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eBook Lending Library Launched

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the be-your-own-librarian dept.

DRM 145

An anonymous reader writes "The Open Library has launched an eBook lending program. Patrons of this Internet Archive-led group of libraries may borrow up to five books at a time, for up to two weeks. Like print books, the eBooks may be on loan only to one patron at a time. The organization perceives this model providing more bang for the libraries' bucks. The books are mostly 20th-century titles. Some librarians have books that are too fragile or rare for lending and will scan them for eBook lending."

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145 comments

Project Gutenberg with DRM (1, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293502)

Patrons of this Internet Archive-led group of libraries may borrow up to five books at a time, for up to two weeks. Like print books, the eBooks may be on loan only to one patron at a time. ..... The books are mostly 20th-century titles.

So... its basically Project Gutenberg with added DRM?

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

tanders (2002292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293514)

And I thought the days of Advertising on ./ were behind us..

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (2)

Ancantus (1926920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293566)

And I thought the days of Advertising on ./ were behind us..

When did you start thinking that? A few hours ago?

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (2)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293606)

Not exactly. It looks like a competitor to the Overdrive system many libraries use. Overdrive is a sharepoint-like portal that delivers DRM'd ebooks (usually PDFs) to library patrons. Its kinda kludgy but popular and the defacto standard for this kind of thing.

Gutenburg is only public domain books, this system would deliver purchased ebooks and most likely apply its own DRM like Adobe's PDF DRM. If it didn't use DRM the library using it would most likely get in some kind of trouble.

Oh well, anything that competes with Overdrive is good with me.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293800)

From the few times I've heard about Sharepoint, it's sort of a replacement for FrontPage, but I'm sure that's an over-simplified description.

So can you care to describe what "Sharepoint-like" is supposed to mean? Not everyone here uses or knows all details about all Microsoft products.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294716)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_SharePoint [wikipedia.org] Microsoft Sharepoint is a Web technology based server that can be used to build portals, collaboration sites, and also content management sites. It is very versatile in a number of features and support various enterprise and Web scenarios. It is also popular for document management solutions. [3] Sharepoint can also be used as a building platform to build systems atop its framework.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295988)

Oh, that explains it, it's very versatile in a number of features and supports various enterprise and Web scenarios.

Others here on Slashdot are very familiar (perhaps too familiar) and still aren't sure what features of Sharepoint lend themselves to this sort of eBook lending system, and what exactly a "sharepoint like" portal is. Is it similar to a Drupal like portal? Or a Wiki like portal?

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (2)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293838)

It's not a competitor to Overdrive at all since its non-PD loans go through Overdrive.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294108)

Maybe it's just a very, very bad competitor? I've worked for a few of those in my time. Never a good idea to be dependent upon your competition for continued business. Though sometimes it does allow you to be crappier than you'd otherwise be able to be, if they really define "suck".

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35296210)

It looks like a competitor to the Overdrive system many libraries use."

That's exactly what I was thinking. My local library uses Overdrive [overdrive.com] , and I've downloaded many new audio books to my ipod from the comfort of my home for completely free.

But thanks to this article I found out that Overdrive offers an iPhone app so I can download books and audio straight to my phone. [wsj.com] This is great! They even made a video explaining how it works. [youtube.com]

They also have an Android version [overdrive.com] and here's a video by a user. [youtube.com]

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293620)

To be fair, library lending has got to be the situation where DRM is the most justified. You *really* don't own the product. If that's what it takes to get more titles (including those not in the public domain) available, then so be it.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (3, Insightful)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293842)

I'm of the opposite opinion. The reason libraries have to put time limits on lending is because the resource is scarce. But books can be replicated digitally for practically nothing. Putting lending limits on e-books is a clear case of creating scarcity where none need exist. Technology has given us the tools to provide information for free to all, but our psychology limits us to thinking in terms of scarcity and imposing it if it doesn't exist.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294132)

The number of decent authors is a very scarce resource. Having to work for nothing would make them scarcer.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294300)

Really?

