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Old 08-30-2010, 01:47 PM   #1
socal9
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ethical issue of borrowing library books and downloading same content

I have a question concerning the ethics or morality of the following scenario. I enjoy going to the library and checking out books to read. I also enjoy reading on ereaders (currently an Ipod Touch because of the portability of it). What is the ethics of borrowing out a book from the library and then also downloading it from the internet. When there are times that the ereader would be more convenient, the reading would be done on it. At other times, the library book would be used. When the book was due back at the library, it would be returned and the downloaded copy of the book deleted.

Is there anything morally wrong with this? Remember, the downloaded book is deleted when the library book is returned.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

(Haven't done this but was pondering the ethics question)
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Old 08-30-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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Any discussions about the "morality" of downloads wind up dragging in lengthy diatribes about the legality (or lack thereof) of same.

The short answer: if you're downloading, not distributing, and deleting, *nobody is going to notice*; sorting out how right-or-wrong that is, is a matter of personal ethics.

If you're suggesting that others do so, it starts hedging into more public ethics, and there's big room for debate, including the whole issue of when illegal actions (which this may-or-may-not be) are ethical.

(My personal take on it: ethical to download temporarily & delete? Sure. Ethical to *expect* a digital copy to be available? No; you don't get to assume someone else will have done the work of converting the pbook to ebook form. Grumbling about poor quality of the download is also tacky.)
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:09 PM   #3
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Oh noes, not this question again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by socal9 View Post
When the book was due back at the library, it would be returned and the downloaded copy of the book deleted.

Is there anything morally wrong with this? Remember, the downloaded book is deleted when the library book is returned.
Have you looked into whether or not your library lends ebooks? This is exactly how ebook lending works.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by queentess View Post
Oh noes, not this question again!
Sorry about that. I did quite a few searches and was not able to find anything relating to this particular subject. I did find other ethical issue posts but nothing pertaining to a library loan. If this was already discussed I would definitely appreciate the link to the thread. Thanks!



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Have you looked into whether or not your library lends ebooks? This is exactly how ebook lending works.
Our library does have some ebooks available, however the amount is very small.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:23 AM   #5
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I suspect that in your own mind you feel that this is wrong, or else you wouldn't have asked the question. You really need to make up your own mind whether or not it's morally acceptable for you. Nobody else can do that for you.

Last edited by HarryT; 08-31-2010 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I suspect that in your own mind you feel that this is wrong, or else you wouldn't have asked the question. You really need to make up your own mind whether or not it's morally acceptable for you. Nobody else can do that for you.
Don't you think that it's equally possible that they feel there is nothing wrong with it but people keep telling that it's wrong? "How can it be wrong when it feels so right?"
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socal9 View Post
Sorry about that. I did quite a few searches and was not able to find anything relating to this particular subject. I did find other ethical issue posts but nothing pertaining to a library loan. If this was already discussed I would definitely appreciate the link to the thread. Thanks!

Our library does have some ebooks available, however the amount is very small.
No apologies needed, there have just been a lot of "ethical" threads popping up lately.

What you ask is similar to this thread, you might want to head over there and read through it.

You may also want to consider getting a library card with a library system that DOES have a lot of ebooks. Many libraries will allow non-residents to get a card for a small annual fee, and others will allow free cards to be given to residents of a particular state (ie - I live in Ohio, and the Columbus library is free to me, though I do have to show up in person to obtain a card).
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queentess View Post

You may also want to consider getting a library card with a library system that DOES have a lot of ebooks. Many libraries will allow non-residents to get a card for a small annual fee, and others will allow free cards to be given to residents of a particular state (ie - I live in Ohio, and the Columbus library is free to me, though I do have to show up in person to obtain a card).
Thank you for this suggestion. I will look into it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I suspect that in your own mind you feel that this is wrong, or else you wouldn't have asked the question. You really need to make up your own mind whether or not it's morally acceptable for you. Nobody else can do that for you.
Actually I have never done what I had mentioned in the original post. The idea came to mind after reading another thread here about downloading ebooks from the internet that one has already purchased in physical form. Some of the comments stated that you would be taking monies that would otherwise go to the author or publisher. I was just stating an instance where a patron of the library would not be purchasing that book anyway and so no monies would have been lost. Looking back in hindsight, I probably should have posted this in that thread instead of starting a new one.
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:06 PM   #10
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Nothing to dowith right or wrong but why go to the trouble of borrowing a library book just to justify dow nloading it. Seems a tad convoluted.

If I go to the library and borrow a book then I just read it. After all some other patron may be waiting for that book and I am not reading it.

Just my personal opinion, but many people could soon be saying "I could borrow this book from the library so I should be able to download it" Or "why delete it, my wife wants to read it next" or "my buddy has this book so I could borrow it from him"

Downloading intellectual property from a source not approved by the intellectual property owner is the same thing whether you own the book in paper form, borrow it from a friend or library or just want to read it free.

I am not saying don't do it, just don't make excuses to justify it. If you want to be sure it is okay call up the author and/or publisher and get their permission.

Helen
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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Downloading intellectual property from a source not approved by the intellectual property owner is the same thing whether you own the book in paper form, borrow it from a friend or library or just want to read it free
Helen
Excellent point. Thank you very much!
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:56 PM   #12
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I think it's fine as the author isn't losing any money since it's a library book anyways
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:32 AM   #13
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I think it's fine as the author isn't losing any money since it's a library book anyways
By that standard one could take anything one wanted if one was sure the owner would not spend money to get another one.
Helen
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:27 AM   #14
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I think it's a hard question to answer myself. I mean if you already own a copy of the book in paper for example then you could say it's just a convenience to have an ebook version handy, especially in cases of the classics. And many of the classics are either free downloads or very inexpensive to buy ebook versions of (depending on where you look on the web). With more modern ebooks of course that are still in copyright you are less likely to find them being given away free at online book stores. If you buy a copy of an ebook though I don't think you have to delete it after you finish reading it. You might have to for the sake of space on your reader, but then if you have it on your desktop/laptop or can transfer it there I don't see that there would be anything wrong with burning it to a CD/DVD disk for storage either. That way you can have it on hand if you should want to read it again in the future. And you have already paid for the book.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Any discussions about the "morality" of downloads wind up dragging in lengthy diatribes about the legality (or lack thereof) of same.
Lets not forget the equally long diatribes about the abuse of copyright by evil corporations and why that makes it all ok.

Cheers,
PKFFW
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