Originally Posted by pdurrant
You make a good case, and I agree with you, with some provisos
- There must not be readily available second-hand copies. e.g. if second hand copies either can't be found, or are going for more than full retail of a new hardback.
- You express your interest in a new print run/edition to the author or publisher.
- If the books becomes available again due to a new print run or edition, you buy a copy.
On point one, I think that the question of second hand availablity doesn't make any difference. I mean, where's the ethical obligation to buy a second hand book? It doesn't benefit the author/publisher in any significant way that I can see. Seems to me to be just like making a copy.
On point two, I think that would be useful feedback, but it appears to me that it would take much more effort than it is worth. I expect it would make the author feel better, though, so it would be a nice thing to do.
On point three, I think that the ethical obligation is to buy it rather than copy it, if it is available for purchase when you want it or need it. But if the author/publisher has not made it available at that point, I see no ethical need to reward them when they change their mind. You might want to do that as practical encouragement, though!