You do know that except for a priviledged (and lucky) few, most authors need a day job to live. Writing is just a side activity.

On the other hand, scarcity (the paper book model) ensure that there won't be any change to not earning anything because knows an author, nor will they ever hear about him or her.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295474)

Then go to the library and experience these author's books in person you lazy git.

Public Lending Right as a model? (UK) (2)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294814)

In the UK, we have the Public Lending Right [wikipedia.org] (also in some other countries). This gives authors a micro payment for every time one of their books is loaned in a public library, something like 5p. a time.

I am not sure how the figures are worked out but the intention is that authors are compensated for public loans that might impact their sales. It's not tied to the number of copies of their books that are stocked by the libraries, but the number of times their books are borrowed. It's summed up and given to them as a payment each year.

I can't see why this couldn't be carried over into the digital realm, indeed it would surely be easier to implement and track than how its managed by recording paper issues at the moment.

Mind you it is a government funded scheme to support the arts so YMMV, some countries might not be able to afford this and some might see it as a dodgy communist plot etc., depends on whether your people feel this is what your nation's government should be doing. Wikipedia article notes some criticisms as well as arguments in its favour...

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294154)

So, 1 library buys 1 'copy' of a book, then 'loans' it to everybody for as long as they want, simultaneously?

Let's get this thing going. It sounds great. Well, except for authors/publishers.

Which library shall we designate the 'master', which buys the one copy of the book, and then loans it out to everyone?

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35296168)

So, 1 library downloads 1 'copy' of a book from bittorrent, then 'loans' it to everybody for as long as they want, simultaneously?

Outside the box!

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293732)

Gutenberg is only for public domain titles (so mostly 19th and some early 20th century work), this library is for lending of in-copyright works. If it's well implemented, it makes a lot of sense - as I've said before, enforcing a short-term loan seems like one of the few valid uses of DRM, and since many libraries now offer eBooks it seems far more sensible to have all the content available from one central resource than to have it tied to geographic location.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (0)

zaivala (887815) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293790)

No, this is a taxpayer-funded project of DARPA (note archive.org -- host of the Wayback Machine, a project that we pay for so the government can spy on our websites). They're trying to limit how many of our dollars they spend? Or they're trying to monitor our book-reading patterns, more likely.

Re:Project Gutenberg with DRM (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294178)

I think it's rather cool.
(searches)

Year's best science fiction - nope
Red Mars - nope
Hyperion - nope
Foundation asimov - nope
mary higgins clark - nope
Ender's game -nope

Okay well that was a fun experiment but I don't think I'll be coming-back any time soon.

Yawn (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293538)

Can we stop applying old world methodologies to current technologies? Libraries could only lend one title out at a time BECAUSE IT WAS WHAT THEY HAD. There is not a single reason to "only lend one digital" copy out at a time, other than to force some insane business model down the throats of people. Ok, fine I can settle with the "You need to read the books in 14 days" kind of thing to entice people to read it or buy it, but that is even stretching it.

Re:Yawn (1)

Ancantus (1926920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293582)

Perhaps a better solution would be to only allow one book to be taken out per user. Makes more sense and most people don't read more than one book at a time anyways. If they want to keep the ebook they can buy it.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293648)

most people don't read more than one book at a time anyways.

Please, speak for yourself.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293718)

And what are the computer manufacturers thinking? They let us run more than one program at a time! Who needs that? We'll all end up with ADD.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293850)

The point is that libraries must pay for hardcopy *copyrighted* books and can lend them out to one patron at a time. If they can buy two copyrighted books in soft form for the price of one hardcopy book, then they've doubled their lending capacity. Libraries have to live with copyrights. Your argument would make sense for public domain books.

Re:Yawn (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295484)

Perhaps a better solution would be to only allow one book to be taken out per user. Makes more sense and most people don't read more than one book at a time anyways. If they want to keep the ebook they can buy it.

Really? I've never met someone who only reads one book at a time. It may only be occasionally that they'll stop one book halfway and get distracted, but that's two at a time.

