 2006 15:39

So whats wrong with Tobler then Herbert?
Milk two sugars please

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Postby Herbert » 03 Sep 2006 18:11

Well, first of all I don't know Tobler personally, I just had some email exchanged with him. I have his books and read them also.

He tried to bring the german system to the USA and partly he succeded in doing so. He surely had lots of work in writing these books and critizing is easier than doing it yourself, but...

...he is so very often wrong in his books.
...he tries to invent the wheel anew (maybe to get a reputation)
...he is not really open to other opinions - he just pretends to be.

What I have a problem with is his attitude. After having published his books he more and more thinks he has eaten the wisdom with spoons - as we say in Austria. I don't like people who are arrogant. I have met so many people who are really top notch in what they do and yet you would never guess from their behaviour. So there is no need for this.

Do I have the right to act like this? No.
Do I know him good enough to judge him? No.
Have I written better books on this topic? No.
Does it show tolerance to talk like this? Hell, no.

So there you are...

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Postby the_last_alive » 03 Sep 2006 21:00

Herbert wrote:...he is so very often wrong in his books.
...he tries to invent the wheel anew (maybe to get a reputation)
...he is not really open to other opinions - he just pretends to be.


explain please.
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Postby Fab » 04 Sep 2006 03:22

I guess I see his point..
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Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 04 Sep 2006 09:20

Well, especially the Paulus Kal project changed my views on Christian tobler a bit. A couple of months ago a friend from Schwertkampf Ochs posted a link on SFI to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek where they put the whole Kal manuscript online. Christian had nothing else to do, than immediately critisizing this due to copyright issues and - as he wrote himself IIRC - contacting the library. A couple of days later the link was dead. Explanation from Munich: "It was a mistake, it wasn't supposed to be online in the first place."
I don't want to repeat the discussion on SFI, although I found Christians arguments quite lame, but I have to say, that I seriously doubted the library's explanation about the Kal link as well as Christians intentions on the subject. And I doubt it even more now,. when I read about only 1000 copies, and: "This is the only edition planned by Munich's Bayerische Staatsbibliothek" or "The only edition of this work will be available exclusively through the Chivalry Bookshelf, not in stores or through our usual reseller network owing to the incredible expense associated with its production. By request of the holding museum, all copies are numbered and are restricted to approximately 1000 copies."
Yeah, right! You might believe this to be the true explanation, but it wouldn't be the first time in the history of advertisement that it's nothing but a marketing idea. And being the old, desillusioned, and distrustful bastard I am, I don't believe it.
I'm on Herbert's side with this, but, hey, this is the wonderful world of pluralism and free market! Buy the book and be happy with it. I won't, although I'm sure there are brilliant pictures in it.

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Postby craftyfighter » 04 Sep 2006 19:22

this seems to be a problem with WMA in the U.S. , a few people trying to be big fish in what they think is a little pond...very arrogant. I've met Mr Tobler and I had thought that he'd improved over the years (more open to criticsm and other opinions), maybe I was fooled.
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P.S. I wonder if his occult organization will ever be a hindrence to his credability. I always found it comical myself.
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Postby Anders Linnard » 04 Sep 2006 19:55

Wolfgang:
Damn, they took that link away? I can't find the thread on SFI anymore either. Do you have it?

