HarperCollins Wants To Limit Library Ebook Lending To 'Protect' Authors From Libraries

from the can-i-check-out-a-clue? dept

Colin was the first of a bunch of you to send in the news that publisher HarperCollins has bizarrely decided to cripple the ebooks they let libraries lend by adding a clause in their contract that says books can only be lent out 26 times before the license "expires." Why? Because they can, apparently, and don't realize how this will simply piss off people. Also, once again, I do wonder how supporters of a move like this can still claim that a digital copy of content is "just like" a physical copy. HarperCollins could never make such a claim with a physical book.

Where it gets really ridiculous is HarperCollins' "defense" of the move:
HarperCollins is committed to the library channel. We believe this change balances the value libraries get from our titles with the need to protect our authors and ensure a presence in public libraries and the communities they serve for years to come.
Yes, seriously. They think they need to protect authors from libraries. That's -- to put it frankly -- insane. It seriously makes me question whether authors should be comfortable with HarperCollins as a publisher, when it seems to be making moves that clearly go against an author's best interest. The article does note that two of the big publishers -- Macmillan and Simon & Schuster -- don't allow any lending of ebooks, which is unquestionably worse. However, this kind of move doesn't make HarperCollins look good or like it has any recognition of the digital world. It should be a major turn off to authors who do recognize where the market is headed.


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  1.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    Librarians are the worst type of pirates.

     

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  2.  
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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re:

    Yes, but pirates are the best type of librarians.

     

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  3.  
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    J.D. (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:57am

    Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    Libraries do this to an extent. When books start to physically fail (i.e. pages missing, covers torn, etc), librarians will order a new book to replace the damaged one. This is what HarperCollins appears to be doing. I can respect that. But why 26? Seems like an arbitrary number to me.

     

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  4.  
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    Kevin (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:59am

    Gate Keepers

    Traditional publishers are nothing more than gate keepers who have the facilities to have books printed and distributed rather easily. They have built their business empire upon the labor or writers both small and large, and amassed a fortune in the process.

    Problem. They have not kept up with technology just as so many other industries have, but its even worse for publishers I would think. Unlike movies or music anyone can be a "published writer" for free and from their own home, car, office, or your local library. All you need is an internet connection and a keyboard really. Now just because you write something doesn't mean that anyone will buy it (or even read it), but that's not the point. The alternatives to traditional publishing are already here and only becoming more popular.

     

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  5.  
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    sagescape (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    More monopolistic behavior

    As I noted last Friday over on Legally Sociable, HarperCollins' move is utterly ridiculous. One of the major advantages of e-books is that they don't wear out. Whatever happened to products that become "new and improved" with innovation rather than "same because crippled"? Oh, that's right -- copyrights create a legal monopoly that allow for monopolistic behavior of the sort we regularly see from utility companies and the DMV. Now I remember. Even so, HarperCollins' move here seems incredibly short-sighted. They may well be killing off a lucrative new market (e-books for libraries) before it has a chance to develop fully. After all, most people still don't have e-book readers and find it inconvenient to read books from a computer screen. As for libraries,
    further license restrictions seem to come at a particularly bad time, given strained budgets nationwide. It may also disproportionately affect libraries that set shorter loan periods for ebook circulation.
    Between the growing number of contemporary authors who distribute their books with a Creative Commons license and the growing repository of easily accessible public domain works in electronic text ("book") and spoken ("audiobook") form, there may be a great swath of written culture from the 20th century that becomes effectively inaccessible.

     

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  6.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:08am

    Protection

    Ultimately, ebooks will protect authors from publishers.

     

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  7.  
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    techinabox (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:09am

    This is hardly surprising...

    HarperCollins is a News Corp subsidiary and Murdoch hates "the technology."

     

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  8.  
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    Jeff Scott, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:12am

    Boycott of HarperCollins has been organized

    There is a boycott started by librarians http://www.boycottharpercollins.com/

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re:

    About that have you download your Calibre already?

