They’re Joking, Right? Right?!!

The federal government has warned that grave legal consequences against publishers may result if they edit manuscripts from disfavored countries. Why? Because “such tinkering amounts to trading with the enemy.”

Publishers are forbidden to:

  • reorder paragraphs or sentences
  • correct syntax or grammar
  • replace “inappropriate words”
  • add illustrations

“It is against the principles of scholarship and freedom of expression, as well as the interests of science, to require publishers to get U.S. government permission to publish the works of scholars and researchers who happen to live in countries with oppressive regimes,” said Eric A. Swanson, a senior vice president at John Wiley & Sons, which publishes scientific, technical and medical books and journals.

Nahid Mozaffari, a scholar and editor specializing in literature from Iran, called the implications staggering. “A story, a poem, an article on history, archaeology, linguistics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or any other area of knowledge cannot be translated, and even if submitted in English, cannot be edited in the U.S.,” she said.

[New York Times]

Explore posts in the same categories: Humanities

2 Comments on “They’re Joking, Right? Right?!!”

  1. Joe Perez Says:

    Reminds me that I also read recently that the department of defense is in the process of establishing procedures for implementing a DRAFT of people with technical know-how such as Arabic linguists. No plans to implement such a draft, of course! They just want to have all the procedures set in place, in case they’re ordered to take such steps. Just being prudent, you know.

  2. Chad Says:

    Joe neglects to point out that such a thing already exists.

    And has for years.

    And has never been used.

    Rampant draft — check that — “DRAFT” hysteria, or hysteria of any flavor for that matter, will not defeat the Republicans in November. There are more than enough legitimate concerns, such as the one outlined here by Kathryn, to focus on in the upcoming elections.