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Old 02-13-2010, 02:42 AM   #43
Demas
Connoisseur
Demas has learned how to buy an e-book online
 
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The slightly more realistic approach (but still with significant concerns) is to allow Google to do its book scanning initiative. That way the private sector (and Google specifically) is doing all the heavy lifting instead of at the consumer level, government level, or expecting publishers to do it.

They still have some wonky policies requiring all authors - the world over - opt OUT instead of opt in (arguing the search/transaction costs of getting permission render the project infeasible otherwise), but it's the most plausible domestic approach I think. I mean, barring an improbable change in the law to shorten the duration of copyright.

The other plausible possibility is that a foreign government with fundamental different approach or philosophy to copyright (say, China- despite treaties- at a fundamental cultural level, IP doesn't exist there the way it does here- there's a stronger sense of collaboration and state interest rather than individual property rights... though its changing with capitalism, of course) to do the scanning for us in violation of most copyright laws but not caring because of their internal sovereignty (more or less how BT succeeds as a piracy platform). The trouble there is that the hypothetical country probably wouldn't be English speaking or have a backlog of American books....
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