rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Stalking Pictures

I've spent another entire night mucking about at e-Bay, stealing postcard scans. They're not as good as they used to be. There were always sellers who did bad scans, or very small scans, but lately there have been more of those, and fewer of the nice, big scans I was collecting from the site a year or so ago. Most likely, this is the result of increased bandwidth charges by the hosting sites, and of declining sales. More sellers are sticking "Do Not Copy" notices on their scans, too. And they've probably caught on to thieves such as myself. The number of people who nab scans is probably much greater than the number of serious collectors who actually buy the cards.

Still, there are a few prizes here and there. Tonight, I found a very good scan of a postcard with an aerial view of Pasadena from the early 1920's, before the civic center was built. The seller has an eBay store with over 400 vintage cards from all over the country, and most of the scans are from fair to very good. If I had a high speed connection, (the high quality images taking longer to load, of course), I'd be raiding their list all the time. Altogether, I think I picked up about four dozen good images I didn't already have. I guess it was worth the three hours I spent.

It would be better if I could just buy a CD ROM of old postcards, though. For some reason, nobody seems to have thought of putting together collections for sale in digital form. Another opportunity gone begging! Where is the country's entrepreneurial spirit? Given the publishing industry's rush to extend copyrights relentlessly toward perpetuity, you'd think that at least somebody would have seen the potential for profit in this untapped market. Well, maybe they're just too busy confabulating with their lawyers, figuring out ways to increase the speculative market value of their intellectual property, and simply have no time to actually make it available to the paying public.

Sleepy time.

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