Do Libraries Need Permission To Lend Out Ebooks?

from the they-shouldn't dept

Reader OG points us to this NY Times article about how libraries are increasingly offering ebooks for download. This, of course, seems like a good idea, and fits in with the purpose of a library, but where the article gets either laughable or head-bangingly annoying is where it starts discussing how publishers have serious problems with this whole concept. Some publishers are refusing to allow libraries to lend out their ebooks...which makes me wonder why the publishers have any say in the matter. Thanks to the right of first sale, a library should be able to lend out an ebook if it's legally purchased it without having to get the publisher's permission.

Furthermore, the rest of the discussion is just silly. There are arguments about how many ebooks can be "checked out" at once or how the DRM works (which blocks the most popular ebook readers from being supported). There's also an issue of publishers charging libraries much higher prices for ebooks, and scoffing at a librarian who suggests that libraries should be allowed to offer as many copies as needed of an ebook to lend at the same time, and just pay the publishers a nominal fee.

It's hard to describe how insane this whole discussion sounds. Here you have a fantastic tool to support a library's main purpose in the world, and we're arguing over what sorts of artificial restrictions to set up to limit that tool from actually being useful? It's as if we discovered a way to make all the food the world ever needed, and we sit around talking about how to make sure that most people don't get fed. It would make me laugh if it weren't so disturbing that people seem to think this is a good thing.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 5:57pm

    Libraries should be allowed to lend out ebooks only in their own locked player. Otherwise, there is no way to prove that the ebook is not being copied repeatedly, against license.

    How difficult is it to understand the basic concept Mike? Are the laws different in the Socialist Republic of Mike?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:21pm

    "Libraries should be allowed to lend out ebooks only in their own locked player. Otherwise, there is no way to prove that the ebook is not being copied repeatedly, against license."

    Yeah, libraries should be allowed to lend out physical books only under an escort of armed guards. Otherwise, there is no way to prove that the physical book is not being photocopied repeatedly!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:30pm

    Re:

    duh!

    Photocopies would not be the same as the original now would they? Photocopies of the photocopies? Etc.

    Ebook copies are clones. Everything the same. Millionth copy the same as the first.

    It's a real issue, a real problem.

    Heck, you know, torrent sites could just change to being "libraries" and be exempt from everything. Yeah, that would work.

    The world ends at the end of Mike's nose.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    "Some publishers are refusing to allow libraries to lend out their ebooks"

    Perhaps I missed the part of the article upon which you are relying to make the above statement. Can you direct me to its location?

     

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    JD, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:49pm

    Re:

    I think Mike means this:

    "As digital collections grow, Mr. Sargent said he feared a world in which “pretty soon you’re not paying for anything.” Partly because of such concerns, Macmillan does not allow its e-books to be offered in public libraries."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re:

    "Ebook copies are clones. Everything the same. Millionth copy the same as the first."

    Thank you for disproving your own silly argument. If every copy is the same, then all you need is one copy to be made, and it doesn't matter how many Ebooks are lent out.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 6:52pm

    Re:

    Perhaps I missed the part of the article upon which you are relying to make the above statement. Can you direct me to its location?

    You see the blue text that reads "increasingly offering ebooks for download"? If you click that, it takes you to an article at the NY Times here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/books/15libraries.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    If you scroll down towards the middle of the article, there is the following:

    "Partly because of such concerns, Macmillan does not allow its e-books to be offered in public libraries.

    Simon & Schuster, whose authors include Stephen King and Bob Woodward, has also refrained from distributing its e-books to public libraries."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    I was confused because you followed your comment with reference to "first sale". Apparently what we have here are two large publishers who have decided at this point in time not to offer ebooks for sale to libraries.

     

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    Duh, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Then do not publish your book via Ewhatever

     

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    Nick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:15pm

    Selling multiple copies to the libraries

    It does seem silly to put up some of these restrictions, but I think it actually makes sense for the libraries to have to own a copy for every instance that a book is loaned at the same time. If, that is, each copy costs the same (or less) than a physical copy of the same book.