    News retrieval

    Calibre can be configured to automatically fetch news from a number of websites/RSS feeds, format the news into a e-book and upload the e-book to a connected device. At the moment there is support for generating LRF/EPUB e-books. The e-books include the full versions of the articles, not just the summaries. Supported news sites include Newsweek, New York Times, the BBC, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN.


    This will make some people explode.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    This story is just priceless since I was just now browsing Gutenberg.org for some reading.

    I remembered Nina when I saw this one.
    The Invention of the Sewing Machine by Grace Rogers Cooper

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    Re: Boycott of HarperCollins has been organized

    Boycott them all going to places where there is only free(as in freedom) good books available.

     

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    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:27am

    Fantastic move

    So, not only can your library only loan 1 "copy" of an e-book at a time (which makes no sense in the digital world but is at least in keeping with how libraries have worked heretofore), but they are "allowed" loan it 26 times before having to buy another at a price greater than an actual physical dead tree would cost? Yes that seems perfectly reasonable. After all 26 times, if you believe Amazon, is a whole year of use out of a book. Gosh.

     

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    Anonymous American, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Insane? Not quite...

    Yes, seriously. They think they need to protect authors from libraries. That's -- to put it frankly -- insane.

    Never attribute to insanity that which is more than adequately explained by stupidity.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:33am

    This makes perfect sense. After all, those 1's and 0's do tend to get a little frayed about the edges after repeat usage. We all know that.

     

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    Not an electronic Rodent, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    But why 26? Seems like an arbitrary number to me
    If you believe Amazon (Kindle "lending" policy), 2 weeks is enough time to read a book. 26 weeks is therefore a yearly license fee by (not much) stealth. It looks great on the balance sheets when your bonus is based on yearly performance targets and if it's a small book you get more fees. Big win. Another end-run around the concept that if you sell someone something they bought it and another pointless iteration of DRM to turn customers into criminals.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:42am

    Re:

    Yes, I've often seen my 0's start turning into o's!

     

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  17.  
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    el_segfaulto (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    I know! When I'm in the library about to launch into a jaunty sea chantey I always get shushed.

     

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  18.  
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    Thomas (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    depends on lifetime..

    There is another issue with books in general; for popular novels, libraries often rent copies from distributors to keep up with initial demand, but only buy one or two to keep. Even then, libraries do weed books that don't circulate; there is finite space in the library.

    If the publishers insist on this charge after 26 loans, they will find that libraries simply don't renew. Don't expect that libraries will renew eBooks.

     

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  19.  
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    Freedom, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    Scan ???

    I'm curious, if I buy a paperback book, scan it to a digital form and then destroy the paperback, and then ultimately only loan the 'ebook' out to one person at a time, have I violated any laws, licenses, or ????

    Also, if the landscape is changing for publishers, then it would seem to me the smart move would be to partner with as many entities (like the libraries) as possible. This way, you can still provide value to an author that would otherwise just self publisher and by-pass you. For instance, the publisher can ensure that your book(s) are available at the library under a master license agreement that includes all the publisher's titles, etc. and you don't have to worry about how to get your book at the local library, etc.

    Freedom

     

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  20.  
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    another mike (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:52am

    Re:

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I just downloaded it to my Droid.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re:

    The best archivists, too!

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    Re: Scan ???

    But that would require the publishers to perform the unthinkable: Re-evaluate their business model.

     

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  23.  
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    NullOp, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Surprise!

    Surprise, surprise! Stupidity and Greed reign again!!!

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    2 week check out. this in effect gives the library a license for a year roughly.

     

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  25.  
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    cma, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:32am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    Sounds like they're figuring a two-week checkout period for a year. 26 weeks.

     

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  26.  
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    raz godelnik, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Why HarperCollins decision to limit their ebook lending will not help their ebook sales

    Because libraries are not the only ones lending ebooks. With both the Nook and the Kindle providing the option to borrow and lend ebooks for two weeks, we see a growing number of websites that provide convenient platform for readers to exchange ebooks. Today you have websites such as BookLending.com, Books for My Kindle, Books for My Nook and eBookFling.com (not operating yet), where you can borrow and lend ebooks easily and for free.