The worst part, from a user experience perspective, is that it sounds like a reasonable limitation. When users do run into it and are frustrated, and that's what they'll tell other people about, no matter how good it is overall.

Re:Yawn (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293910)

I have an honest question: How is an author going to be paid for their time writing the books if we allow one person to purchase the book, and then lend it to an infinite number of people at once? Musicians can go out on tour and perform live, and make a reasonable living doing that, making their studio recordings less critical a part of their income. Authors can't (generally speaking, I suppose some poets and spoken-word types could) go on tour and perform their craft for a live audience.

Yes, they're forcing a business model down peoples' throats, and it seems dated and silly given that you can make infinte lossless copies of a book with a close-to-zero cost. The real (and earnest) question is - what's your proposal for a better solution, specifically for the publishing industry, which will allow authors to - at the very least - make a comfortable middle-class living? Most authors do not write books that sell at volumes that would allow "2 cents per electronic copy" to be a maintainable business model. Do we tell those writers, "tough shit, start waiting tables and give up the writing thing if you're not popular?" And bear in mind that if you actually would suggest that, you've just neatly gutted the bulk of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, which I believe tend to be pretty popular around this part of the intartubes.

An honest question of YOU Americano (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293936)

Do you have a CSC degree? You said you do here:

"Me:
1) Degree in Biotechnology and Computer Science. (Did your troll factory offer dual majors, or just the standard "how to be an obnoxious twat on the internet" syllabus?)"
- by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

But your online profiles only show a MINOR in CSC (which is far from a MAJOR, much less a dual major), here:

Kevin B. Pease = AMERICANO from Merrimack New Hampshire - kbpease@hotmail.com - YOU DID NOT GET A DOUBLE MAJOR!

AMERICANO = Kevin B. Pease has a MINOR only in CSC, for starters:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbpease [linkedin.com]

PERTINENT EXCERPT:

Kevin Pease's Education
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Biotechnology

1993 Ã" 1998

Minor: Computer Science

---

LMAO - it took you 6 YEARS to get a CSC MINOR? Rotflmao...

(The difference between a MINOR and a MAJOR? Credits... which means coursework).

You know, the courses YOU DID NOT TAKE (like LOGIC) and THUS YOU DO NOT HAVE A CSC DEGREE... bullshit artist that you are.

APK

P.S.=> Which, of course, makes you out to be a BLATANT LIAR, Americano... apk

Re:An honest question of YOU Americano (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294430)

"Me: 1) Degree in Biotechnology and Computer Science. (Did your troll factory offer dual majors, or just the standard "how to be an obnoxious twat on the internet" syllabus?)" - by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

Ad-hominem fallacy: Obnoxious twat, troll fallacy.

But your online profiles only show a MINOR in CSC (which is far from a MAJOR, much less a dual major), here:

AMERICANO = Kevin B. Pease has a MINOR only in CSC, for starters:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbpease [linkedin.com]

Poisoning the well fallacy. Argument by innuendo (that having a minor in a discipline is meaningless, i.e. by the inverse error fallacy that since having a degree indicates some grasp of a discipline, not having a major degree indicates no grasp in a discipline).

LMAO - it took you 6 YEARS to get a CSC MINOR? Rotflmao...

Ad-hominem fallacy. Poisoning the well fallacy. Argument by innuendo (that somehow taking 6 years to study two disciplines to some form of completion indicates a lack of grasp of one or both of thes disciplines). Fallacy of many questions (any answer confirms some innuendo).

You know, the courses YOU DID NOT TAKE (like LOGIC) and THUS YOU DO NOT HAVE A CSC DEGREE... bullshit artist that you are.

Equivocation fallacy: "logic" referenced is digital and mathematical logic; "bullshit artist" referenced deals with philosophical and cognitive reasoning logic.

P.S.=> Which, of course, makes you out to be a BLATANT LIAR, Americano... apk

Undistributed middle fallacy. Affirming the consequent.