    This could be handled automatically, so when someone wants to check out the eleventh copy of an ebook the library only "has" ten of, the library's credit card would be hit for the $7.00 and the loan would happen as normal. From then on, the library would have eleven copies to loan out at the same time.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 16th, 2009 @ 7:29pm

    Re:

    I was confused because you followed your comment with reference to "first sale". Apparently what we have here are two large publishers who have decided at this point in time not to offer ebooks for sale to libraries.

    It's ok. We all make mistakes. But Macmillan didn't say it does not sell -- it said it does not allow its books to be offered in libraries. Not the same.

    And the first sale point is valid. What if the libraries purchased the ebooks from other sources? With regular books, libraries wouldn't have to rely on the publisher -- they could get the books from any number of sources.

     

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    Andy B, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Digital First Sale

    First sale of digital goods is at an interesting place legally. The Copyright Act restricts first sale to people who "own" (17 USC § 109(A)) copies of copyrighted goods. Digital content producers and software developers are writing EULAs and TOSs in a way to argue, successfully in most cases so far, that digital copies are "leases" rather than "sales" and thus not subject to first sale.

    There are several arguments being put forth to counter that assertion, but they have really only seen success when physical CDs or media have been sold, and even then not always. Kindle books are a good example of this - publishers claim to own the ebook copies they "lease". I personally publishers will eventually lose this argument but it will be a while.

     

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    ..., Oct 16th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Digital First Sale

    As far as I know, in order to be binding, the terms must be seen and agreed to prior to completion of sale. Some web sites provide methods for review of their TOS to non members but how many EULAs can you read before you purchase the software? And I doubt that a widget click equals a binding contract, but then I am not a lawyer.

     

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    Felix Pleșoianu, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 9:58pm

    Here we sit arguing whether libraries should be allowed to "lend" e-books, when all they'd need to do is point people to a download URL. I have a whole "library" of Creative Commons-licensed e-books on my laptop... no, wait, on my media player... no, wait, on my mobile phone. Which one is the original? Does it matter?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 10:36pm

    Actually, apparently libraries *DO* have to pay more for ordinary books they get from publishers, unless the books are donated. I was told this by my mother, who was a librarian for some 40 odd years. The premium is typically 300 to 400% on top of the retail book price. This higher fee is often partly reflected in the binding of library books, which is generally higher quality than retail books owing to the expectation that it could experience much heavier use than a book that is only utilized by a one or a small number of people. The rest of the premium is supposed to be compensation to the publisher for the book being lent out to many different people.

     

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    LH, Oct 16th, 2009 @ 11:40pm

    Sony Reader is able to read a loaned ebook. Ebooks that are borrowed are available for 14 days, after that they need to be re-loaned or they are not available to be read on the Reader. The material is not available to theft since it uses Adobe DRM. It is a shame that the greed of publishers always gets in the way of technology.

     

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    Canada Guy, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 6:14am

    Ebooks versus paper

    Before bying an ereader, please consider that paper books are more sustainable and better for the environment: http://selfdestructivebastards.blogspot.com/2009/10/ebooks-versus-paper.html

     

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    Scott, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:33am

    I think this analogy is off

    It's as if we discovered a way to make all the food the world ever needed, and we sit around talking about how to make sure that most people don't get fed. It would make me laugh if it weren't so disturbing that people seem to think this is a good thing.
    More like we're trying to make sure the food distribution and packaging companies get paid. They do have a right to be paid for their product. But they should find a way to market their product which allows them to make money.
    Hmm, how could a company possibly make money temporarily letting you use their media? Does anyone have a working business model like that?
    Ok, sorry for the sarcasm, but who here would pay 0.99 for a one month ebook rental?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:45am

    Re: Ebooks versus paper

    No.