    With a growing number of exchange platforms and users, these restrictions will become meaningless. You can stop tens of thousands of libraries, but you can't stop millions of ebook readers that would like to borrow and lend books to each other.

    Bottom line: Very poor decision.

     

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  27.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    What's to respect about that?

    The reality is that technological progress has allowed us to _not_ have to replace content carriers anymore, since the content has been set free and is more long-lasting.

    What HarperCollins wants is to pretend this didn't happen and create arbitrary rules to force artificial scarcity into a system. We should not accept this. It slows progress and now more than ever do we need a fast pace of innovation, with all these economic, political, ecological and other crises.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    If libraries were not an ancient institution, and someone tried to start one today, they would be forced out of business by an avalanche of lawsuits and lobbying for anti-library laws.

     

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  29.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    What? Why? Do you even hear what you are saying? "We have way better technology. Let's not use it."

    Should they put all books on a fixed shelf-life to make sure more durable editions don't unfairly rob the publishers? Should they limit the lifespan of DVD to that of a VHS? Should we abandon the printing press altogether since it really was unfair to the monks? Perhaps high-efficiency cars with better gas mileage should be artificially handicapped to avoid reducing demand for oil. And if we ever discover an infinite power source, we need to figure out how to limit it immediately so as not to upset the energy industry.

     

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  30.  
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    Another User, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    I don't agree with this either but if they want to be as close to a library book as possible they should look at the average time it takes to replace a book then go off of that. But it is nice to see how they can take a piece of good technology and make it worthless./s

     

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  31.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:50am

    Re:

    That has already happened. Because if someone tried to start a library today - meaning a system with the goal of making knowledge and culture as widely available as possible - it wouldn't look like a library, it would look like the internet. So it has happened, and the reaction from the incumbents has been just as you describe.

     

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  32.  
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    DS, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, but do they float?

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:08am

    Re: Scan ???

    You would be charged with defamation of the publisher for destroying their product, and then sued for copyright violation for scanning it into digital form. You will be forced to settle because the publisher has millions of dollars to throw at lawyers, and nothing will have changed. If everyone in the country started doing this, on the other hand..

     

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  34.  
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    Joe Publius, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    Not to mention, what library in their right mind would buy a book knowing it would self-destruct after a year?

    I though all of this reading and writing was for enlightenment and entertainment. Any more artificial restrictions and we'll get neither from this once great medium.

     

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  35.  
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    Odd reply..., Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    Technology allows us to never need replacement copies. Why is it ok to artificially cripple what technology gives you? That argument doesn't make sense to explain why this would be a good idea, but certainly helps to explain why they're doing it - they are greedy and want more money for doing nothing.

     

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  36.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re: Insane? Not quite...

    Actually, I really think we need a new razor for content companies in the digital age:

    Never attribute to malice, stupidity or insanity that which can be adequately explained by monopoly.

     

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  37.  
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    Angry Puppy (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    Price?

    If the 26 loan (yearly) renewal price is only a couple of dollars it might be fair as long as it works out to the same or less than reordering a printed copy after it is worn out.

    What is the typical lifetime of a book and average cost?

    What is the 26 loan renewal price?

    For example:

    If a book is replaced in 3 years at $50 and the yearly electronic renewal is $15 (3x$15=$45) the library saves $5 - 10% is a significant savings.

    Without numbers, what is fair in business is just an opinion.

    However, publishing costs are virtually nothing for the renewal so this appears as gouging the customer.

    But, not to worry, the market will make the adjustments. HarperCollins will be reduced and possibly eliminated from the business by firms that understand electronic publishing and trade in a fair manner. HarperCollins will not attract or be able to pay authors if no one will read the books.

    And, in the end, when librarians simply will not order HarperCollins eBooks, this stupidity will go away.

    It's already started: http://boycottharpercollins.com/

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only if they weigh less than a duck.

