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Old 07-07-2009, 10:41 AM   #121
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Shouldn't "the law be blind" when it comes to such things? I feel rather uneasy about the idea that someone should escape prosecution if the cost of the court case would exceed the perceived "cost" of the crime. One of the purposes of the juducial system is surely to act as a deterent, and can it do that if someone can reasonably think "they won't bother to prosecute me"?
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:13 AM   #122
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Shouldn't "the law be blind" when it comes to such things? I feel rather uneasy about the idea that someone should escape prosecution if the cost of the court case would exceed the perceived "cost" of the crime. One of the purposes of the juducial system is surely to act as a deterent, and can it do that if someone can reasonably think "they won't bother to prosecute me"?
It happens all the time though. The government isn't going to spend nearly as much time/resources going after petty criminals as they would going after major operations.

In a case like this, it really makes a lot more sense for the wronged party to go after the infringer rather than turn it into something the government needs to enforce.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #123
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Can someone explain to me why Atlas Shrugged is NOT available on the Kindle? That is, what is wrong with the economics that the copyright holder won't license it to Amazon?
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:37 AM   #124
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Shouldn't "the law be blind" when it comes to such things? I feel rather uneasy about the idea that someone should escape prosecution if the cost of the court case would exceed the perceived "cost" of the crime. One of the purposes of the juducial system is surely to act as a deterent, and can it do that if someone can reasonably think "they won't bother to prosecute me"?
The law is never blind to the cost of prosecuting. While that cost doesn't always outweigh the need to act as a deterrent, it's certainly a strong consideration of whether to pursue the case. Less than half the rapes reported result in a prosecution. (Do you really think that 51% of the people who report rape to the police--not, mind you, who report it to friends and family, or tell nobody until years later, who outnumber those by about 200%--are lying about it?)

Whether or not to prosecute is strongly influenced by how hard it would be to find the perpetrator, and how much evidence is available for a trial.

In this particular case... how would the perpetrator be identified? By IP address, and arrest whoever happens to own the computer that sent in the files? What if it was done at a public computer, like a library? If the uploader is a 20-year-old college student, is society really better of if he's put in jail for several years, or goes bankrupt? What damage did he actually do... is the Rand Institute facing financial ruin because of his actions? (Oh, and who prosecutes? The federal government, because the crime cross state lines? The state that Amazon resides in? The state the perpetrator resides in?)

These are all considerations before any prosecution would happen.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:47 AM   #125
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Make him walk the plank, I say. Let Davy Jones take him if he chooses.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:49 AM   #126
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Okay, it took me over an hour (haven't done this before) but I found a good pdf of Atlas Shrugged, and didn't have to pay for it to Bittorrent or anyone. I jacked up the print size to 125% and that'll do.

I would prefer to buy a proper Kindle copy, or Sony copy, but I'm mad now, that this very popular book is being made unavailable in eBooks with readable-size print by the copyright holder, which seems to be the Ayn Rand Institute.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:53 AM   #127
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Okay, it took me over an hour (haven't done this before) but I found a good pdf of Atlas Shrugged, and didn't have to pay for it to Bittorrent or anyone. I jacked up the print size to 125% and that'll do.

I would prefer to buy a proper Kindle copy, or Sony copy, but I'm mad now, that this very popular book is being made unavailable in eBooks with readable-size print by the copyright holder, which seems to be the Ayn Rand Institute.

It is their right, as owners, to decide whether or not to make it available as a digital books.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:05 PM   #128
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Can someone explain to me why Atlas Shrugged is NOT available on the Kindle? That is, what is wrong with the economics that the copyright holder won't license it to Amazon?
A lot of older books aren't out yet, it takes time to get them out. Rand's estate has said official ebooks of her work are coming soon.

Last edited by AnemicOak; 07-07-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:07 PM   #129
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It is their right, as owners, to decide whether or not to make it available as a digital books.

However, "Information wants to be free."

Or at least available in readable form. I made a genuine effort over some weeks to find a copy in large enough font to read with ordinary 175 resolution reading glasses, and I couldn't. The paperback is some 1075 pages with miniscule type. The hardbacks are unavailable in stores as far as I've found so far, and I've looked.

One of the most important features of the eBooks is that readers not comfortable with 6-point type (and surely that's everybody?) can make the type as large as they want.

Keeping large but popular books that don't transition well to paperbacks off the eBook market --- like "The Stand" or "Atlas Shrugged" --- is probably going to lead to the publishers losing control of these properties, and I for one have no sympathy at all for them if that's the case.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:09 PM   #130
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A lot of older books aren't out yet, it takes time to get them out. Rand's estate has said official ebooks of her work are coming.
Okay, AnemicOak, thanks for the info.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:48 PM   #131
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I complained just now to the Ayn Rand Institute, substantially what I said upthread, and this was the reply:

Hello-

We hope and expect that Ayn Rand's books will be available in Kindle and other eBook formats. The publisher needs to work out some business issues.


--ARI Mailroom
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:59 PM   #132
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It is their right, as owners, to decide whether or not to make it available as a digital books.
True. But hopefully they are factoring into their decision that if they choose not to make it available, somebody else will. I'm not saying that's "right", but it is reality.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:34 PM   #133
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I respectfully disagree. I think that Amazon did entirely the correct thing in doing everything in their ability to remove the infringing material from customer devices, and refunding customers' money. Doing that is the very ideal of "accepting responsibility for their own mistakes", although it's difficult to see what "mistake" Amazon made. If someone uploaded these books and deliberately lied about their right to do so, the blame falls squarely on that dishonest person, not on Amazon, it seems to me.
I'm with Harry on this.

Also, Amazon, selling licenses for their products to an end point user has the list of who bought what. The stores that pre-sold Harry Potter knew that they had sold too early and stopped selling them. They got in trouble. But they did not have ready means to retrieve the books, nor should they have been forced to, since they were legally sold books after a certain time.

If the Ayn Rand heirs decide to e-publish then Amazon can sell the books and give money to the estate, which would be a legal sale. This is a big difference, IMO.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:58 PM   #134
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The stores that pre-sold Harry Potter knew that they had sold too early and stopped selling them. They got in trouble.
But the customers did not, and did not have to return the books.

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But they did not have ready means to retrieve the books, nor should they have been forced to, since they were legally sold books after a certain time.
Rand's books will be legal to sell after a certain time.
2033 in Canada, 2053 in Europe, 2038 for the Fountainhead & 2053 for Atlas Shrugged in the US.

The fact that those times are so far from now as to be ridiculous doesn't change the basic legal concept--the books were sold earlier than permitted; they were not classified documents that would never be legal to sell to the public.

In no other commercial venue are purchasers legally required to return mistaken sales products. Even automobiles and children's toys issue voluntary recalls of faulty products, not mandatory ones.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:17 PM   #135
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But the customers did not, and did not have to return the books.



Rand's books will be legal to sell after a certain time.
2033 in Canada, 2053 in Europe, 2038 for the Fountainhead & 2053 for Atlas Shrugged in the US.

The fact that those times are so far from now as to be ridiculous doesn't change the basic legal concept--the books were sold earlier than permitted; they were not classified documents that would never be legal to sell to the public.

In no other commercial venue are purchasers legally required to return mistaken sales products. Even automobiles and children's toys issue voluntary recalls of faulty products, not mandatory ones.
But my point here is that the ayn Rand books are owned by the heirs of her estate. If the books are sold, they should be the ones getting the money for it. JK Rowling got the money for the early sales of HP.

My further point is that the booksellers did not have means to pull the books back, but Amazon did. I think that they may have had to do this, or they would have been liable to the estate for some fairly significant damages.
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