Finally, this entire post is an example of proof by verbosity (it appears to be well researched and well constructed, so it must be a valid argument); and irrelevant conclusion in the form of argumentum ad hominem.

See my signature. All civilized men should study philosophy, including logic and reasoning. Try Attacking Faulty Reasoning by T. Edward Damer, but it's got a somewhat liberal slant (in the form of many logical fallacies being demonstrated using faulty arguments made by conservative politicians-- remember all politicians base their careers on the Politician's Syllogism, because they are fucking con artists or fucking stupid). Still, the subject matter itself renders any political slant and any propaganda within pointless unless you are retarded; this topic is about learning to draw your own conclusions about shit by identifying when somebody is bullshitting you.

Re:An honest question of YOU Americano (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295724)

I know it's a bit of a tired cliche, but please dont' feed the troll - especially in this case. Whoever the hel it is has enough of a grudge on Americano that these posts have been following him around for the last few days (that I've noticed here and there). I don't really know who Americano is other than someone really doesn't like him and takes the time to troll every time he posts, but yeah. Just ignore the guy.

Yes, I realize the inherent irony in that I am essentially feeding the troll by association, but nevertheless.

Re:Yawn (1)

JamieBedford (1238192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294168)

Blogs with advertising where they can regularly add content, and/or specialized subscription-type content.
Sales of physical copies of their works (people still buy physical books, and probably will for a long time).
Sponsored book signings / speaking engagements / web lectures, etc.
Contract gigs writing material for medium/large corporations that need or could find creative use for skilled writers (think Penny-Arcade's video game manuals).
Participation in and/or collaborative hosting and moderation of web-based communities for discussion of the domain in which they work.
Socialized or private grants for furthering the arts, or research, or social commentary.
.
.
.

It's rare for anyone in any field to make a comfortable middle-class living doing only the thing they most enjoy doing. Sure, it happens, but most folks trudge through quite a lot of work that isn't entirely thrilling in order to get to the point of comfortable middle-class living.

Re:Yawn (3, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294192)

As we used to fund art before with Patronage ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronage [wikipedia.org] ).

I actually am pretty serious. I do not see how one can expect to fund a production per copy when cloning such a production is a virtually free operation. The funding needs to be done beforehand. I would totally chip in a few hundreds bucks a year to fund arts I like.

Re:Yawn (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294944)

As we used to fund art before with Patronage ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patronage [wikipedia.org] ).

I actually am pretty serious. I do not see how one can expect to fund a production per copy when cloning such a production is a virtually free operation. The funding needs to be done beforehand. I would totally chip in a few hundreds bucks a year to fund arts I like.

That there is the problem. A lot of what's turned out to be incredibly influential work wasn't liked at that time, much of it was outright banned for being offensive to portions of the population.

Not to mention that in many cases you don't know what a work is going to look like until after it's finished.

This is why charity based welfare and assistance programs don't work very well. If you're a battered wife, you're far, far more likely to get help from charitable organizations than if you're a man in a similar situation, because it's not popular. Same goes for other programs as well, if it's a popular cause it can work, but there's a lot that needs doing that isn't glamorous or popular, but the need is just as significant and real.

Re:Yawn (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295032)

Yes, Patronage.

It's not that patronage is a great system necessarily, though I imagine we can improve hugely on how it worked in past centuries. It's that the current system is broken. Very, very broken. DRM is patently ridiculous. There hasn't been a DRM scheme yet that couldn't be broken, and there never will be. Currently, copying is incredibly easy. Copying will only get easier. Artificial scarcity can't be maintained. Enforcing it is absolutely impossible. How is any regulating body to know whether person A gave person B a thumbdrive full of copyrighted material, unless the persons involved tell? There is no other way, simply no way, to know. Even sex, which is notoriously hard to regulate, leaves more evidence. And trying to maintain artificial scarcity is very costly in itself. We will have to abandon copyright.

