[A2k] New York Times: As Library E-Books Live Long, Publisher Sets Expiration Date

Peter Jenner peter.jenner at sinman.co.uk
Tue Mar 15 09:52:07 PDT 2011


Surely this illustrates the absurdity of :

 1.  Treating digital goods like traditional physical goods
 2.  The need to work out a sensible way for the producers and creators of digital goods to get paid , given the different ways of both distribution, manufacturing and payment, because we can be sure the  current price of e-books will collapse in time , whether directly or through the inroads of non authorised use.
 3.  Complaining about various copyright protection measures being put forward by governments etc when there is no  proposal for payment put forward, bearing in mind the costs have been radically reduced in manufacturing distribution etc, but the author still needs to get the same money , and the editorial and financing functions of publishers to also need to get paid, ie the problem is the sunk costs of preparing the book when the marginal cost is virtually zero and price will be inevitably be forced down to that point, if we do not find other ways for authors to be compensated.

These are big issues that I struggle with in the context of music, and is common for all creative content that can be digitised easily. The time and money involved in creating works of art need to be paid for somehow.
Cheers ,
Peter Jenner


On 15/03/2011 16:33, "Claude Almansi" <claude.almansi at gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks, Thiru. Cory Doctorow also wrote about this HarperCollins'
built-in decay of library e-books last week:
"Ebooks: durability is a feature, not a bug - HarperCollins' attempt
to ensure ebooks in libraries can only be loaned out 26 times is
indefensible" <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/08/ebooks-harpercollins-26-times>:

"...Whether a HarperCollins book has the circulatory vigour to cope
with 26 checkouts or 200, it's bizarre to argue that this finite
durability is a feature that we should carefully import into new
media. It would be like assuming the contractual obligation to attack
the microfilm with nail-scissors every time someone looked up an old
article, to simulate the damage that might have been done by our
careless patrons to the newsprint that had once borne it. ..."

Best

Claude


2011/3/15 Thiru Balasubramaniam <thiru at keionline.org>:
> March 14, 2011
> As Library E-Books Live Long, Publisher Sets Expiration Date
> By JULIE BOSMAN
> Imagine the perfect library book. Its pages don't tear. Its spine is
> unbreakable. It can be checked out from home. And it can never get lost.
>(...)

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