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Old 05-05-2012, 12:08 AM   #1
Meemo
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Ebooks for Libraries - A Petition

Saw this posted on my library's Facebook page...a petition urging publishers to:
Provide digital content to libraries
Allow libraries to have access to books in all formats
Develop a business model that allows publishers and authors to thrive while ensuring that libraries can continue to serve readers and build collections for our communities

http://ebooksforlibraries.com/
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:04 AM   #2
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That's all fine and dandy, but what if I told you that I wanted to start my own library and freely share all ebooks? This library would not make a profit because nothing would ever be sold, donations would be accepted to cover the costs of electricity.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Giggleton View Post
That's all fine and dandy, but what if I told you that I wanted to start my own library and freely share all ebooks? This library would not make a profit because nothing would ever be sold, donations would be accepted to cover the costs of electricity.
Then I would encourage you not to fall awry of the licensing requirements established by the individual publishers of the books you intend to lend.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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Allow libraries to have access to books in all formats
This is probably not feasible, because not all formats support time-limited DRM, a feature that's essential for library lending.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Giggleton View Post
That's all fine and dandy, but what if I told you that I wanted to start my own library and freely share all ebooks? This library would not make a profit because nothing would ever be sold, donations would be accepted to cover the costs of electricity.
I'd urge you not to do it. It would violate the moral rights of authors who want copyright respected. And it could eventually harm you and your innocent family, when, years later, our slow-moving legal system goes from the extreme of ignoring you to the extreme of locking you up.

This kind of web site is a big project. Electricity is a small part of the cost. There is also the cost of the servers. And the cost of the programming services. If you do your own programming, there is the opportunity cost of the time you spend building and maintaining your piracy web site that you could have been earning money for your family some other way.

It is hard for me to see your proposal being less than a full time job, and probably a full time job for several people. You and your staff need to eat and buy housing and get medical care and save for their kids' college bills and pay taxes. Donation-supported in this context amounts to a business model, and thus is no excuse for piracy.
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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This is probably not feasible, because not all formats support time-limited DRM, a feature that's essential for library lending.
It's certainly desired by todays big publishing companies, but quite a few smaller pubs are now allowing library lending of their titles without DRM.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:13 AM   #7
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That's not "lending"; it's "giving someone a copy of the book forever". I really can't see any commercial publisher allowing that.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #8
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I am on the board of directors of our county library. We participate in a state-wide consortium to provide e-books to library patrons through Overdrive. It's not perfect but it does provide e-books in all formats. I suspect most if not all states offer a similar service.

It's that part about developing a business model that is hard to achieve. As an e-book self-publishing author, I wish it was easier for independents to get into the Overdrive system. If I was a mainline publisher my concerns would be quite different. And libraries have their own administrative concerns.

This whole arena of e-books in libraries is still very much in flux. No question about it, publishers present the greatest obstacle. Still, it's not like you can't get them at your library. That said, no one is entirely happy with the current situation. One can only hope it will improve over time, and petitions like the one above can't hurt.
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