     

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    Canada Guy, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:53am

    Re: Ebooks versus paper

    Surely you have a better argument than that? Did you actually read the article?

     

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    Griff (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:01am

    Why not lend eBooks ?

    I buy eBooks from eReader.com, and read them on my Palm.
    The file I get is unique to me. The unlock key is basically my credit card details.

    Yes, I could post them on the internet for free illegal download but I'd be also posting my credit card details. I could probably do my immediately family a copy safely, but that's as far as it would go.

    If a library could generate personalised eBooks with similar DRM, there would be no issue with borrowers copying books massively, though possibly an issue with people not deleting them when they are due to return the "loan".
    (I pretty much end up with the eBook forever, if I'm prepared to wind back the clock on my eBook reader).


    It depends of course on there being an eBook reader at the other end that respects/understands the DRM. Until this is universal it means the library supporting a lot of formats but it would only take a single piece of software to achieve that, which, once developed, could be present in every library.

    As far as "how many simultaneous loans can the library make"... Mike seems to confuse the possible with the fair.
    If he thinks libraries should buy one and lend out hundreds at a time (becauwe they can) then he presumably also believes libraries should get them free (almost the same thing) because the publicity is so good for the author.

    But this is not what libraries are for. Libraries are supposed to pay for books and then lend them out. Like Netflix pays for movies it lends out.

    I would expect Netflix to pay more than $10 for a DVD it has the right to lend out 50 times, even though the price for a consumer to buy the DVD might be $10. Their business model expects it. Libraries, of course, are not businesses as such, but that doesn't make authors charities.

    Pissing off authors/publishers by allowing their eBooks to be flagrantly copied is going to set back the progress of the eBook by years.


    (My local library lends CD's but there is a cost per CD in addition to library membership. This is because even though (unlike a book which you read once,) it could be argued that the CD is listened to as a precursor to buying, we in fact all know damn well the CD's are being copied )


    I would not be surprised if there are many authors/publishers who prefer their hardcopy books not to go into libraries. Or at least not while they are still on the best seller lists !

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re:

    I briefly considered making a comment about third party purchases later "donated" to a library, as I do all the time with hardbacks, movies, music, etc. I decided not the make a comment because it would have opened up a host of different issues because of EULAs and their possible impact upon any such donations.

    Hence I limited my comment just to the noted publishers who appear to have adopted a "no sale" policy directed specifically to libraries. I am fairly confident the policy will change, but clearly the publishers are trying to come up with some sort of business plan that will result in such sales in the future. Adaptation to changing market conditions will happen, but it seems it is a business challenge with which they have to come to grips.

     

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    Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Re: costs

    Library binding is less of an issue than it was. We tend to look at materials as consumable goods, unless they are of a nature to preserve in a special collection. Buy - Loan repeatedly - Toss/Recycle/Sell to used books vendor. We do get discounts, even when not purchasing multiple copies (10 - 40% generally).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re: I think this analogy is off

    "They do have a right to be paid for their product."

    No, they don't. That right doesn't exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    "Pissing off authors/publishers by allowing their eBooks to be flagrantly copied is going to set back the progress of the eBook by years."

    Yeah, that damn photocopier held back the progress of physical books for YEARS!

     

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  26.  
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    Stephen, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    library ebooks

    yes, libraries do pay more for books. something i'm going to investigate at my own company is this: libraries used to buy mostly from publishers, but they are far more likely to buy from a wholesaler now. so why do they have to pay more and restrict their lending practices for ebooks?

    in addition, there's an ebook service on line through a system here in nj that lets you take out an ebook for a certain amount of time (after a few weeks, it goes dark). of course, burning it to a CD-RW, then ripping it back to your computer takes of the DRM. for those whose tracks are longer than a CD or which don't allow burning to CD, I just don't take them out because who listens to anything at length on CD?

