No, they are not. They are trying to gouge libraries. You can purchase a physical book in a bookstore and then lend it anybody you want. If publishers tried to charge libraries extra, they would simply start buying through Amazon.
But ebooks are licensed and not sold. Nobody can lend their ebook to another person without express permission from the publisher. So they can charge different prices to different classes of buyers. As the above article correctly points out, libraries work with fixed budgets. They will simply buy fewer ebooks, slowing down the digital revolution in publishing, which is the point!
Why would you think that libraries are "resisting paying their fare share of development costs?" Wouldn't the market price be the "fair" price in your book? And the last time I checked, libraries are paying what the publishers charge. They may not like it, but they pay.
1) I'll grant that libraries can appear as gatekeepers. We'd need to get a better definition of the word to properly argue this point.
4) I have lend a book to a friend. I borrow a new best-seller and read it in 3 days. Since I can keep the book for 3 weeks, there is plenty of time for my friend to read it as well. When he is done, he either returns the book to me, or drops it off in a library. Though, if he were to loose it, I'd be the one to pay for it.
5) Books cost money and libraries have small budgets, knowing who they are lending to is unavoidable. Comparison to Gutenberg is not fair. All of those books are free (because they are in public domain). Libraries would love to give away copies of ebooks anonymously, but they are not allowed to.
FAIL#1: Libraries are the classic gatekeeper.
Many libraries ask their subscribers what they want. All libraries run stats on which books are taken out more often and then buy more from those authors.
FAIL #3: Libraries are anti-green. You've got to go to get the book.
Libraries love ebooks: smaller operating costs, smaller and cheaper buildings with larger collections. If only publishers would play ball.
FAIL #4: Librarians love their form of DRM. You want to lend a library book to a friend? You can't do it.
You can for paper books, though you remain responsible for returning it. You can't for ebooks, but publishers are responsible for that.
FAIL #5: Librarians don't believe in anonymous lending.FAIL #6: Librarians sleep. The Internet is a 24 hour invention.
Have you been to a library in the last 10 years? Aside from picking up a physical books, everything else can be done online. Most libraries will even ship the book you want to the branch nearest to your home.
So from now on, query "watch dark knight rises online for free" will pop up a bunch of legitimate licensed service?
Or, I'll be less greedy and try "watch dark knight rises online in Canada for any price sometime this century". Could MPAA please direct me to the myriad legitimate links that they claim are out there?
I can only talk only for myself, but I spend a lot more money on books since I switched over to ebooks. In past, I had a library subscription, borrowed about 100 books per year and paid about $30 in annual fees and late fines. The only time I purchased books was if somebody gave me a gift-card to a book store for Christmas or something. And then I only ever purchased books I have read and loved previously.
A year ago I spent $100 on e-reader (gift-card again). Since, according to my VISA bills, I have spent $127 on books. All but one on books I have never read before - shows the power of impulse purchase only a click away.
Did authors make more money because I switched to ebooks? Quite likely. Do I care if they did? Resounding NO. I pay to be entertained and honestly couldn't care less if they can make living solely out of writing books. I may be called short-sighted or primitive, but I will only start worrying when I can no loner find a good book for a price I am willing to pay.
But the prices ARE set by the market. Except that most industries fail to acknowledge that the internet transformed the world into a single market, especially for electronic goods. Instead, they use copyright to isolate national/regional markets and seek to find the profit maximizing price in each market individually. This way Microsoft can charge over $100 for Office in the West, but only a fraction in developing countries.
As far as I understand, the data is and always has been on hard drives in Carpathia facility in Virginia. This is the only reason the data could be seized. As you said, a criminal charge against a foreign corporation is quite dubious. It is unlikely a NZ judge would have issued a warrant.
The warrant was approved by a judge in accordance with established procedures. Therefore, it is valid and legal until overturned.
Money corrupts education and this is a perfect example. Personally, after 6 years of university, I strongly believe in open source educational materials. By spreading the task of preparing them, you open it up to all professors, most of whom do not have time to write even one full chapter per year. And by greatly simplifying publication, more excellent personal lecture notes would become widely accessible. The only good thing about this patent is that he may charge very high licensing fees and effectively bury this particular approach. Any chance of patenting the concept of for-profit educational material?
I think you may be arguing about something that is already in effect in many countries. For example, in Canada, importing a copyrighted work for the purpose of resale or distribution without a licence is explicitly a copyright infringement. This is how DVD regions and international book publishing licenses work. So one publisher has a license to print and sell a book in the UK, another has a license for Canada. To maintain the system, it is illegal for a person (or UK publisher's subsidiary) to purchase these books in the UK and to resell them in Canada.
I think that Mike went a little too far with this one. There is nothing that the government can do. Megaupload's assets are seized as "stolen" property and cannot be released until the trial takes place. Government also cannot touch Megaupload's other property beyond seizing stuff covered by a warrant.
Carpathia could certainly step up and with Megaupload's permission make the data accessible. However, this would cost money and Megaupload is not in position to pay. Perhaps some nice guy in Virginia is prepared to volunteer a week or two of his time?