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September 25, 2012

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Paula

I totally agree with you, but the problem here is that piracy is not *the* target of publishers, their target is abundance. And libraries mean "abundance" in this context.
Big publishers are attacking libraries, universities, public domain, creative commons and even fair use (and free uses in Europe). All of this means abundance.
Actually, publishers must love piracy, because it is the only excuse they have to convince politicians to pass laws that will help them to achieve their ultimate goal: a total and an eternal copyright.
If copyright holders are so worried with piracy, why *honest* citizens have much less rights than they had 10 years ago?

Sarah Stamford

"If the publisher let the library have the eBooks to lend to people, maybe they wouldn't pirate so many of them?"

Yes, publishers could do a lot more to make it easier for libraries to acquire and loan ebooks, but pirating is part of the "want it easy, want it now" culture. Downloading a pirate copy is easier than a 10 min walk, or a 10 mile bus ride, to a library.

Hartwig

At least one point of disagreement:
I need some out-of-print books for my work (programming) over more than a year. Libraries do not fulfill my need there, because they bug me after a month, that I should return the book.

Otherwise I totally and completely agree with Paula's comment.

Phil Bradley

Sarah - yes, I agree. Which is why libraries need to continue to be able to lend ebooks electronically so that people can download them from the comfort of their own homes.

Angel

Something this does not take into account: when borrowing the e-book from the library is harder than pirating the book. Very often, interfaces and other hoops in the library's offering just make it frustrating for the user. So, why jump through hoops, frustrations, trying to see if your Kindle or other reader is compatible, etc. when a trip to your favorite pirate site makes it easier? This is something I constantly see: I want to download this library book to my Kindle. Oh, not compatible with Kindle (or insert your other reader option here).

Best, and keep on blogging.

Nathan @SWONtech

I'm discouraged when I see comments that describe piracy and purchasing as equal acquisitions. Asking which way is easier is one thing when comparing Amazon to a brick & mortar bookstore. Deciding whether to buy a movie ticket or sneak in the back door is different.

On the other hand, libraries have a very difficult case to make as an alternative to piracy. Not only are so few ebooks available to them, some with limited available formats too, there are so many print books that aren't legally available as ebooks, period. I'd like to buy Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels as ebooks, but right now there are only Spanish versions available. I could pirate someone's scanned/OCRed copy, or wait for an indefinite amount of time. Sometimes print is better.

mclicious

"The harder that publishers make [it] to legally borrow books, the more that they will be pirated, and the less money they will make in the long run." Yes! I still don't understand why publishers aren't just admitting that books are books, regardless of format, and that they should sell and have borrowing privileges that are the same as regular books (you could even have, say, a 15-year expiration if you want to make the argument that crappy paperbacks fall to pieces and end up getting sold at library sales...I wonder if there could be a sale thing for ebooks?). Clearly the music industry didn't stop selling CDs to libraries when people discovered how easy it was to rip CDs to mp3 and redistribute them, or at least keep them for their own use.

Geisha

For me the library isn't good enough. Its too limiting not in just what is available but the policies as well. I hate the 2 week borrowing policy as it makes reading more of an obligation than leisure because I am a slow reader with little time to do reading. It takes me a while to get through books. I hate that there is a max number of times you can renew a book and if someone has your book on hold, you can't renew it at all.

So no, the library really isn't an option unless you have very low standards.

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