The end of an era

Yesterday, I received an email from someone acting on behalf of Quintessence, the company that publishes the 1001 Before You Die series. The email asked us to remove both the 1001 Movies and 1001 Books apps from sale, stating that by reproducing the list and offering it for sale, we were in breach of copyright. In response, we not only removed the apps but also the spreadsheets, including the free Lite version.

We’re currently in a conversation about whether there is any potential for partnership with them in any way. I don’t hold out much hope here, but you never know.

The last 6 years has been fun. Whatever the next 6 years holds, I’ll always remember the long spreadsheet and all too brief app eras as times of pursuing a vision, facing the challenge, and seeing it realised. If you downloaded a spreadsheet, particularly if you donated for one, it was you that actually made that vision a reality. Without your support the spreadsheet as it would have been with v5 (already in development) and the apps would not have existed at all.

As a wise man on the 1001 books list once said, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

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Update 5th July: Publishers have written back to say that they want “to see how we might find a solution that could benefit all parties.”

Update 6th July: I’ve created an online petition to lobby the publishers for release of these products and to communicate the huge demand for them worldwide.

Update 7th July: 100 signatures so far and so many messages of support from Belgium, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, the US, the UK… fantastic work guys! Check out the bottom of the petition page to see the comments.

Update 10th July:Hi everyone… major announcement. The petition is closed. It’s served it’s purpose and I’m now entering into discussions with the publishers. These discussions, I’m sure you’ll understand have to be confidential. As a result, having the petition out there in a public forum will not help these discussions. In time, I’ll have news. It may take weeks or months but I’ll have news.

I can’t express my thanks to you all for your support. 198 signatures in four days from 27 countries! You are truly amazing!

  • Melissa July 5, 2012, 4:43 pm

    That’s really sad. Thanks for all you’ve done to provide that list over the past few years. Adams would have been proud to have his quote used!

    Reply
  • Simon July 7, 2012, 7:46 am

    Continuing in the spirit of Douglas Adams, let’s hope Quintessence aren’t as officious and impervious to pleading as the Vogons…

    Reply
  • Boekentrol July 7, 2012, 2:02 pm

    I want to sign the petition, but I can’t: the form keeps saying that I have to correct the false entry for the middle row, left box.
    Since I don’t know what to fill in in which box, I don’t know what to correct. Please help!

    Question:
    I’ve purchased both the app and the spreadsheet. Will they keep working, even if you can’t come to an agreement with Quintessence?

    Reply
  • Tim Biddle July 7, 2012, 6:26 pm

    You can pass this along to the publishers: After I purchased 1001 Books To Read Before You Die I was going to create my own spreadsheet but went online to see if one already existed. I found Arukiyomi (thanks Google!) and it had everything I had envisioned. I happily made a contribution in recognition of the effort it took to create it. I rely on the spreadsheet extensively in conjunction with the book and am happy to purchase the books if the spreadsheet is also available- otherwise, I’m not sure I would. I like to keep track of my progress and the spreadsheet allows me to do this very easily.

    Reply
  • Arukiyomi July 8, 2012, 1:14 am

    [quote comment=”37791″]I want to sign the petition, but I can’t: the form keeps saying that I have to correct the false entry for the middle row, left box.
    Since I don’t know what to fill in in which box, I don’t know what to correct. Please help!

    Question:
    I’ve purchased both the app and the spreadsheet. Will they keep working, even if you can’t come to an agreement with Quintessence?[/quote]

    For anyone, like Boekentrol who would rather not add their email to the petition or finds the form difficult to fill in, post your opinion here instead and I’ll make sure that the publishers get a link so they can see your opinion.

    Also, let me assure everyone that if you already have the apps and/or spreadsheet, they will continue to work for you. There will be no updates though unless we reach an agreement with the publisher.

    Reply
  • Judith Loucks July 8, 2012, 3:02 pm

    I hope a solution is worked out. If not, it will be a terrible loss to all your users. I’m so sad about this development.

    Reply
  • John August 3, 2012, 12:09 pm

    It’s served it’s purpose ? Perhaps you read Eats, Shoots and Leaves to learn the difference between its and it’s.

    Reply
    • Arukiyomi August 3, 2012, 12:36 pm

      Wow! Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. Shame you left a false email address though, or I would have emailed you privately. Instead, I’ll approve your comment and let you tell the world how much of a jerk you are.

      Ha ha!

      Reply
  • Grace October 2, 2012, 4:06 am

    It’s been a while since we’ve heard from you. Any news on if you can proceed?

    Reply
    • Arukiyomi October 2, 2012, 8:45 am

      Hi Grace,

      yes it’s been a while and I’m currently transitioning between life in Papua New Guinea and the UK so things are on hold in many ways at the moment. But things have progressed with the publishers and we have a plan that we are finalising before agreement sometime late this year. I think I might have news for the 1001 community sometime early in 2013. Thanks for your support, interest and patience!

      Reply
  • Banana November 29, 2012, 1:32 am

    [quote comment=”40720″]Hi Grace,

    yes it’s been a while and I’m currently transitioning between life in Papua New Guinea and the UK so things are on hold in many ways at the moment. But things have progressed with the publishers and we have a plan that we are finalising before agreement sometime late this year. I think I might have news for the 1001 community sometime early in 2013. Thanks for your support, interest and patience![/quote]

    Arukiyomi – I didn’t know you had the list for sale! Why mess with negotiations? Why not make a list of your own? I thought the list was a bit too popular myself, so making some changes would be good. I’d be happy to give suggestions. If 20 people who visit this blog gave 100 suggestions each, you’d have your list in no time.

    Reply
  • Jill Ellen January 23, 2015, 12:44 am

    I’ve read all I could of the list and subsequent posts. Obviously this thing has a life because here I am in 2015 adding a comment. I just wanted to add this thought to the mix: Doesn’t anyone see that 1) There is NO WAY everybody could agree about a list of only 1001 books, and 2) That’s what is so great about this notion! The hearty debate it spawns is great! And why live in a world of computers where we can ‘comment’ on almost everything that passes us by on our screens, and then bitch (sorry, couldn’t think of a better word) about what is or isn’t on the list? Add your suggestions and maybe it becomes 1022 or minus what you don’t like and now it’s back to 1003. Defend your contribution and voila! A splendid debate has been born. I’ve always thought book readers were open-minded sorts who would welcome such a discussion.

    Reply

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