/Anders

Wolfgang Ritter wrote:Well, especially the Paulus Kal project changed my views on Christian tobler a bit. A couple of months ago a friend from Schwertkampf Ochs posted a link on SFI to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek where they put the whole Kal manuscript online. Christian had nothing else to do, than immediately critisizing this due to copyright issues and - as he wrote himself IIRC - contacting the library. A couple of days later the link was dead. Explanation from Munich: "It was a mistake, it wasn't supposed to be online in the first place."
I don't want to repeat the discussion on SFI, although I found Christians arguments quite lame, but I have to say, that I seriously doubted the library's explanation about the Kal link as well as Christians intentions on the subject. And I doubt it even more now,. when I read about only 1000 copies, and: "This is the only edition planned by Munich's Bayerische Staatsbibliothek" or "The only edition of this work will be available exclusively through the Chivalry Bookshelf, not in stores or through our usual reseller network owing to the incredible expense associated with its production. By request of the holding museum, all copies are numbered and are restricted to approximately 1000 copies."
Yeah, right! You might believe this to be the true explanation, but it wouldn't be the first time in the history of advertisement that it's nothing but a marketing idea. And being the old, desillusioned, and distrustful bastard I am, I don't believe it.
I'm on Herbert's side with this, but, hey, this is the wonderful world of pluralism and free market! Buy the book and be happy with it. I won't, although I'm sure there are brilliant pictures in it.

Greetings,
Wolfgang
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Postby Angel S. » 05 Sep 2006 03:27

Herbert wrote:They wanted it to be a limited edition but did they also limit it to 1000 copies?

Herbert - who don't wants to be annoying, who is just curious


I think so. I think that was their limit so it was onl possible to do that many.
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Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 05 Sep 2006 07:28

@Anders:
thank you very much for asking for the thread on SFI, because I searched it and tried the link to the Staatsbibliothek.......and here it is: http://mdz1.bib-bvb.de/~db/bsb00001840/images/ Paulus Kal is online again!!!
It's in black&white which is sad because there are some beautiful colours in it (as I know because I own a coloured version which was downloaded by accident before the library became aware of their....ehrr, "mistake" and went offline....).
But anyway, it's online again, which is fine.

The Leckküchner ms CGM 582 is still offline, but you can check the - brilliant - german transcription here: http://www.pragmatische-schriftlichkeit.de/cgm582.html and the scans here: http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/sammlung2/werk/cpg430.xml?docname=cpg430&pageid=PAGE0012 but the latter is only interesting for freaks since the manuscript is not illustrated.

Oh, this: http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=66187 has been the thread on SFI.

Greetings,
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Postby Fab » 05 Sep 2006 08:18

hm Wolfgang...do you think there could be a way I (and others) put my hands on the color version some day ? Just in case an accident happens to you, you never know...
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Postby Paul » 05 Sep 2006 08:20

Fab wrote:hm Wolfgang...do you think there could be a way I (and others) put my hands on the color version some day ? Just in case an accident happens to you, you never know...
I was just thinking the same! :lol:
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Postby Wolfgang Ritter » 05 Sep 2006 08:39

Two historic fencers writing (and probably more thinking) about an "accident" happening to me makes me feel somehow uneasy......therefore I guess, I will deposit a copy for security reasons...maybe in Dijon......I can't copy it at the moment, but I'll see....
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Postby Szabolcs Waldmann » 05 Sep 2006 08:54

Oh sounds great ;)

Hi Wolfgang ;)
Haven't forgotten about our stuff, I'll contact you soon. We have a year-opening meeting where the money will be distributed for next year, then ;)

As for on-topic:
I read Christian's posts at SFI, and he did not seem such a wrong person at all. There is of course an ongoing debate what is/should be public domain and what not, but I can understand somebody's concerns when sucha big amount of money is in question.
I know it, becouse I tried the same and failed (as for now) in gaining rights or a copy of the wonderful best-of manual of Paulus Hector Mair in Vienna. Gentlemen, that is an amazing book to see live, wonderful colours and flood of martial arts information.
Yet, the manuscript foto would have cost us 30.000.- Euro. (!!!!) :shock: :shock: :shock:

I am more angry at the museums than I am at modern authors. Many people are selling shIt, but still, there is at least some info leaking out.