     

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  27.  
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    Leopard, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Ebooks versus paper

    Get real! Hard Back books more environmentally friendly than eBooks?? I have around 300 eBooks on my Sony Reader,whats the environmental impact of making and shipping 300 book compared to making 1 Sony Reader and downloading 300 ebooks, and that is just for a start, the longer I own and use it the less environmental impact, when compared to buying new books at 3 or 4 a week!!

     

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    Lepard, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Why not lend eBooks ?

    Comes down to it, at least one publisher, Baen, has put CDs with 50 to 100 ebooks on the back cover of 18 or so of their novels! Usually this contains the previous books in the series and a good sampling of the starting book in other best selling series they publish! Think of this as the "FREE" sample that the Corner pusher hands out! They know their product is good and once you try it you are hooked!! Oh, they also have a free library for the same reason!

     

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    zcat (profile), Oct 17th, 2009 @ 2:35pm

    Re: I think this analogy is off

    This argument doesn't make any more sense than the original.

    We can make all the food we want for free, but we're arguing about how to make sure most people don't get fed.

    Why?

    Because while we have people willing to package and distribute that food for free, we want to stop them from doing that so that they have to pay the no-longer-required packaging and distributing people to do it for them.

     

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  30.  
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    1DandyTroll, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 4:02pm

    Country dependent

    and apparently pending the contracts.


    Apparently it becomes rather negative for writers in US, i.e. living in US. However for foreign writers it's supposedly very positive, what with the whole fan base increasing and all.

    Tomato, tomato, perhaps, but it's pretty much all about potential economic cost for the publishers, i.e. potential less profit. But the copyright actually support this behavior, even if it's more indirect, bending the contract rules.

    It has to do with the belief that the home base is the most financially lucrative place. The big publishers still doesn't understand the concept of financially global environment. Microsoft, Hp, IBM, Skype, et cetera, understood the concept ages ago, but apparently they alone aren't evidence enough.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re:

    So it would be fine as long as anyone who copies an ebook added a fuzzy black border around all of the pages? By your logic, they're not longer the same as the original.

     

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    1DandyTroll, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 7:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    By the way of logic, it wouldn't be the same.

    It sounds a bit too far fetch I bet, but it's not. Read the fine print some time, and you'll know how far you can stretch the copyright. Basically, pending on from which country, you can upload, almost, any movie in its whole, so to speak, for everyone to enjoy, what with the viewer actually has to be able to se who made/owns it.

     

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    Luci, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey, AC! Me, my computer, the library, and a flat bed scanner. Suck it.

     

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    Luci, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re:

    That begs the question of why the libraries couldn't just got to a third party distributor to get the same titles rather than directly from the publisher.

     

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    Luci, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 8:26pm

    Re:

    The binding argument is pure and patent bullshit. The books in the library are the same as I get off the shelf at Barnes and Noble. The libraries pay more because they're expected to, which is why our library asks for donations of books. They still purchase, but hell, we like our lower taxes.

     

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    Luci, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Ebooks versus paper

    Go back and read my comment on that article. Easier than repeating it here for you.

     

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    Luci, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:07pm

    Re: Why not lend eBooks ?

    Sucks for you, then, I guess. My library lends out movies (VHS and DVD), CDs, audio cassettes, even computer software. For free. My taxes already helped pay for it.

     

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    Alex, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 9:13pm

    Re:

    What about paperbacks? Is there a "special" glue that only publisher use to make the binding more resilient to heavy use? And then I would also guess that would apply to the "special" paper they use so it won't rip so easily from the those free loading library patrons from ripping the pages out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2009 @ 10:00pm

    Hey, I got an idea. Let's open a book store for only ebooks, buy a single copy of each title, and then just duplicate it and sell as many copies as we like. After all, they are infinite goods, so nobody will care if we duplicate it. it's just digital.

    Yup, there is that new business model Mike has been looking for.

