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No eBooks in Libraries is a License to Steal

The president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors writes about the foolishness and mean-spiritedness of major publishers preventing their ebooks from being sold to libraries. I agree 100%.

"Denying public libraries eBooks is so mean-spirited, so unreasonable, so against the grain of American tradition, that it will surely backfire if anywhere near a majority of publishers do it. Stealing eBooks will become a laudable way to fight back, done with no pang of conscience whatever."
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Even with all the information access online, I still think Libraries are one of the greatest places to visit.

Hopefully they find a middle ground on the e-books front.
Book publishers have long been spared the backlash that the AA's have experienced, because they have seemed to be more in tune with actually pleasing customers, as opposed to desperately trying to keep a dead business model breathing. Oh, but get digital documents involved, and they prove to be just as big a bunch of arsehats as the other arseclowns. Nice.
100% agreed. The publishers are driven by fear which clouds everything about their thinking.
I think we have to be conscious of the fact that Tim O'Reilly, a major writer put up this post. All of us in the tech industry have at one point read one of his books. Not being able to access his books or other high quality books at a public library is a disservice to the long term growth of America.
Our local public library has e-books. You get the book to your computer. It is protected and can't be copied and after 2 weeks you an't access it. I'm sure there is a way to hack it, but really why be paranoid of a few bad apples
+Dresden Kalil Yes my library has e-books to loan too. That's not the issue, which is that some major publishers don't offer their books for e-lending. Or limit that use in fairly egregious ways.

So many very popular best sellers don't become available for e-book lending at the same time as the hard copy versions do. Read this link

And from the linked article.

Two of the "big six," McMillan and Simon & Schuster, never have allowed library use of their books in digital format. In March of last year, HarperCollins announced that it would limit the number of times its digital books could be checked out to 26 uses. Then, poof.That's three of the "big six" American publishers refusing to let libraries circulate their eBook titles, and a fourth setting a limit on use. Where the big publishers lead, smaller publishers tend to follow.
+Krish Sailam I prefer to do almost all of my reading in dead-tree form, but a friend of mine pointed out that the rapid obsolescence of content in technical books makes electronic delivery a better medium for them, and I'm forced to agree. Both the selection and currency of technical books at my public library could be greatly improved, and I think e-books should be the solution to address both.
So lending a physical book for free is OK but lending an electronic book equates to piracy. Wow greed must sap the intellect. Here's an idea sell your e-books for couple of bucks instead of 25 and people will stop stealing.
+Jason Teske "Windowed" releasing is annoying, but not completely unacceptable in all instances.

The point here is that some major publishers aren't allowing release of their e-books to libraries at all. And this often happens even when they are are already selling the e-book to the general public.
Kindle (and other e-book) sales are huge. People BUY electronic books. I can go online and find scans of physical books as easily as I can find e-books. New media is a way for the publishers to change policies and hide behind the veil of piracy. If they want to sell e-books for the price of a regular book, they should be treated the same.
-Available at the library
-Ability to loan them or give them away

The real problem is that publishers are seeing that they are not needed anymore and they are scared. Good riddance. I hope this means money goes to where it belongs, the writers.

It is almost a symbol of what is happening in a lot of areas of society. The middle man takes huge cuts and any time that is threatened, they whine and lie. Insurance companies and software publishers jump to the top of the list in my mind.
Libraries are a source of free information and ideas. Knowledge is power, and those in any form of power detest the idea of trying to control an intellectual population with the ability to think for themselves. It doesn't merely rock the boat, it's the iceberg that brought down the Titanic.
yes, well you can hack a book too. Sure, it is a bit more effort, but anyone with a copy machine can scan a book to a digital copy.
While we like to think that books and music and video should be free data, it takes money to create these things. I agree with Tim O'Reilley that people will want to hack and steal the digital content. But I see the side of the publishers.

Unfortunately, they are impacted by a social shift in our consumption habits. Years ago, we didn't pay for TV and radio - now we do. Years to come, what will become of digital content like music and books? I certainly don't know.