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Postby Fab » 05 Sep 2006 09:05

Costs for publishing something from the BNF are prohibitive too. But you get a 80% discount if it is for research purposes...
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Postby Greg Mele » 04 Oct 2006 08:29

Hi all,

I have not been involved with Chivalry Bookshelf in any capacity for some time, but I *did* help with this project (as a reader and content advisor), and I *do* work in the communications and publications field, and just after college I managed a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I think that there may be some misunderstanding as to how "limitted editions" in the publishing industry work.

In this case the limitted edition was stipulated by the holding museum, for two reasons. Firstly, *they* felt it would help sales on what is a very expensive book. Secondly, they did not want an open contract that allowed the publisher to simply reprint another edition, and then perhaps a trade paperback, without their specific permission (and the attendant renegotiation of terms). So they allow the publisher a 1000 copy print run (usually the minimum run for anything other than a "vanity press") and then the rights end and the museum and the publisher can reevaluate from there. While this is quite unusual for mass/trade books, it is common for high-end collector's volumes. The Bavarian State Library was not being petty or manipulative here, nor is Chivalry Bookshelf trying to deceive anyone with the idea of a "limitted edition". (Believe me, compared to the nightmare Luca and I went through the BN in Rome over Vadi, these people are saints!) This is just standard practice for this sort of book.

The reason that the book is only available direct is because of how the book sales industry works. When you buy a book at your bookseller - be that Amazon, Borders, or whatever - you pay cover price. The bookseller paid 40 to 50% less than this to the publisher. (Which is why the large booksellers often have their big bestsellers at 40% off here in the states - they are usually still turning a 5% profit.) Many of the larger booksellers then maintain the right to return unsold books after 90 days for a set percentage of their money back. Adding insult to injury, those books often comeback shopworn, so the publisher can't really resell them as new.

Even at 1000 copies, just the printing costs for this book were apparently well over $20K - more than double what something like "Secrets" cost to print. Then you add the fact that the oversized book gets packed in different boxes, which changes how many cartons fit on a pallet, and is already very heavy - and you'd be surprised what that does to your freight cost. By the time you've secured rights (which can be anywhere from $1 - 10K on average), printing costs, shipping costs and warehousing are then added in, this is a major outlay of capital for a small press. This is why the book is only available from the publisher - if they were to try and sell this wholesale, the coverprice would have to be double what it is going to be, if they were to have any hope of recouperating their costs.

I suspect that's why Christian was nervous when the on-line link appeared. Frankly, I think his worries were groundless - the sort of person who will pay this much money for a book wants the tangible book, not just on-line images - nor did I agree with how it was handled. But the motivations were trying to avoid a potentially huge financial loss to his publisher. The Bavarian State Library always meant to put only the black & white images on line - I've seen the emails from the library myself; I believe Jorg Bellinghausen has too, but I could be wrong. These images were all created when the manuscript was created for Christian's book, just as the Leckküchner was created for a forthcoming Jeffrey Forgeng project, so there might not have ever been these images - or at least not this soon - if the publication projects hadn't pushed them forward.

It's clear there are some folks who are none too fond of Christian Tobler. I don't know why, and it's not my job to be Christian's apologist. Nor is it a secret that he and I are personal friends, so anything I write can be viewed with suspicion by any who want to see such. But Wolfgang and Herbert's frustrations and suspicions are fair ones, and I think it probably represents what a lot of people think. So I wanted to try and explain why "limitted editions" and books available only direct from the publisher exist, not to mention give some idea of just how high the costs can quickly run up on a project like this. If this all still seems suspicious, I'd encourage anyone to do a little research on the publishing industry and publishing costs, and it should confirm all of this.

Thanks for slogging through all of this.
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Postby J Marwood » 04 Oct 2006 08:39

Thanks for that Greg - very interesting. I wonder why the decision was taken to go for such an expensive printing? For something with the admittedly minor appeal of a WMA book, even from a 'name' like Tobler, I would have thought a cheaper printing, in a more standard format would have been preferable.
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Postby Anders Linnard » 04 Oct 2006 09:15

So where is this book being printed?

