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]
Chamber’s second novel, A Closed and Common Orbit, in her Wayfarer series is so wonderful I cried several times. A Closed and Common Orbit picks up immediately after Chambers’ first story, Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet concludes but is barely an extension of that tale, beyond further expanding on Chambers’ wonderful universe. […]
Despite showing its age, John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids continues to be a consuming post-apocalyptic tale.
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever is a fun new alphabet book written by rapper Lushlife that shows kids just how nutty the English language really is (rules schmules!): Turning the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, P is for Pterodactyl is perfect for anyone who has ever been […]
Believe it or not, PDF files have been the go-to format for contracts and forms of any type since 1993. And sure, they’re easily shareable – but that’s about it. When you need to edit or sign a document – and you will – that’s when frustration can set in. Luckily, there are workarounds, and […]
It’s 4/20! Smoke ’em if you got ’em – and if you haven’t got ’em, check out this roundup of deep discounts on pipes and other accessories. They’re all on sale, but you can take an extra discount off the final price courtesy of the Boing Boing store by using the online code 420SAVE. Freeze […]
Ever wonder if you’re cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there’s a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective […]