Originally Posted by Jozawun
Thank you for the explanation, but I still have a little trouble seeing the distinction.
What you are saying is that it is ethical to buy a 2nd-hand out of print book and to make a copy for your own purposes without further compensating the author; but that is unethical to borrow the book from a library and make a copy for your own purposes unless you do further compensate the author.
I agree with that because in case of 2nd hand material you purchase; keeping for yourself you take it out of circulation (again) into wich it had been reinserted by being resold and thus removed from possession and ownership of the primary buyer.
The author has already been rewarded for allowing the existence of this singular copy in circulation.
Additional personal copies have no influence on the amount of the supply-demand circulation/ecosystem (? feel free to help me out with an expression here) the personal copies exist only in your personal sphere of influence, they are not in commercial or otherwise public circulation but if you temporarily take an item meant to return into circulation as with library items. (where the author has been and in many cases still is compensated for said circulation: depending on the locally valid laws authors get money based on library circulation) Making a permanent copy without ownership of the original makes you 'cheating' insofar that you work around your need of having an own copy i.e. a kind of copy for which the author should have been separately compensated by abusing a copy in public circulation of which only temporary possession and no ownership (library) was granted to you.
The point that matters is: do your multiplications of the material affect supply and demand of others and by this affecting the authors revenues?
The right to a personal copy can only be derived from possession of a "personal original" what in case of a library-owned original, temporarily released into your possesion only (possesion is only factual control no legal ownership) isn't given.
I'm sure it could be explained less complicated, sorry. Seems to be one of mine "hit your linguistic limits" - day.