German Book Publishers Plan To Sue Thousands For File Sharing

from the apparently-they've-learned-nothing dept

It's difficult to believe that anyone could look at the disastrous five years of the RIAA suing fans and think, "hey, we should do that too!" However, that appears to be exactly what some German book publishers have decided. Michael Scott points us to the news that the head of the German book publishers' assocation has announced plans to "sue thousands" and talked about how file sharing systems were the equivalent of organized crime. He's also demanding that ISPs implement a three strikes plan. Apparently, he hasn't discovered that file sharing of books, when done right, can help boost demand for book sales.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Harold's #2 Fan, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Stealing!

    Hey! That's stealing!

    I say you've deprived the originator of a digital representation of his work!! Copying those bits and bytes from the interweb slightly weakens the original--this phenomenon is obvious by observing "old books" which have been put online, they're all bleached and faded. That's because people are making digital copies!

    Stop people from degrading our digital books!!!

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 10:16am

    I can only speak for myself, but if I happen to read an e-book it is a virtual certainty I will not go out and buy a hard cover to read it again.

    If the author pens another novel that I read in ebook format, see para. 1 above.

     

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  3.  
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    duane (profile), Mar 19th, 2009 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    But the question is, if it were not available in e-book format, would you have bought the book to begin with?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 10:22am

    After reading several chapters of an e-book, I went out and bought the paperback because reading a book on a screen isn't that great.

    Plus I do most of my reading in bed or on the can.

     

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  5.  
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    alex, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Why don't they also demand three strikes on library patrons too? They stealing the content and ideas just by borrowing the books and not paying for them. They should demand some sort of payoff from the libraries since they're facilitating such a crime.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 11:20am

    Greed... it's all about greed.

     

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  7.  
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    llfar, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 11:24am

    Why bother with real books at all

    I've been a customer of the Baen Books online store for years now, and it all started from their free library of books - Put the first couple of books in a series out there, and those you hook will be happy to pay for the rest.

    I prefer reading on screen.

     

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  8.  
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    Cheese McBeese, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Why bother with real books at all

    Yes, but not everybody is interested in the Hardy Boys.

    MOST quality books that make the bestseller lists are not series. So while your point has merit, it only applies to a small subset of the problem.

    HOWEVER your attitude - 'let's find a way to make this work' - is what's needed. Not lawyers.

     

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  9.  
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    Travis, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 12:57pm

    @2

    In my opinion an ebook is more of a supplement than a replacement. I prefer to be able to sit in my bed/chair and read a book, but there are times when a ebook comes in handy. If I want to easily search for something in the book (if it was a technical book, cookbook, etc.) then having the ebook is really nice. But just because I got an ebook for free doesn't mean I wouldn't love to have a physical copy.

     

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  10.  
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    jen, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    welcome to the 21st century

    I for one prefer digital books. Ever since I got an ebook reader I have not had to buy a hardcopy. And since the books I want are published in this format I don't need to break any laws. I think as digital books and portable readers become more popular this will be a moot argument.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    interval, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    @Mike: "German Book Publishers Plan To Sue Thousands For File Sharing"

    Yeah, ok, good luck with that, Herr Deutsch Buchverlage.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    ToySouljah, Mar 19th, 2009 @ 6:22pm

    Re:

    lmao...same here. I'll download an ebook, but usually end up getting a hard copy since I prefer to read on paper rather than a screen. I like to get a preview or read a few chapters to see if it catches my interest. The only one book I've read totally online was "The True Face of God", but I also ordered a copy to have as part of my library (I also reread it later on as well).

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re: Why bother with real books at all

    You obviously have never been to the Baen Free Library. Its not just series there. Its also older books that are currently out of publication. The point is that it gives people a chance to become familiar with the work of authors they might not otherwise read. Its a great idea, and while I would love to see entire series, when I do find a book or two that I like, I will by others editions in a series if they aren't available there. Hence, by giving access to free copies that aren't available anywhere else, they are increasing the sales of books that are on the shelves at local book stores.

     

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  14.  
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    Corey, Mar 20th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    Re: welcome to the 21st century

    Jen, actually what you wrote is why this argument is very relevant. Sure, right now publishers can use free ebooks to promote actual books, but as more and more people turn to ebooks and that becomes the main product, then piracy of ebooks becomes a huge problem. Authors and publishers make money on books. I know Mike will blame them for having a bad business model, but for most authors, especially novelist, there isn't much else to sell (Sorry Mike, but most people are not interested enough in author reading to pay for them). The result would be most working authors except for the extremely successful few having to get other jobs. The consumer loses because less books will be written.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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