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Old 01-19-2010, 01:10 PM   #1
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Offline Book "Lending" Costs U.S. Publishers Nearly $1 Trillion

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Hot on the heels of the story in Publisher's Weekly that "publishers could be losing out on as much $3 billion to online book piracy" comes a sudden realization of a much larger threat to the viability of the book industry. Apparently, over 2 billion books were "loaned" last year by a cabal of organizations found in nearly every American city and town. Using the same advanced projective mathematics used in the study cited by Publishers Weekly, Go To Hellman has computed that publishers could be losing sales opportunities totaling over $100 Billion per year, losses which extend back to at least the year 2000. These lost sales dwarf the online piracy reported yesterday, and indeed, even the global book publishing business itself.

From what we've been able to piece together, the book "lending" takes place in "libraries". On entering one of these dens, patrons may view a dazzling array of books, periodicals, even CDs and DVDs, all available to anyone willing to disclose valuable personal information in exchange for a "card". But there is an ominous silence pervading these ersatz sanctuaries, enforced by the stern demeanor of staff and the glares of other patrons. Although there's no admission charge and it doesn't cost anything to borrow a book, there's always the threat of an onerous overdue bill for the hapless borrower who forgets to continue the cycle of not paying for copyrighted material.

...
From http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/20...-costs-us.html

Fun read.

Last edited by anurag; 01-19-2010 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:40 PM   #2
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Awesome read!

Love this response:

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I am not sure why you think this is funny, publishers and writers alike are all suffering because of these despicable people. How are they going to make their payments on their 3rd yacht, did you ever think of that. Not only do we have to consider the incredible wealthy shipmakers with nothing to do, but the yacht crews will be out of a job as well. Grandkids, Great Grandkids and even Greater Grandkids are being forced onto the street to earn money for themselves because the 100-year old copyright money that they earned, by being born to the right person, is not providing enough. This is not a laughing matter
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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As a retired librarian, I can't agree more. Libraries are and have always been unAmerican and a capitalist's nightmare. Thank Heavens the damage can't be undone. However, no one silences anyone in today's library and you can renew your overdues on line! Today's librarians don't deserve yesterdays stereotype. Amen.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:08 PM   #4
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I remember once doing some research in a library for a course I was taking. Several books mentioned an article from 1974 that was seminal to the topic and I was very eager to find the original article. Two librarians at the reference library had a grand old time helping me out. I think they were glad to have something to do besides find Harry Potter books for people I think in the digital age there will be a great function for librarians to serve as a bit of a filter for people between the reams of internet crapola and the actual good content.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:09 PM   #5
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That was funny and scary all at the same time.

My fear is that this is the mentality to which many people really ascribe. The is no way that libraries would be created today if they didn't already exist. They just don't fit into modern views of intellectual property.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
The is no way that libraries would be created today if they didn't already exist.
Libraries were originally created because books were scarce commodities. If e-books ever manage to eradicate scarcity from literature, libraries will truly no longer be needed... but librarians can always come in handy, to help us find what we're looking for.

It was like reading an Onion article.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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Although it was funny in one respect, I find it sad that those who choose to engage in piracy often enjoy joking about the issue in an attempt to rationalize their illicit practices.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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I have always used libraries. The most useful technologic advance in my opinion was the online catalog. The ability to go online anytime and reserve a book, which would be delivered to the small library 3 blocks from my house, really increased my useage. The only thing that stopped me from using the library exclusively was embarrasment over the type of books I was requesting. Now that I can do it all online, and never have to look the librarian in the face (she is very nice, and my paranoia is unjustified) is fabulous. And it does cost the publishers. Just as it costs them when I shopped at Books a Million, used a preferred card, waited for the paperback to come out, borrowed the book from a friend. We should all be in jail.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Although it was funny in one respect, I find it sad that those who choose to engage in piracy often enjoy joking about the issue in an attempt to rationalize their illicit practices.
The joke is always about the surreal nature of digital products and the difference between real-world and digital-world. 'We' pirates know the true value of cultural objects do not lie within the price the owners (not the creators) set for them, but only in the price we are willing to pay. We know that a digital object has no inherent value, so it becomes an exercise in surreality when people talk of 'losses' and 'gains'. The argument against piracy is lost. It's an argument that must forever stick its head in the sand and ignore digital reality to actually work. It's funny to 'us' because when these arguments are made, the people making them may as well be talking about 'Pookas' for all the relevance they have (and no ACTA won't stop it). Comedy grows from pain. Other people's pain. It's the physical-world holdouts in pain that causes us the most hilarity, and sometimes a little joy.

PS. The guy who ran OINK was freed this week and all charges dropped.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Although it was funny in one respect, I find it sad that those who choose to engage in piracy often enjoy joking about the issue in an attempt to rationalize their illicit practices.
Missed the bit where the source blog is that of a professional librarian, did we?

And none of the actual book pirates (not to be confused with people sharing electronic copies of books gratis) I've known - and I've actually met a couple - have ever made a point of joking about or rationalizing their business. They're in it to turn a profit, same as any other businessman.
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:38 PM   #11
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Missed the bit where the source blog is that of a professional librarian, did we?
Not at all. I wasn't referring to him.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:07 PM   #12
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Here in the Netherlands libraries have to pay €0.10 royalties per book for every 3 weeks (or less) you borrow it.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Although it was funny in one respect, I find it sad that those who choose to engage in piracy often enjoy joking about the issue in an attempt to rationalize their illicit practices.
"Those who engage in piracy" make jokes because it is funny to make fun of people who think and say things like "rationalize their illicit practices." In internet savvyness terms, that makes one the equivalent of the dweebish hall monitor who gets his head dunked in the toilet by the jocks and can't understand why said jokes will not simply get back to their classes.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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All I have to say is so what. The entire idea of 'copyright' is to license who can print new paper copies of a work. It does not say 'only a single person can read this creative work'. The publishing industry throws these figures around so the general public thinks it's hard for the poor poor corporate publishers.

I bet the auto industry wishes that everyone had to buy their own car wherever they went, only one person could drive in the car and taxis/buses didn't exist.
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:48 PM   #15
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Not at all. I wasn't referring to him.
Ah, well, I hope you can see how I might have come to that conclusion, given the context.

So you were referring to Donald Wollheim? Jeff Bezos? Perhaps whoever's in charge over at Fictionwise these days?
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