     

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  39.  
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    Jackie, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:47am

    Usual price of book rental is 5 cents

    Usually libraries pay 5 cents a customer to lend out books when they rent the books from vendors. I don't see why they should pay $2 per customer which would be what an e-book would cost to buy and process for use.

    Harper will sell a lot less books, other publishers will sell more. There is no real reason to buy e-books from U.S. publishers anymore. Any publisher, in any country in the world, can now prepare and ship an e-book to a U.S. customer or library for the same price.

    India, are you listening? India has some of the best technical education in the world, and it's taught mostly in English. China, your market for art books has expanded tremendously. Europe, your architecture and museums are capable of being mined as never before.

     

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  40.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Insane? Not quite...

    that said, monopoly effects which could be atributed to any of the above are usually actually caused by greed + stupidity, and greed is/is expressed as a form of malice...

    so... yeah.

     

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  41.  
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    AnonJr (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:11am

    Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    I know. 26 weeks *is* too arbitrary a number - it should be 42.

     

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  42.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re:

    My 0's turn to ('s because I hold them with my right hand.

     

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  43.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Scan ???

    ... i was totally expecting 'thinking' after the :

     

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  44.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:23am

    Re: Price?

    ya know, for future reference, the whole 'invisible hand' thing annoys me no end. it doesn't exist. not in the sense most people use it anyway.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:24am

    What is actually funny here is people assuming that e-books are obliged to have the same rules and restrictions that exist on paper books. It is an amusingly false assumption.

    Once you think about it for a minute, you can understand that they aren't selling e-book, they are licensing them. That license can (without the limits of the law) be fairly restrictive.

    The assumption here is that the libraries will pay the same as retail pricing for these ebooks, that is also not proven in the story. What would you say if they were paying $2.60 a license? Would the story change?

    Making assumptions is a terrible thing. New business models mean new rules. Get use to it.

     

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  46.  
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    MrWilson, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:25am

    Re:

    You've just described every torrent tracking website.

     

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  47.  
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    Angry Puppy (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Price?

    Where did I say "invisible hand"? I said librarians and provided an example of a ongoing librarian boycott.

    You may think it's all a conspiracy, with active clandestine manipulating of markets with no control from general supply and demand forces. But, I do not think all is controlled by a shadowy group of powerful men sitting at a large polished table in a lavishly paneled secret room.

    Keep well, safe, and happy in your doomsday bunker in Idaho.

    Kidding aside, vague, accusatory allusions of conspiracy don't cut it in public debate forums. Please explain what you are implying.

     

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  48.  
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    bob, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Protect authors?

    I think many serious authors want to make a living.

    The real issue is how to spread out the development costs over all of the readers. If you want to have an infinite number of lending events, well, that means that the publishers will only sell a few copies. In order to recoup the costs, they'll need to charge $100,000 or more for each copy.

    You can't have it both ways. You can't reward authors like Malcolm Gladwell for writing a great book and let each copy circulate everywhere. Oh wait. Your plan is to reward Malcolm Gladwell for making t-shirts and putting his face on it or something dumb like that. Then he'll give his book away to advertise his t-shirt business.

     

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  49.  
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    Angry Puppy (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    eReaders are a Phase - Or Not?

    Most of my reading (and all of my writing) is done on a computer except for bed time literature which I still prefer in a format that does not need a power supply or require distracting whirring cooling fans. eReaders are popular due to low cost, long battery life, novelty, and quiet operation. However, laptops (netbooks) are now down to $250 and dropping and are far more versatile, are getting longer battery life, and many no longer have noisy moving parts. The attraction of publishers to eBooks is the control they can have (causing incidents like the ironically "Orwellian" 1984 deletion by Amazon: http://www.pcworld.com/article/169408/kindle_lawsuit_filed_over_orwell_1984_ebook_deletions_by_amazo n.html). Once eReaders can't be priced much less than user controlled, easily programmable laptops, control of media issues like this should go away. Hopefully.

    This brings up a thought: Will eBooks eliminate the need for libraries?

     

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  50.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Insane? Not quite...