By the way it sucks that the museum can stipulate things like that. I would guess the museum system in Germany isn't that different from Sweden and museums get state funding, simply because they are of public interest. If I go to a museum I can make copies of a book where there is no copyright if I like and I will own the copy and can freely publish it. If I want them to do the copy (which in some cases might be required) I will have to pay for it and they may very well charge more if I am going to publish it, but what I do with my copies is not really any of their business. The only reason to pay money to the museum is because the manuscript is so sensitive that it may be damaged if I handle it or because I am too lazy to do it myself. Even if you had problems with the museum you could just use a contact in a university.

/Anders
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Postby Paul » 04 Oct 2006 09:48

Anders Linnard wrote:By the way it sucks that the museum can stipulate things like that. I would guess the museum system in Germany isn't that different from Sweden and museums get state funding, simply because they are of public interest. If I go to a museum I can make copies of a book where there is no copyright if I like and I will own the copy and can freely publish it. If I want them to do the copy (which in some cases might be required) I will have to pay for it and they may very well charge more if I am going to publish it, but what I do with my copies is not really any of their business. The only reason to pay money to the museum is because the manuscript is so sensitive that it may be damaged if I handle it or because I am too lazy to do it myself. Even if you had problems with the museum you could just use a contact in a university.

/Anders

I second this sentiment.
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Postby Fab » 04 Oct 2006 10:47

Well, I know that the BNF doesn't allow you to make personal copies of their manuscripts - they're the only ones who can. And in that case, the copyrights you pay are not on the original manuscript, but on the reproductions they provide you throgh their photograp/repro service (and they're the only ones allowed to provide them). I don't know why it is so, as it seriously impairs research IMO - the financial aspect could be part of it, but I also believe there's a slight remain of self-importance in that.
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Postby Fab » 04 Oct 2006 11:03

Greg Mele wrote: Wolfgang and Herbert's frustrations and suspicions are fair ones, and I think it probably represents what a lot of people think. So I wanted to try and explain why "limitted editions" and books available only direct from the publisher exist, not to mention give some idea of just how high the costs can quickly run up on a project like this. If this all still seems suspicious, I'd encourage anyone to do a little research on the publishing industry and publishing costs, and it should confirm all of this.

Thanks for slogging through all of this.


Hi Greg.

Maybe this would be worth mentionning publicly, as it could help dissipate some misunderstandings.

Though it makes me think of something else which bothers me a bit - and is not restricted to the WMA world. Sometimes, you have the impression that some fields/sources/research are the 'property' of a given individual, who allow no one to work on the same things. This is turned to a peak as the research world has turned highly competitive, mainly for financial (or lack thereof) reasons : you have to be the first to do something on a given subject, and once you do that you have some kind of unofficial (or sometimes official) rights on it. I can quote you the example of A&A studies (my primary field of academic research), with museum collectors not allowing people in because a student of such and such 'big name' already worked on the subject (sometimes unaware that the said student had quit the uni long ago).

I fear it might be the same with the WMA world. One of the possible reasons is that only a few people in this comunity do actual research on the sources, and therefore the others kind of blindly trust what the 'leading voices' say. If you add the financial aspect, you even emphasize the competitive aspects of it all. Which is in a way counter-productive to efficient research.

I must confess that a few years ago I was quite eager to publish my things on "Le Jeu", to kind of 'secure' that nest in the WMA world. Since then, I grew up a bit ;) (or got lazy - as you prefer), but I know that no matter is someone else publishes something on "le jeu", my study and interpretation of it will always be valid, and perhaps even more interesting that the others (who knows ?). From then on, if people feel inclined to neglect my thoughts and opinions on the said topic, for instance in online discussions, forums and the like, just because there's not that-one-book-with-my-name-on-it, then so be it - and pity them (but not too much).

That looked like a rant, eh ? Well, it was not meant to be so :)

Sorry for going OT

Cheers

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