But I realize that these things come from companies with employees. Don't pay for products and people will be out of jobs. Maybe that is just the way it will be but don't blame the companies from fighting back.
Tim, have you asked any authors about this?
Money money money do something in your life with out getting paid. See how good it feels? Books are diying.
Books will go the way of vinyl vs CDs. CDs are, in the end, an outdated digital delivery method for music, while vinyl has more uses. Books are the same way, they just skipped the CD delivery method. I know plenty of people that read a lot, but when they really like a book, pick up a hard copy.
[edit] They still primarily use an e-reader, however.
The publishers have already tricked people in to not noticing that they are paying the same price (if not more) for a non-transferable license (you can't really legally sell or even lend a DRM-ed e-book) that people used to pay for a transferable license (you can lend and sell a hard copy book as many times as you want). Now they are denying licenses that allow lending outright to libraries. This is just one more step (which started back when Disney got copyright pushed out forever to protect Mickey Mouse) of the content industries destroying private property rights and the public domain to server the narrow profit interest. People need to fight back against this before we stop being able to actually own anything any more.
Yes, by all means let's not support literacy and enthusiasm for books. Their lack of vision is breathtaking.
Why are ebooks requires for a library? It's a giant building whose purpose it is to house the actual books.
I just bought a book from oreilly after reading you post. It the git book in googlr play.
Girl: Your going to fast.
Guy: It's okay.
Girl: It's scary.
Guy: It's alright I know what I'm doing.
Girl: Can you slow down please?
Guy: Only if you say you love me and give me a hug.
Girl: (giveshim a hug) I love you.
Guy: Hey this helmet is get irritating can you wear it instead?
Guy take off the helmet and gives it to the girl. She puts it on and the bike comes to a crash. She only survived because of the helmet. If he would have never gave her the helmet she would have died.
His brakes were out. He knew his brakes were out, and we was going to crash. He just wanted to hear her say she loved him and a hug.] before he crashed.

What a love story. If you beleive in true love then repost.

- Da da do do dee dee do do Smile face :)
as a matter of fact- im gonna go to every driod site i can find and start a movement to promote stealing ebooks worldwide.... I'll do that right now!!!
I hope they don't get rid of libraries completely cuz there is nothin better than the smell, look and feel of a book; especially if it is old and it has that wood-like smell to it. I love kindle with all my <3 but if they could work out a peace agreement that would be great!!
I don't think it is a license to steal... Really? No (insert your wanted property here) available to you in a manner that doesn't cost justifies ... stealing? While I think it is silly to not have e-books in libraries, I do think an agreeable license could be agreed upon by all parties.

There are many things that aren't free, and I'm sure the non-free nature of printed or digital media shouldn't be "justifiably taken" just because it is wanted and not without cost. Perhaps you could have O-Reilly Media send me free copies of all your files? ;)
Not only should libraries lend e-books but they should also lend e-readers. Libraries today are forced to sell and get rid of so much content because of limited space and storage, digital books would solve this problem. It would also solve issues of limited supply, budget restrictions, even language barriers. Libraries were originally meant to catalog and record as much as possible (think library of Alexandria). Now they are only able to supply what is currently popular. Adding digital editions to the analog opens up more possibilities. E-readers are no longer cost prohibitive, they can be found on phones and on computers for free, in addition to the falling costs of kindles, nooks, etc. Libraries should carry e-readers and lend them out. If tablet prices should fall, I believe that they should be lent as well and could eventually save on costs from magazines, dvds, and audio media. It would no longer matter how small your town library is because they would have the same storage options as the library of congress.
Pretty much Unlimited copyright is a license to steal by the writers. Copyright was there not to make people rich forever but to reward creators for a time before their creations became public domain. 24 years was enough, but now we have 99 years after the death of the author, and that is outright theft.
Ya, I agree with you too Andy it would be horrible if they got rid of books; why it would be like the NAZIS in the 21st century!!! :O Even as a thought that is scary!!
Theft? Theft of what, exactly? Theft of your right to have something that might not have existed if the writer hadn't written it? While I think Copyright Law and Patent law need to be reformed, I don't see how earning money for your labor is theft. I can see some don't like it, but I don't think it is "wrong" just because I don't like it or think it shouldn't cost as much...
man- i write papers for free for people- play in a band at a local pub- for free- do pc repair(software) for free- install car audio systems - for free- i just not a greedy fuck...
What's the fuss is about? Let them do it, just pass a law that prohibits them from complaining when a young men breaks into their car and steals the stereo cause he couldn't afford books to get educated and get a job.