We have improved fantastically in our ability to copy information. Cheap, ubiquitous PCs can copy hundreds of hours of music to a thumb sized device in just a few minutes. Networks can transmit all that music all over the world, very quickly, and at very, very little cost. We are moving into a wondrous Age of Information. Think of the questions that can now be answered, the research that is now available at anyone's fingertips. And the immense savings we can realize by storing and transmitting information digitally. Plus the ability to search and analyze it in all the ways computers can and mere paper books cannot. But for the sake of a broken business model, we are being restrained from using all this capability. The costs are not just in not grabbing the savings to be had from switching to less costly mediums, but in all the progress we are not making and could be, all the time we waste worrying about how many copyrights are being violated and if lawsuits will come of it, or deprivation we suffer because doing without is cheaper than hunting down permission after permission or the risk is too great.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295754)

Yeah isn't that how web comics are done now days? Also the selling of other merchandise and designs based off of it.

Re:Yawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294196)

I have an honest question: How is an author going to be paid for their time writing the books if we allow one person to purchase the book, and then lend it to an infinite number of people at once?

Not my problem. How is a person who sits around and does logarithm tables to 300 decimal places going to get paid when they are done? Oh, you mean we don't want or need 300 decimal place logarithm tables?

That may be a bad example, but all of them are. There is no inherent right to getting paid. Many things that society values (eg, scientific research) is primarily done through tax money. Scientists don't pass around a hat, and they rarely direct charge for their research.

I have great respect for authors, and I read books, and I'm grateful for what is available, but its not my place or anyone else's to make sure they get paid. I can assure you that information will exist in such quantities that no single person can digest it all in a lifetime.

Re:Yawn (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35296368)

Oh, you mean we don't want or need 300 decimal place logarithm tables?

That may be a bad example, but all of them are.

I don't think you can use "we don't want or need this" as a justification for copying something for your billion closest friends to read...

Re:Yawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294232)

Do we tell those writers, "tough shit, start waiting tables and give up the writing thing if you're not popular?"

Well.. yes?

Or, more specifically, we would suggest that if it turns out that being an author of written stories is no longer a suitable profession in terms of making a reasonable living income, that it be reserved as something to be done by those who do so out of enjoyment for the art - possibly as something done in spare time next to 'waiting tables'.

Remember.. the popular mantra here is that people are not entitled to an income. Just because a person chooses to become a book author doesn't mean they're entitled to an income any more than if a person chooses to collect navel fluff and suggest that it is performance art.

As it stands, however, those involved in the art of making movies aren't exactly put out of work by the fact that their creations can easily be copied.. plenty of people still go to the theater, buy the video release, etc. I'm not seeing any reason to believe that this would be, or is, different for e.g. novels.

Re:Yawn (3, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294518)

Authors can't (generally speaking, I suppose some poets and spoken-word types could) go on tour and perform their craft for a live audience.

Sure they can. It's called "a reading". [yorkpress.co.uk]

"tough shit, start waiting tables and give up the writing thing if you're not popular?"

And that is different from the current business model [fonerbooks.com] how exactly? Sure, it ain't as bad as in music industry, but still...

Unless you are selling at least tens of thousands [brendahiatt.com] of each book - you're not going to be making a living from writing alone.
At 10% royalty a $20 hard copy owned by a publisher and a $2 self-published, self-marketed e-book make the same amount of money per book for the author.
Granted, minus the advance, promotion and various other services that the publisher would provide. Also, minus any copyright limitations.

If anything, authors need to demand a larger piece of a smaller cake for the e-versions of their books.
Most of the publisher's costs are non-existent for e-books, just as most of the risk. Author would probably be better off self-publishing through amazon. [amazon.com]

Re:Yawn (1)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294596)

Physical libraries already lend to an "infinite" number of people, where "infinite" is a number limited only by the book's popularity, durability and the length of time the book is held by each reader, and - at least in my country, don't know about yours - also already pay the author based on a combination of the number of times the book is borrowed and the amount of funding allocated to library lending in the government budget. This money comes out of our taxes, which I don't begrudge as I consider it part of buying civilization.