     

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  40.  
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    Lady Grey, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    Re: Library ebooks and locked players

    That is so insightful - NOT. I am a librarian and you, obviously, are not. I was in charge of all electronic media for my library when I was still in IL, and you show the same lack of industry knowledge that most people seem to have about the monolithic entity "e-book".
    Points to consider before you get hung up on the single e-book per locked player concept:
    1) THERE IS NO INDUSTRY STANDARD for format and player. It's not like DVD or even VHS where there is one data type that applies to all physical playback units.
    2) There are MANY different e-book vendor/suppliers each with their own format (see above) that do NOT offer the same materials (specifically). They do overlap in many cases in terms of general subject, but not in specific titles or authors.
    3) Publishers have decided, much in the same way as the other favorite bogeyman on this discussion group - RIAA, to cling to outdated technology in an effort to restrict access to the most popular materials and force the consumer to purchase the material that they wish to read in some fashion that is not conducive to sharing (in any means)
    4) Each provider, sometimes publisher, sometimes third party provider, has their own contract with its own limits that have to be negotiated. E.g., Amazon and Kindle - the Kindle is limited by contract to disallow file sharing. It would be a wonderful e-book lending medium for libraries, - "loan a 'Kindle Collection'." But, with the details of the contract, it's not physically possible. A few libraries have found ways to negotiate around it, but they have given up their collection control in order to do it.
    This is just the barest TIP of a very HUGE iceberg relating to libraries and electronic resources (including e-books) _ pretty much makes the one that sunk the titanic look like an icecube from your freezer). So, hopefully you will think to ask first next time, before assuming that the issue can be dismissed in a sentence or two, and that the professionals involved in the transaction (i.e. the librarians in this case) are stupid and don't have a clue as to what they're doing...
    Thanks,
    Lady Grey, MLIS

     

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  41.  
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    fishbane, Oct 18th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Re: Selling multiple copies to the libraries

    But that is silly. It is an attempt to replicate the limitations of physical books for no reason other than "that's the way things used to work". It isn't that different from the laws we all laugh about now that required cars to move no faster than horses.

     

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    ALANTONE (profile), Oct 18th, 2009 @ 9:04pm

    Unchain the ebooks!!!!

    During the Middle Ages and even as recent as a hundred years ago books were chained to bookcases because of their value. But since then mass production has made books very inexpensive, especially paperback.

    It is crazy to think that we are going backwards instead of forward when it comes to ebooks. In fact it is just sad.

     

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  43.  
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    Rich, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 6:59am

    Creators of works have rights

    "They do have a right to be paid for their product."
    ""No, they don't. That right doesn't exist.""

    Well, yes, we have a whole body of law called copyright that gives the creators of intellectual works control over how they are distributed and used. Creators of works can voluntarily give them up for free distribution--many photographers donate images to Wikipedia, for instance--but they still retain some control over factors like alterations or publication in other formats.

    It seems like people understand the argument that musicians have a right to be paid for their works when it comes to music--bands and musicians seem very human and their personal financial struggles are often public knowledge--but the same people don't relate to that argument on behalf of book authors. There's no difference, however; authors have a right to a reasonable profit from their work, and the copyright laws came about over concern that lack of protection would discourage writers from contributing to the public dialogue which makes up our culture and politics.

    Libraries came into existence when writing and reading were the province of privileged classes and distribution of works was physically difficult; for libraries to be able to exist today is a gift from the past which we should appreciate by showing some maturity about the rights issue. In the age of the internet allowing even a single library with a web catalog to engage in unrestricted distribution of an eBook could kill almost all of the compensation an author and publisher might otherwise expect from a work, and that's not just their problem, it's our problem, too. The balancing of rights is being worked out and until then it's just not reasonable to demand unlimited free access to publications in all circumstances. It's time for some of you data-stealers to take ownership of what goes on in society rather than just make demands unburdened by practical responsibility...