In the ghetto...
On a cold October morning a child is born in the ghetto....
And his mama cries...
+Jason Teske Glad to see you like to be rude and throw around accusations to people for no reason. My point is that Writers are stealing from society in general. Let me guess you are one of those that thinks that nobody would write anything without copyright laws. Yet history proves you wrong. How about adding to the conversation instead of being a typical Troll?
+David Lozano brother its not about being greedy its about survival,you must have a source of income from somewhere or else you wouldn't be doing all that for free,everyone has to earn livelihood.if i had a safe income and no wife or kids id do things for free too, because apparently i am not a greedy fuck either :P its just that i have ppl i need to take care for
So just because a format is easier to copy it's banned? I could copy every book in the library on xerox or scan in to a hard drive, but libraries still allow me to access those paper copies for free. Books, movies, music, software, etc anything digital is easy to copy. We need to rethink if we want to release it on those digital formats if we want to sell it and turn a profit.
+Jason Teske Just curious, you unloaded both barrels on Tim Gray, and I agree with him that a situation that keeps Steamboat Willie under copyright is stupid, stupid, stupid.
Sooner or later when all money is digital and paying is more convenient and paying online is safe and i the preferable way for everyone all over the world i am sure more people will pay for ebooks too,its not that everyone wants to steal its that ,paying for it is even harder,thats just my own personal thoughts tho i cud be wrong
I have borrowed ebooks from the library. They just shut down after three weeks, as if you had to return them.
I have one obscure example for you off the top of my head....a unknown writer called Shakespeare wrote in a time without copyright laws.

and unknowns like Mozart, etc....

in fact Project Gutenberg is FULL of pre- copyright books written by people that were incredibly talented. You should have heard of them in high school and college english classes.
The ability to download ebooks without going into the library is an important thing for folks like me who are disabled and who do not drive. This could be a real issue for Americans with Disabilities!
To those who talk about authors survival and income. I'm assuming we are talking about tech books, cause for leisure books there is a whole treasury of the ones that are already free. So, about tech authors. They are professionals, and should be earning money in their profession. If the cant earn them in their craft - they definitely shouldn't be teaching others how to be a failure. "Those who cant work - teach" is a moral crime.
And than again - what about survival for the readers? Its not so much of a choice for them either, when you sit without a job and can barely make enough money to eat. I must say, i admire those who would rather steal a book from the net to get a new skill and try for new job than those who would go on the street and steal from the people there.

P.S. Most people who would read tech books are usually honest enough to buy the book with their first or second paycheck if the book helped them get that job. I think its a 100% fair way.
The system of libraries here in the states has always provided great repositories of learning that even those who aren't wealthy can easily access. It would be sad to see that change just because the major delivery mechanism suddenly became electronic.
am counselor and radio presentor , hi friends ilove charting on net, get me on email;
Jason Teske, you "know" I do? really. That right there makes you a liar. You don't know at all. And for your information, I don't pirate because I have enough income to buy whatever I want in content.

Your credibility keeps getting lower and lower, no surprise from a kid that has no experience at all in life.
Well, you know, due to the fact Hillary Clinton was eighty billion dollars over budget for the library she was building for her husband, and coinkadinkally no library science students got any financial aid that year. (self included) We are going to have to began marching and carrying on for the most basic of educational normalcies.
Obviously you two have a history I'm not aware of...
who cares? people will just steal them anyway, the cat is already out of the bag so to speak. Creating art/information for a profit is a retarded idea anyway.
Jason, that does not give you any right to be completely rude and acting like a 12 year old street thug trying to wave around your ego. Making baseless accusations and spouting outright lies about people you don't know at all is not how to create credibility.
Tell me why anyone makes so much out of small stuff! Really, if its government...ITS THE LIE!!!!
The pirating issue is way off topic anyway. I agree that the current copyright laws are extreme. I do, however, think copyright is a good idea. I publish my research in journals. If I do that without copyright, how do I prevent people somewhere else re-publishing my work in other journals and getting credit for it? Joe Public doesn't give a crap about the stuff I write, but still I'd prefer for it to be made available. I only publish to journals and conferences where they allow me to distribute my work for free on my website.

The idea of banning e-books from libraries is just utterly ridiculous. Libraries are to provide easy access to information. All published information should be available for free, then you can pay for convenience if you can afford it (e.g. e-books, hard copy).

I don't see why people are blaming the authors, though. Isn't it the publishers who are to blame here? If I were a traditional author, I'd want my stuff to be sold to libraries.
Which was my point, and I even said that the original 24 years was a good number. Heck even 50 years from creation is a good number.
+Jason Teske insinuate all you want, +Tim Gray is not guilty (at least in American jurisdictions) unless the accuser has better evidence than you appear to have.

More to the point, however, is this: +Tim Gray (as well as OP +Tim O'Reilly) correctly points out failures in so-called law (that actually stands in contradiction to our natural rights in property) when the intent of said "law" is to create property rights in intangibles, such as copyright attempts to do. All proper laws stand to protect us equally in our natural rights. There is no natural right to be rewarded by others for one's labor, nor to (exclusively) possess an idea.