    "Never attribute to malice, stupidity or insanity that which can be adequately explained by monopoly."

    As Chargone has suggested, I think that would come under malice... It could be that I've missed the point of the joke.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    If digital goods are less useful than analog goods then they should be significantly cheaper. Seems fair.

     

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  52.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    This reminds me of Inspector Gadget by the way...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g9vL11CRe8

    This message will self-destruct in 26....

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re:

    At some point, they may be less expensive. Significantly? As a general concept, I doubt it. The dead tree component of a book isn't really the significant part of the retail price.

     

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  54.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Price?

    "Where did I say "invisible hand"? I said librarians and provided an example of a ongoing librarian boycott."

    I think they were referring to your statement that the market will make the adjustments.

    "You may think it's all a conspiracy, with active clandestine manipulating of markets with no control from general supply and demand forces."

    I think they probably meant that suggesting the market will fix the problem is to put too much faith in the phenomenem of market forces. For one thing, it assumes that such practices won't be used as precedence for legaslation. For another, there is no reason to presume that competitors in the market will make a better choice. The big four record companies have had enough cash to keep the invisible hand of the market at bay for a long time, similar may happen in book publishing.

    Maybe we're overly cynical and pessimistic. I hope so.

     

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  55.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "The dead tree component of a book isn't really the significant part of the retail price."

    Don't forget transport and other infrastructure costs such as storage and printing. They may be really cheap, but you're comparing the near to zero as can be cost of an ebook to the direct and indirect costs of a physical book.

    I'm willing to be that there is a significant difference between the cost of millions of ebooks (which file sharing has proved can be essentially the price of a computer and an internet connection) and millions of real books, which need a printing facility, transport, factory facilities and any other costs associated with physical goods. The chances are that ebooks will end up subsidising real books, if publishers can get their act together and make them worth using.

     

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  56.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re: Insane? Not quite...

    I do get both of your points, but I think greed is different from malice. Greed is purely selfish desire, and while it may be implicit in selfishness that other people will have to suffer for your prosperity, the greed is not itself motivated by a desire to harm people but rather by a desire to prosper at any cost. Malice, to me, describes acts that are actually directly motivated by the desire to cause harm.

    There is some overlap, certainly, but I still think it's a valuable distinction. I am not one who buys into an "all corporations are evil" mentality - but I do believe that the incentives in a capitalist economy can lead to harmful behaviour, which is why the free market cannot be completely unregulated.

     

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  57.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Protect authors?

    "I think many serious authors want to make a living."

    More and more authors are making a living while giving away their books.

    "The real issue is how to spread out the development costs over all of the readers."

    If that were the 'real issue' then many successful publications could have stopped selling and released their books for free on the internet a long time ago. You don't set a price by trying to work out how many readers you're going to have, you work it out by trying to determine what people are willing to pay.

    "If you want to have an infinite number of lending events, well, that means that the publishers will only sell a few copies."

    If that were true then the same should apply to physical books and libraries. If people can borrow physical books, well, that means that the publishers will only sell a few copies. Unless you're making the argument that the only thing keeping physical books being sold is the limited number of copies available at libraries. If so then evidence for that shouldn't be too hard to find.

    "You can't have it both ways. You can't reward authors like Malcolm Gladwell for writing a great book and let each copy circulate everywhere."

    Woohoo, I can join the anti-socialist club everyone on TV in America seems to be part of. Forcing people to reward authors isn't really a concept compatible with our capitalist system.

    If no one likes his books enough to reward him out of choice then yes, he may want to sell t-shirts. Of course, he may instead want to do any number of other things that Mike has suggested on this site other than selling t-shirts. The point is that it's up to him to work out what he can do that people are willing to pay for, not for other people to feel socially or legally obliged to reward him.

     

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

  58.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:21pm

    Re: eReaders are a Phase - Or Not?

