Originally Posted by l_macd
These two points are very debatable though. First of all, while some of those people may have bought the Harry Potter books if they weren't able to borrow them from the library, there's no way they would all have done so.
And as for harming booksellers and authors, there is some truth to that but at the same time you can argue that libraries help encourage people to read. I know if I hadn't had libraries available to me when I was young I probably would never have got interested in reading as we certainly couldn't have afforded to buy many books.
And there are no doubt some people who borrow a book from the library and then decide they want their own copy so they can re-read it again at their leisure. I imagine some people borrow movies from Netflix in the same way and then decide they want to add a given movie to their permanent collection. Or they borrow music by a given artist from the library and then discover they like it so they go out and buy their own copies of the music in question.