So an electronic public library strikes me as a great idea. The books don't wear out, you can store an immense amount of text for very little outlay these days, any given book can be borrowed by more than one person concurrently, and the authors can still get paid. The only people who "lose" are the middlemen. And while I respect many who work in the publishing/distributing industry, it is ultimately as subject to automation as any other.

Re:Yawn (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294642)

How is an author going to be paid for their time writing the books if we allow one person to purchase the book, and then lend it to an infinite number of people at once?

Why would someone who buys a copy be motivated to set up the expensive web infrastructure needed lend it to an infinite number of people at once?

The only motive I can see is that they have some way to make money off of it -- they either charge for the lending, or are making money off of ads. In which case, the author ought to get a cut -- I've been suggesting for years that a royalty right, modeled after songwriter's royalties, should replace copyright.

Absent that, remember that time is money. Let's say that I can either spend $2 to download a DRM-free e-book from the author, or I can spend fifteen minutes searching for and downloading a copy. For anyone whose time is worth more than $8/hour, it's cheaper to buy a copy. Adjust those numbers as you like -- $1 versus five minutes and the cutoff becomes $12/hour, and so on; the point is that at some point, it's cheaper for the reader to buy a copy than to hunt down a "free" copy.

Plus, of course, a significant fraction of people will pay for something even if it's available for free. Public radio, PBS. Radiohead made $10 million from an album available for free downloads [ultimate-guitar.com] .

Do we tell those writers, "tough shit, start waiting tables and give up the writing thing if you're not popular?"

This is already what we tell most writers and musicians. Very few make a living at it.

Re:Yawn (2)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294994)

Alternative models include:

- Patronage, where a wealthy person/group funds the creation of art. This was common before copyright. Although some of this funding will be purely altruistic ("just make great art for everyone"), this model also leads to self-indulgent or propaganda-like art.

- Donations, as is done with street performers, and non-profits both large and small (e.g. Wikipedia).

- Grants for the arts. Similar to donations, though the provenance of the funds may be different (e.g. in many countries governments set aside grants for artists).

- Merchandising, where the author creates the work as a way to sell trademarked paraphernalia (the "concert T-shirt" model, also used by many webcomics).

- Value added, where the author provides special things to paying customers, such as first access to the work, interviews with the author, etc. (e.g. Slashdot is free to read yet some people still subscribe).

- Sampler + Bounty. Author releases a 1st book (or first chapter of book), generates interest. They then start a funding campaign along the lines of "Volume 2 is almost finished and will be released for free to all when donations reach X dollars". Fans pay to support the artist they like.

I'm not necessarily saying that these are better than the current copyright system. I'm just saying that alternatives exist. Each mode has pros and cons. The downsides and upsides of copyright have been discussed at great length on Slashdot. But there are certainly alternatives, and if copyright were abolished, many artists would no doubt find other ways to make a living doing what they love. Of course many middle-men would be out of a job, and there's no guarantee that the same number of artists would be supported under an alternative system. Then again, it's possible that the alternative systems would actually support more artists and encourage more artwork. (See this previous comment [slashdot.org] , where I list a variety of creative things that are not protected from copyright and yet generate both a thriving industry and plenty of creative output.)

Re:Yawn (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295178)

These are all certainly legitimate alternatives - I wasn't asking with a predetermined answer in mind, I was asking because GGP was carrying on about how "DRM and sales of books as if they're physical objects" is a dead and outdated business model, and, if we accept that that's the case, the next question is: where do we go from here?

I frankly don't see the objection to spending money to purchase a copy of a book you want to buy, regardless of whether or not there's DRM applied. I'm getting hours of enjoyment out of the story, or useful information if it's a reference book, and I understand the months of effort that likely went into creating the book, so I don't think giving an author $10-20 for a copy is unreasonable.

