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Old 05-31-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
jgaiser
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To Save Free Enterprise, Books Must Die

A very interesting take by one of the greats of science fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin, on Harper's 26 week limit for library ebooks.

To Save Free Enterprise, Books Must Die
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:03 PM   #2
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She seems like a conflicted lady.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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By allowing their clients to take out hardcopy books an unlimited number of times before they have to be replaced

that's taking some liberties with the word "unlimited."
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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I'm fairly sure she's actually having a go at harper, even if she hates ebooks in general. :P
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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I could never get into her work, maybe I'll try again at some point though, maybe download an epub anthology from the lightnet. If she is a science fiction great as the OP suggests then by definition she should have no qualms about her work being frely shared amongst as many people as possible, agree or disagree?
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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Not to muddy the water, but this contrast between "unlimited" life p-books and limited-loan ebooks is a little weak, since libraries have been leasing pbooks for a very long time. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to cover short-term demand for bestsellers, etc. When the leased books get returned, they effectively "expire" -- the lease period is limited contractually and anyway the books have to be sent back.

I'm not defending the HarperCollins policy, which just looks like a way to monetize something you couldn't before. That's capitalism, isn't it? But it's not as if libraries have no experience at all with similar arrangements.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
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From what I've seen of her comments, she isn't totally anti ebook, just has issues with how things came about.

Part of her dislike of ereaders may due to her inexperience. There are some more complex readers out there, and it is also the case if you read on tablets, computers and smart phones, where you do have to pay a bit more attention to the device and it distracts you from the reading experience. It is part of why I don't like reading on a computer. When you have a ton of buttons in front of you, or in the case of some apps you have to use the mouse, the use of it isn't as unconscious as it is with a dedicated reader. Dedicated readers are extremely easy to use though, and most are of a sort that I feel she may have better opinions of if given the chance to be shown them.

The other part boils down entirely to the business model. Publishers retroactively claiming exclusivity to ebooks, companies doing things that make the book reading public and the authors bear the brunt of decisions that only serve to profit for the publishers, etc. One of her bigger complaints was about Google Books scanning books without having permission from the copyright holder. While they were still waiting on the courts to decide on the settlement, Google was still scanning regardless. I can understand her having issues with this. It is something special considering she is a opponent of how copyrights have been given such large extensions.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggleton View Post
If she is a science fiction great as the OP suggests then by definition she should have no qualms about her work being frely shared amongst as many people as possible...
Logic fail.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #9
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I'm fairly sure she's actually having a go at harper, even if she hates ebooks in general. :P
Yes, I think you are right...which makes me wonder what the rest of the posts on this thread are for.
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If she is a science fiction great as the OP suggests then by definition she should have no qualms about her work being frely shared amongst as many people as possible, agree or disagree?
How can you say that? I like Scifi, because things in space or technology beyond what we can do seems interesting, but I don't believe that there should be no copyright. That is like saying because I like Artwork from the USSR, I am a communist when really the things are merely related on the peripheral. Heck, your statement is even further out there than my example.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:41 PM   #11
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No... this is giggles... and as for "if she's a science fiction great..." words fail... I'm still delighted to have giggles on ignore, I enjoy MR so much more without him...


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Logic fail.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Hellmark View Post
How can you say that? I like Scifi, because things in space or technology beyond what we can do seems interesting, but I don't believe that there should be no copyright. That is like saying because I like Artwork from the USSR, I am a communist when really the things are merely related on the peripheral. Heck, your statement is even further out there than my example.
Because by my definition(the only definition that matters) Science fiction is beneficial to the future of the species, based on the knowledge in the text. Great science fiction should therefore be freely shared, to further our species development.

Logic is itself a failure to think illogically.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:40 PM   #13
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Because by my definition(the only definition that matters) Science fiction is beneficial to the future of the species, based on the knowledge in the text. Great science fiction should therefore be freely shared, to further our species development.

Logic is itself a failure to think illogically.
But thinking illogically serves no purpose. If something has logic to it, then it has some basis of support. Math would have no purpose if people thought illogically, because thinking 1+1=3 is illogical. By removing logic from the equation, no one else can see the product and find how it was derived. If you do not know how something came to be, you cannot faithfully reproduce it. If you cannot faithfully reproduce something, you are to be wrought with failure when attempting something that would ordinarily benefit you.

Also, if only what you think matters, then what is the point of communicating with others? Why be here? Surely if you fail to yield, and have the mindset that everyone else is wrong unless they agree with you, it will only cause arguments and push people away from your cause even when you are in situations when people would ordinarily agree with you.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:26 PM   #14
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I'm fairly sure she's actually having a go at harper, even if she hates ebooks in general. :P
Ms. LeGuin is a founding member of Book View Cafe, an emporium of ebooks. Why would you think she hates ebooks in general?
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:11 PM   #15
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Logic fail.
Indeed. it is common, however, among those who wish to take things they don't belong to them and not pay for them.

Step 1: Find some characteristic about owner of said thing, completely at random.

Step 2: Claim that means they don't mind having their stuff taken.

Step 3: Profit!

Giggles is always good for a laugh.
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