     

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    Sean T Henry (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    Re: Selling multiple copies to the libraries

    You also do not account for Libraries borrowing books from other libraries. So as long as a library one free copy they could just "borrow" the digital copy.

     

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    Jeff Scott, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Selling multiple copies to the libraries

    That's not how libraries work. If I have 10 copies and there are 11 people waiting, they can place a hold, then wait for the copy to become available. Most libraries don't buy a copy for every person.

    A library shouldn't have a to own a copy every time a book is loaned. Libraries don't have that kind of funding and people should have access to reading and information for free. The Libraries pay for that access.

     

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    Jeff Scott (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Libraries don't pay more

    Libraries don't have to pay 300% more for books. Most libraries get a 40% discount just like the big box stores do. We buy in bulk.

     

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 10:29am

    Re: Creators of works have rights

    authors have a right to a reasonable profit from their work

    You clearly have no idea what "right" means, nor how the free market works.

    No one has a right to a reasonable profit. If you spend 10 million dollars making an awesome pet rock 2.0, you do not deserve to make a profit. You are able to try to make a profit, but you might fail. That's the chance everyone makes while creating something new.

    Deal with it.

    If you try to distribute an ebook for to me and charge 90% of the hardcover price, I will say thanks but no thanks. If I find someone willing to distribute that same e-book to me for free, I'm more likely to take them up on that offer. That's how it works.

     

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  48.  
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    librarian, Oct 19th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Book costs for libraries

    Libraries generally pay less for books. Library binding is usually useful for juvenile material. Public libraries work through wholesalers and receive discounts on most material of up to around 40%..

     

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

  49.  
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    robphelan (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    how do i get started?

    I'd love to help my local library get started with loaning ebooks. I don't think it's unreasonable to have X copies of physical and have the same corresponding number of ebooks.

    Have a 14 day window, then it goes dark & have to re-check it.

     

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  50.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: how do i get started?

    I don't get it. Why add an artificial limit? Why force an e-book to stop working at all?

     

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  51.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Oct 19th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    E-book Resellers, Inc.

    Patent pending!

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Daniel, Oct 30th, 2009 @ 11:39pm

    Most of what I want to say has been said, but I do want add that the right of first sale doesn't apply. You don't buy an ebook, you license its content. Downloaded music and movies work that way too. If the copyright holder places restrictions on the use of the content, you are contractually obligated to abide by them. Libraries are too.

    I hope all the major publishing houses jump onto the Adobe Digital Editions lending scheme or something similar (with DRM if they have to, but preferably without). I think that kind of lending makes sense even down to a schoolyard recess level of fairness. For every sold copy of the text, there is only one person reading it at a time.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Chris Giebel, Dec 21st, 2009 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Creators of works have rights

    But no one has the right to distribute MY book but me. So if someone wants to give you that book for free without my permission, it is ILLEGAL. Apparently YOU have no idea how the free market works. Theft and free market are not the same thing.

     

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  54.  
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    Arestelle, Aug 5th, 2010 @ 3:42pm

    I'm amused at how poor an Objectivist The Infamous Joe makes.

    The book is the property of the author, to be published and/or sold on terms that the author agrees to. Anything else is a violation of the author's right to his/her own property. It's like the government forcing Rearden to ration out his metal to anyone who wanted it, at whatever compensation the government decides. Remember that?

    So...I know this thread is old, but I found it and had to post. Am I right, Joe? You're an Objectvist? You sound like you mean to be one. Of course no author has a "right to profit" - but they do have the right to their property, I'd say. So they have a right to sell their books at the price they choose, and to not have others stealing them, which is exactly what unauthorized copying and distribution of ebooks is.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    andrew lindaman, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    Re:

     

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

  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 9:31am

    Re:

    hey dumba$s, i can just as easily go about photocopying pages from a real book and print and distribute them illegally, so should libraries not be allowed to let books leave the library too

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 20th, 2010 @ 4:23am

    Re:

    Libraries! Lending Books! For Free!!!