I guess the thing that puzzles me the most is the notion that some (perhaps many, here?) people have that "since it costs nothing to copy the book once it's created, it should pretty much cost nothing!" Low duplication costs don't necessarily translate to low initial production costs, and when I hear people saying "It costs nothing to make a copy, why should I pay $10/$5/$0.99 for my copy?" it seems to me their argument boils down to "I want it and I want it now and I want it for free." And that strikes me as unreasonable, and destructive in the long term of any sort of creative endeavor that requires more than a couple spare hours to complete.

MORE LIES ABOUT YOUR DUAL MAJOR AMERICANO? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295536)

"Me:
1) Degree in Biotechnology and Computer Science. (Did your troll factory offer dual majors, or just the standard "how to be an obnoxious twat on the internet" syllabus?)"
- by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

First of all, Kevin B. Pease = AMERICANO from Merrimack New Hampshire - kbpease@hotmail.com - YOU DID NOT GET A DOUBLE MAJOR!

AMERICANO = Kevin B. Pease has a MINOR only in CSC, for starters:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbpease [linkedin.com]

PERTINENT EXCERPT:

Kevin Pease's Education
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Biotechnology

1993 Ã" 1998

Minor: Computer Science

---

LMAO - it took you 6 YEARS to get a CSC MINOR? Rotflmao...

---

(Want more people? Ok!)

---

Kevin B. Pease steals the code of others from books:

http://www.justskins.com/forums/looking-for-inspiration-cascading-16594.html [justskins.com] [justskins.com]

PERTINENT QUOTE EXCERPT:

"Hi Garry, I think I have a script that will do exactly what you want, based on and I hope, improved...) a program in Lincoln Stein's "CGI.pm" book. The most notable change from his version is that I wrote in"

---

Kevin B. Pease has others do his work for him:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:iH45r7p9xV8J:www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/modperl/modperl/89045+kbpease&cd=21&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com [googleusercontent.com]

---

Kevin B. Pease/AMERICANO NEEDS TO LOSE WEIGHT (fatboy, lol!):

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/126/26720893.jpg [userserve-ak.last.fm]

(There's NO WAY you'll EVER get a date looking that way, pal, unless you PAY the woman!)

---

(That "takes the cake" - Not only did you LIE about "dual majors", but, lol, it TOOK YOU 6 YEARS TO GET A MINOR IN CSC as well... you're a JOKE! )

APK

P.S.=>

"I'd say I'm pretty much the winner in that comparison, friend." - by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

Americano, not only do I have an MIS minor but I also have an AAS in CSC (long done, now 94/120 credits into the FULL 4 yr. Bachelors' too) & these to my credit (& you can't even SCRATCH this list yourself):

---

Windows NT Magazine (now Windows IT Pro) April 1997 "BACK OFFICE PERFORMANCE" issue, page 61

(&, for work done for EEC Systems/SuperSpeed.com on PAID CONTRACT (writing portions of their SuperCache program increasing its performance by up to 40% via my work) albeit, for their SuperDisk & HOW TO APPLY IT, took them to a finalist position @ MS Tech Ed, two years in a row 2000-2002, in its HARDEST CATEGORY: SQLServer Performance Enhancement).

WINDOWS MAGAZINE, 1997, "Top Freeware & Shareware of the Year" issue page 210, #1/first entry in fact (my work is there)

PC-WELT FEB 1998 - page 84, again, my work is featured there

WINDOWS MAGAZINE, WINTER 1998 - page 92, insert section, MUST HAVE WARES, my work is again, there

PC-WELT FEB 1999 - page 83, again, my work is featured there

CHIP Magazine 7/99 - page 100, my work is there

GERMAN PC BOOK, Data Becker publisher "PC Aufrusten und Repairen" 2000, where my work is contained in it

HOT SHAREWARE Numero 46 issue, pg. 54 (PC ware mag from Spain), 2001 my work is there, first one featured, yet again!

Also, a British PC Mag in 2002 for many utilities I wrote, saw it @ BORDERS BOOKS but didn't buy it... by that point, I had moved onto other areas in this field besides coding only...