    "eReaders are popular due to low cost, long battery life, novelty, and quiet operation. However, laptops (netbooks) are now down to $250 and dropping and are far more versatile"

    I would be surprised if most people who use an eReader don't also have a laptop already. I think the point of eReaders are that they are more comfortable than a computer for, say, reading in bed. Tablets will hopefully eventually make both eReaders and laptops almost obselete.

     

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  59.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Insane? Not quite...

    "I do get both of your points, but I think greed is different from malice. Greed is purely selfish desire, and while it may be implicit in selfishness that other people will have to suffer for your prosperity, the greed is not itself motivated by a desire to harm people but rather by a desire to prosper at any cost. Malice, to me, describes acts that are actually directly motivated by the desire to cause harm."

    I agree with the distinction. Ignorant greed would seem to be covered by stupidity, though. Knowing that you're harming someone for purely selfish reasons would still seem to fall under malice.

    But the main thing is that I wasn't missing a joke!

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Protect authors?

    or he can charge 10c for a lifetime licence to ALL his current, past and future works and multiply that by the infinite number of lending events.

    Your point is infantile.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    bob, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Protect authors?

    The point is that it's up to him to work out what he can do that people are willing to pay for, not for other people to feel socially or legally obliged to reward him


    If people don't want to buy they book, they don't have to do that. But the message you and your lazy, cheap friends keep insisting on delivering is that if you feel like stealing something, the authors should just roll over and let you take it. Because your choice is what matters, not the authors.


    Well I've got news for you bucko. You shut down monetary reward and the only people left who can blog are the rich and the vain. When stroking your ego is the only way to get something out of posting on the web, only the vain will be left. That seems to be Mike's biggest wish, for some odd reason.



    I'm sorry. The vain and the t-shirt salesmen.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    Don't forget about the determined, or don't they count? You know, writers who need to write, to express themselves, to comment; artists who need to make art, to express themselves, to comment.

    Or are they just vain as well, because if that's the case I've got some bad news for you.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

    So after I have been told that I don't own what I bought now it expires so I have to "buy" again?

    Enough is enough, why do people keep buying that crap from those people they only screw everybody over without regard to anyone.

    Thank God piracy is a real alternative.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    mirradric, Feb 28th, 2011 @ 9:48pm

    Re: Re: Too a degree I can respect what they're doing

    And what was the question again?

     

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  65.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    ell I've got news for you bucko. You shut down monetary reward and the only people left who can blog are the rich and the vain. When stroking your ego is the only way to get something out of posting on the web, only the vain will be left. That seems to be Mike's biggest wish, for some odd reason.

    What a load of crap. I spend so much time focusing on ways that people can make more money via their content, and some clueless "bob" claims exactly the opposite?

    Dude, learn to read: I'm helping people make MORE money, not less.

     

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

  66.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Protect authors?

    You can't have it both ways. You can't reward authors like Malcolm Gladwell for writing a great book and let each copy circulate everywhere. Oh wait. Your plan is to reward Malcolm Gladwell for making t-shirts and putting his face on it or something dumb like that. Then he'll give his book away to advertise his t-shirt business

    You know how much Gladwell makes from speaking fees? It's more than he makes from book sales. Speaking fees = selling the scarcity.

    We're not talking about t-shirt businesses, and the fact that you think we are suggests you have trouble reading. Try again, bob.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Feb 28th, 2011 @ 11:15pm

    Re:

    Yes, that's precisely correct. Remember, publishers tried to prevent physical libraries and the sale of used books back in the corresponding day. Both attempts were ultimately put down, but they definitely tried.

     

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

  68.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 12:40am

    Re:

    What is actually funny here is people assuming that e-books are obliged to have the same rules and restrictions that exist on paper books.
    No I think you'll find that most people assume that the restrictions on e-books should, once you've bought it, be the restrictions of the medium.

    What's actually funny is a publisher taking a medium that is inherently more functional than the incumbent and going out of their way to artificially make it less functional by a significant margin then expecting it to sell for a higher price. That's not a "new business model" that's either stupidity of gargantuan proportions or an arrogance to rival emperor Nero.

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 3:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    Bob, we already have only the vain publishing books, what are you talking about?

