Librarians are the worst sort of pirates. Eric Hellman has a wry look at how Offline Book "Lending" Costs U.S. Publishers Nearly $1 Trillion
To get to the bottom of this story, Go To Hellman has dispatched its Senior Piracy Analyst (me) to Boston, where a mass meeting of alleged book traffickers is to take place. Over 10,000 are expected at the "ALA Midwinter" event. Even at the Amtrak station in New York City this morning, at the very the heart of the US publishing industry, book trafficking culture was evident, with many travelers brazenly displaying the totebags used to transport printed contraband.
As soon as I got off the train, I was surrounded by even more of this crowd. Calling themselves "Librarians", they talk about promoting literacy, education, culture and economic development, which are, of course, code words for the use and dispersal of intellectual property. They readily admit to their activities, and rationalize them because they're perfectly legal in the US, at least for now.
For a more serious look at library economics, I suggest Hellman's post Why Libraries Exist where he cites a study comparing circulating libraries and video rental stores The study included the effects of transaction costs, production costs and the different values of owning and sharing, and found that library-like sharing benefits both publishers and consumers when the transaction cost of sharing is less than the marginal production cost:
1) more books will be read;
2) consumers will pay a lower price per reading;
3) the sellers will make a higher profit; and,
4) consumers will be better off.
See also: Confessions of a Book Pirate.
[image http://www.flickr.com/photos/sylvar/ / CC BY 2.0]
Amaze, an illuminating and informative guide to designing magical experiences, has finally been published in English! Written by my pal and Boing Boing contributor Ferdinando Buscema and inventive designer/writer Mariano Tomatis, Amaze (“L’arte Di Stupire” in Italian) is not a book of tricks but rather a primer on “thinking like a magician.” Here is what […]
Tony “Coyote” Perez is a helluva storyteller. Built to Burn: Tales of the Desert Carnies of Burning Man is his much-anticipated book about the “wild west” days of “that thing in the desert.” It’s available for pre-order (ebook now, paperback later). Notably, it’s the first book that the Burning Man Project has ever published. BUILT […]
Australian illustrator Steven Rhodes’ art has an unmistakable retro-kid-book-creepy aesthetic that’s both dark and hilarious. You’re probably familiar with his work through his line of t-shirts (the “Easy-Bake Coven” one is a personal favorite). Well, now he’s announced an actual book based on his parody children’s book covers (the preview pages literally made me laugh […]
Most of us aren’t constantly beset by poor posture. But all it takes is some subtle misalignment while you’re doing serious hours behind the wheel driving or working away at a desk to do a real number on your back. In fact, most of us are so unaware of the mechanics of good posture that […]
From ordering from Amazon to paying bills over the web to something as simple as bottled water, we’re all hooked on modern convenience. We can’t help it. There are just too many modern world advances that save us too much time not to become a creature of comfort and go the easy route. Even if […]
No matter whether you go into the office or work from home, whether you roll out of bed at 5 a.m. or never get up before 9, we all agree a day can on how you feel first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you wake up feeling groggy or out of […]