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Old 12-02-2012, 01:28 PM   #33
Andrew H.
Grand Master of Flowers
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Naptown
Device: Kindle PW, Kindle 3 (aka Keyboard), iPhone, iPad 3 (not for reading)
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Originally Posted by rogue_librarian View Post
Welcome to The Real World [tm]. That's exactly how digital lending works in most parts of the world. Is it stupid? Absolutely. Is it happening? You better believe it.
Why is it stupid?
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I'm not sure I agree. What it really, really boils down to is trying to preserve an outdated business model ("What's a paradigm change, anyway?") instead of looking forward and embracing new possibilities.
What is outdated about it?
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If authors (whose interests are not necessarily congruent with publishers here), publishers and libraries sat down together, I am sure a sustainable model could be found, taking full advantage of the digital nature of ebooks.
This may or may not be true. There may be no sustainable model that makes everyone happy. A number of big publishers don't allow libraries to lend their books at all; I don't think that any system causing them to be paid less than the system they already don't participate in will help matters.
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Artificial scarcity is just, well, plain stupid.
There is no artificial scarcity in the general e-book marketplace: there are enough e-books for everyone to buy.

Artificial scarcity absolutely makes sense when you are talking about free products. No artificial scarcity means that everyone can download every book from a library and keep it forever. Obviously that is not sustainable for authors or publishers.

Nor are most forms of "buy once, lend infinitely" sustainable...at least when the "buy once" price is similar to the regular consumer price.

I also generally think that the amount of money authors or publishers make "per read" should be roughly equivalent for digital and non-digital books. And I think if they're not, the authors or publishers just won't participate in library lending. And I don't really think they will suffer by not doing so.
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