Originally Posted by James_Wilde
One of the students in my Mandarin class found a book in the library which she thought was useful for the study of the language. Research turned up that:
1. the book was out of print (originally printed in 1974)
2. there were no plans for a new print run
3. there was no second-hand market (ie nothing available at that time)
4. the author was still alive.
My friend contacted the author to check on point 2, and when told that such was the case asked if we could photocopy the book. She received permission, and photocopied the entire library book, and made it available to her fellow students.
I don't see anything in that which offends my sense of ethics, and as to the legality of it, if it's ethical, I'll do it irrespective of the legality. (Some laws are extremely offensive from an ethical point of view.) We were all prepared to send a sensible sum of money to the author, which he did not want us to do.
Now, what's the view of the panel on this?
Does it change the situation for anyone if I tell you that the class consisted of four people and only two were interested in a copy?
And Tommy Persson, this was in Sweden after 2005!
I think actually that the law was changed to cover cases were students copied books instead of buying them (the prices were so absurd so it was cheaper to copy a book). So the law was really not intended for just doing one copy or for the case you describe. So I think this is a case were the law cover to much and you cannot use it as a guidance to what is ethical. Also in cases were laws changes it should be an indication that it is not obvious what is ethically correct so maybe such a question is meaningless in cases were laws change often or were different countries have different laws.