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Free as in... - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Free as in...
Another email at work:
Can I download the BNC for free if I don't want the DVD versions? The DVD is expensive since I'm just a full-time student.
You've got to wonder if he's tried that line with Amazon...
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vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: April 9th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Best of British luck with that ...

If he can download Brasenose Coll I will eat my college boater without benefit of butter, water, or mayonnaise in my own quad in front of the dinner queue.
ewx From: ewx Date: April 9th, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

They're probably able (at least in principle) to go straight to pirate copies of DVDs they'd otherwise have to get from Amazon.

Joking aside, it sounds like the kind of thing you might expect academic institutions to have a (suitably licensed) copy of available for their members to use.

j4 From: j4 Date: April 9th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
True about the pirate DVDs, I guess.

There is an institutional licence available; I think it's just the phrasing. If he'd said "is there any kind of student discount?" or "has my university already got an institutional licence?" I wouldn't've batted an eyelid. There's just something about "can I download this for free because it's expensive?" that jars slightly.
ewx From: ewx Date: April 9th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mmm. Any chance English isn't their first language? Except I suspect you'd have mentioned that already.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 9th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have no idea what their first language is. Yes, you're probably right, I am probably a Bad Person for raising an eyebrow at someone who is actually asking a perfectly reasonable question in less-than-idiomatic English.
monkeyhands From: monkeyhands Date: April 9th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's just something about "can I download this for free because it's expensive?" that jars slightly.

Also, the way he says it's expensive because he's a full-time student is baffling. What does he mean by expensive anyway? Expensive relative to income? If he got a job, would the DVD stop being expensive? If he won the lottery, would a flash car be cheap because it costs the same proportion of his (hypothetical) wealth as a packet of rice would now?
fivemack From: fivemack Date: April 10th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC) (Link)
There are a lot of objects in the sciences (for example, all the data NASA has ever collected, and every genome sequenced at the Sanger Centre) for which the DVD is provided, if at all, at a cost designed to deal with the faff of getting a grad student to stop reading Facebook waiting for their gel to electrophorose writing their thesis and burn a DVD, and if you'd rather download the data you're welcome to it.

If you're coming to linguistics from say bioinformatics, it does seem a little odd that a major underlying database has licensing conditions and costs money. Yes, it cost money to assemble, but the Hubble telescope and the Human Genome Project cost a whole lot more.

I suppose I can imagine myself asking exactly the same question, though maybe not quite phrased the same way, so it doesn't strike me as intrinsically ridiculous.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 15th, 2009 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe the student is American or has experience with the ANC? ANC release 2 has a free component (Open ANC) ~14million words. Or some of the other now freely distributed linguistic datasets.
But more likely, a beggar.
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