As to how authors and inventors might obtain a living from their efforts, and us all remain protected in our rights without resorting to rights-destroying laws for so-called intellectual property, you may have failed to notice the thousands of years of prior art, by which e.g., Da Vinci, Shakespeare, and thousands of others less luminary, managed to eke out a living in the humanities, in the absence of copyright and patent laws. Coincidentally, their efforts appear to have more enriched humanity than, say, Twilight author Stephanie Meyer. I wonder how comes that?
Is that the guy that made o'reilly auto parts
Yup, basically the same thing the RIAA and MPAA gave everyone with DRM and lawsuit obsessions... a license to steal.
Wait. What? So if a book isn't available at my public library, I should just walk into a book store and steal it? That's what this is saying right?
+Tim Gray +Jason Teske +Ron Enderland

Wow, you guys are really "Getting it in"

Jason, you're wrong...just admit it. You're actually only wrong about Tim being a "pirate"... Even if Tim does partake in borrowing from shared sources of items (covered in Copyright law as well), he didn't admit it, and assuming just because it fits your prism is wrong. So you're wrong...

Tim, I mostly agree with you. Copyright Law is fine to me. Given the United States' move away from Socialism (think Social Security, Universal Healthcare, Welfare) into purely Crony-Capitalism, the major publishers, etc, have to keep their revenue streams to survive. Otherwise they would be like the rest of us...and who wants that? The issue is this false sense of enforcement that is putting everyone up in if Authors haven't made more from appearances and Musicians haven't made more from performances. It's all a lie, that's why there aren't any real, definable numbers regarding the effect of "piracy"...or where I grew up, it was called "boot-legging"--but that did at least take effort. And the boot-legged version is never as good as the real least that's how it used to be. Now-a-days, the producers spend so little time on their product, that it's not as hard to duplicate...just saying...the production on Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" is better than Britney Spears' "Circus"...and I love "Circus"...

At the end of the day, there are more important things to argue about: like the systematic privatization of EVERYTHING to a point where everything that one does makes someone else an unnecessary amount of money... Libraries and other Public institutions were built for the common good. The military used to function in this way as well as a Public it's used for Corporate interests abroad.

What has this great country become?
How does any individual, business or entity refuse to sell a product to ANYONE? I see more harm than good coming from denying libraries ownership of ebooks. And authors and publishers alike will suffer a great loss.
I've purchased books. I can donate a book to a library.
I've also purchased eBooks. Can I donate an eBook to a library?
Mr. Teske please forgive us for the delay, however the department that handles the fair assesment of simulations, and charecteristic conformaties are not in the office today. But please do allow us an open window or loose floor board so that we may enter you home or dwelling at our own convenience. Do you refridgerate your mayonaise?
Unfortunately, no. Transfer of ownership of e-books is not permitted right now.
Rehashing some of the material from my first semester journalism, I can recall some of the technologies and the adaptation to futuristic materials and such, there was concern due to space and or the allowance or dis allowance there of. Persons with position where worried to the fact and effect of word, sentence or paragragh abreviation,or just the out right chopping down of information making the information incomplete or worse. Now let us not forget basic fact of demographics and geographics and echonmic geographic controle. Now to add insult to injury there are further possibilities the information given and or recieved will no doubt be altered from its original form allowing misinformation to say the least.This happens to be the wrong time to allow people to thrive from abreviated editions of fact, and or history
brings to mind the mean-spiritedness of scientific journal publishers.

Just think, the researchers work on the science, with funds usually from the government, they write the papers burning midnight oil and are paid by their institutions, the reviewers do the peer-review (completely gratis an usually anonymously, so no credit either), editors do the overall supervision and the journals publish the papers and charge exorbitantly for them. Not just that, they keep the copyright for the papers too. Even the authors of the papers can be dragged to court if they share the paper without their permission.

This model has been in existence since ages. But is it justified anymore in this era of electronic publishing and dissemination?

+Tim O'Reilly I wish your company turned its attention to this area.
WAIT a do you STEAL a library licensed 2 week library ebook? You'd prolly have to be pretty tech sav to be have knowledge to do it & I'm gonna go out on a limb and just say most of the folks I know that read ebooks from the library do NOT have proficient hacking/piracy skills...
There is no big tech involved. All you need is Google search, and presto, you can come up with step-by-step to break the DRM. Frankly, DRM is a joke.
+Hemant Shah I agree with you completely. There have been a few conferences that I've been to recently, where they explicitly have given permission to authors to redistribute their work as they see fit. However, Springer and Kluwer still prohibit me from posting my own articles for free on my website. I published those papers ages ago, before I realized the consequences of my actions. Now, I choose more carefully where and how I publish my work.
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