     

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

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 3:52am

    Re:

    Making assumptions is a terrible thing. New business models mean new rules. Get use to it.


    I agree with you that is why I will never rent(i.e. buy) a book from those creepy people ever again, there is actually a couple of thousand years of good reading available completely free, why would I want to buy that crap from stupid people who want to screw me over?

    The new rule for me is, if it is not free(as in freedom) it is not worth it.

    I'm not giving up that freedom for a douche that only thinks about money and is a freak control.

     

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

  71.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 4:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    "If people don't want to buy they book, they don't have to do that."

    You ignore the issue of reading the book, which is not exclusive to buying the book, except if artificially restricted (e.g. by law).

    "the message you and your lazy, cheap friends keep insisting on delivering is that if you feel like stealing something, the authors should just roll over and let you take it"

    I'm not sure what you're referring to. Are you implying that lending is stealing? Or are you making vague accusations about something off topic? If you're going to redirect the conversation then it helps to be specific.

    "Because your choice is what matters, not the authors."

    If I'm the one with the money and they want me to give it to them for something which is inherently free then yes, it is my choice that matters. I can choose to read a book at a library rather than buy it, without breaking the law. I can borrow a friend's book, without breaking the law. Other ways to freely access the book may be unlawful, but that's an inconsistency in the law, not my ability to choose.

    "You shut down monetary reward and the only people left who can blog are the rich and the vain"

    Assuming your point, why would the rich blog if they weren't also vain? It's hard to believe that you've thought things through when you slip in such an obvious tautology.

     

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

  72.  
    identicon
    bob, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    If you really want to help people make more money, why do you keep trying to come up with ways to rationalize how great it is to give your work away for free? Just today you were writing things like, "Those platforms publish my by-line, picture and bio, so if someone out there thinks I知 smart or funny, I own that goodness. I知 not making money, but I get credit."

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    If you can't see any scenario in which such publicity could make you more money elsewhere then you need to go queue in the imagination queue, because it seems you missed it the first time round. Think of it as the same as hiring a publicist for your new book - spending your own time and effort rather than paying someone else to spend time and effort on your behalf to attract people to the things you want to charge them for.

     

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

  74.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 6:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    If you really want to help people make more money, why do you keep trying to come up with ways to rationalize how great it is to give your work away for free?

    Very simple answer: giving your work away for free can make you more money

     

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

  75.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    "Those platforms publish my by-line, picture and bio, so if someone out there thinks I知 smart or funny, I own that goodness. I知 not making money, but I get credit."

    Firstly, it wasn't Mike who wrote that but a guest poster.

    And the natural extension of that statement is "...and I can cash in that credit in other areas" - that's the point. Like your Gladwell example: as Mike mentions below, Gladwell makes the bulk of his living off speaking fees, not book sales. I know it's easy to assume that a bestselling author just sits back and watches the checks come in, but that's rarely the case.

     

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

  76.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Protect authors?

    If you really want to help people make more money, why do you keep trying to come up with ways to rationalize how great it is to give your work away for free? Just today you were writing things like, "Those platforms publish my by-line, picture and bio, so if someone out there thinks I知 smart or funny, I own that goodness. I知 not making

    I believe you may have some basic problems with reading comprehension. First of all, I did not write that. Second, the whole point, as has been demonstrated time and time again, is that you can make more money by giving stuff away. The trick is understand what to give away and what to charge for. This is the point you seem to fail to grasp.

     

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

  77.  
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    Yeebok (profile), Mar 5th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Price?

    Angry Puppy - hate to tell you this but the last paper book I borrowed from the library was printed about 11 years ago.
    The whole problem is that a library can now buy an ebook from X-1 of X places and not have to pay a license fee. Harper Collins have basically added an additional, ridiculous annual fee for the simple fact that they have shareholders. Technically there's no reason for it aside from greed.

    From the explanation on the boycott site:
    It's true that library materials don't have an unlimited shelf-life, though many libraries still circulate books that are well over a hundred years old.

     

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


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