    It is teh socialist.

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2010 @ 2:46am

    Publishers

    I think most people are too wrapped around the idea that "publishers need to make money". The whole concept of the ebook is you don't need a publisher anymore. Publishers are the guys with the printing presses and the forests of trees. A writer with a computer and a internet connection doens't need any of that. This is all just the publishers seeing the demise of their business and doing everything they can to bail the water our of their sinking boat.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:11am

    Food is already articifically being limited, lots of food gets destroyed because oversaturation of the market lowers the prices. The problem has never been the amount of food, but simply "Who is going to pay for that?"

     

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

  60.  
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    C, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 11:44pm

    the loose thread that can unravel all of society:

    A. Why can't the library just buy as many digital copies as are needed for the customers, and keep them forever, if they don't naturally degrade?

    B. Wait a second. It's just a digital file. Why not just buy one copy, and just copy and paste it for every customer who wants to read it?

    C. Wait a second. Why do you need the library at all? Why can't a customer just buy a copy from the publisher and "lend" copies to all of his friends?

    D. Wait a second. If no printing and binding needs to be done, why do you need the publisher? Just buy it directly from the author.

    E. Waaaaait a second. Why buy it? Once the author makes one copy available, why can't everyone just grab it for free?

     

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

  61.  
    identicon
    D, Feb 13th, 2011 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Selling multiple copies to the libraries

    All it would take is too many people borrowing the same book to push a library into ruin by this method. What if that book is only popular a short time? They might lend out 100 books over a couple weeks, spend 100 times the cost of a single book, then get very few readers from then-on. In another scenario where 100 people borrow the same book at a different time, they are spending far less while getting the same amount of use out of the file. How is that logical?

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    D, Feb 13th, 2011 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Ebooks versus paper

    Yes they are... but no they aren't. A SINGLE paper book is more sustainable and better for the environment than a SINGLE e-reader. But a single e-reader with thousands of books is more sustainable and better for the environment than thousands of paper books. The latter is the far more likely scenario.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 10:46pm

    Lets see if we can get this forum going again. Lets face it, with the creation of Ebooks we no longer have a need for publishers. Is this a negative thing? Of course not. Why do we need to continue to pay for a dying technology and a dying business. Like we have seen many times before, this is creative destruction at its finest. (Joseph Schumpeter, 1942)If the publishing companies can not keep up with today's technology or have been proved to be unnecessary no they do not deserve any profits. Let them go out of business... technology will continue, new jobs will be created, they can move to a new industry.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Harrison Kline-Aguado, Ph.D., Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Free-use

    Your comparison of food to intellectual property is a poor one and misleading.

    As nourishing as both may be in their own ways, food is consumed once, or prepared to be consumed once, while intellectual property is like "the burning bush" allowing multiple uses without ever being "consumed."

    Further, the investment of the creator(s) is not reimbursed by a single sale, but by multiple sales.

    This is the basis of a royalty structure, or paid access.

    Maybe you want to work for free. I do not.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Flarndep, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 8:12am

    YES YES

    Wow, you're right!! It's JUST like we discovered a way to make all the food the world ever needed, and we sit around talking about how to make sure that most people don't get fed. AND it's TOTALLY disturbing that people seem to think this is a good thing.

    Except the part where you just discovered a way to make sure that no one has any motivation ever to produce food. OOPS I mean books. Because hey, there's nothing like not getting paid to sit for months or years whacking on a plough OOPS I meant keyboard, right? AMIRITE? F*CK those rich fatcat farmers/authors/content producers/whatever! F*ck them in their stupid a$$e$!!!

    Seriously, you seem to have misplaced one simple little fact in your tyrade against the ignominy of paying for books: IF BOOKS DON'T COST MONEY THEN WHO WILL WRITE THEM???

    Asshat.

     

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


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