Being paid for an article that made me money over @ PCPitstop in 2008 for writing up a guide that has people showing NO VIRUSES/SPYWARES & other screwups, via following its point, such as THRONKA sees here -> http://www.xtremepccentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=ee926d913b81bf6d63c3c7372fd2a24c&t=28430&page=3 [xtremepccentral.com]

Lastly, lately (this year)?

It's also been myself helping out the folks at the UltraDefrag64 project (a 64-bit defragger for Windows), in showing them code for how to do Process Priority Control @ the GUI usermode/ring 3/rpl 3 level in their program (good one too), & being credited for it by their lead dev & his team... see here ->

http://ultradefrag.sourceforge.net/handbook/Credits.html [sourceforge.net]

---

LMAO - not really, you said you had a "dual major"? You don't even have that, you have a MINOR that took you 6 YEARS to GET, lol!

(You also steal code & claim it as "yours" + you only do "webchump" work... easy as PIE!)

WORST OF ALL/BOTTOM-LINE: YOU ARE A LIAR! Refer to the above... nuff said! apk

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295142)

How about a model where you get paid to write the book, rather than get paid for sales?

One example: A writer could say "if I get X amount I will write this book" where X would be a reasonable amount for living and expenses during the time it takes to write the book, not something he/she would get rich off. You could set up something similar to kickstart where the "donated" money only gets drawn from the bank accounts of the people who want to pay if the amount is reached.

If people didn't like his previous works or something so he doesn't or he will just have to accept that not enough people want to buy his works and go find another job. Or he could write it anyway in his spare time just for the sake of writing, just like many musicians and artists do, and who knows, if that book turns out well maybe more people are willing to pay him to write his next book. Or maybe write some short stories just to get some people interested in him and willing to pay. You could optionally also have grants (from the goverment or otherwise) for young writers who are getting started.

Re:Yawn (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295166)

How is an author going to be paid for their time writing the books if we allow one person to purchase the book, and then lend it to an infinite number of people at once?

Well, I was thinking that they might get paid the same way that scriveners, lamplighters, and blacksmiths are paid.

Do we tell those writers, "tough shit, start waiting tables and give up the writing thing if you're not popular?"

Well, that is pretty much what we told scriveners, lamplighters, blacksmiths, and dozens of other professionals whose professions were rendered obsolete by technology. If authors do not want to write because they enjoy the art, well, that is unfortunate, but there are a whole lot of people out there who do just enjoy the art and write even when it is not profitable.

if you actually would suggest that, you've just neatly gutted the bulk of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, which I believe tend to be pretty popular around this part of the intartubes.

Oh yeah? Do you have some sort of proof that, without viciously strong copyrights, scifi and fantasy authors would not bother? If they do not enjoy the art, and are only in it to make money, then I guess they should find an industry that doesn't need special laws that restrict everyone's natural rights just to remain profitable. Of course, I can think of a few writers who might continue writing even if we took the copyright system away, like Cory Doctorow:

http://craphound.com/ [craphound.com]

Re:Yawn (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295256)

Sorry, I stopped reading when you suggested that *authors* have been made obsolete by technology, just like scribes and lamplighters.

Nowhere in my post did I say that the "second assistant mail clerk to the deputy copy editor" and the rest of the middlemen in the publishing industry were entitled to anything.

Re:Yawn (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295304)

Authors are not obsolete; the publishing industry, based on paying authors by profiting on the inability of people to copy written works, is obsolete. If authors cannot be paid by any other means, then yes, their profession is as obsolete as scribes' and lamplighters'. Personally, I think authors will either continue writing because they enjoy the art (in fact, most of the authors I have met have not seen enough payment for their works to quit their day jobs) or find another way to make money as writers.

Do I have a suggestion for them? No, because I am not an author. I have only one request: stop restricting my rights just to keep the old business model alive. Natural rights are more important than copyrights and more important than any single industry remaining profitable.

Ask Americano (Kevin B Pease) about his DUAL MAJOR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295520)

Because AMERICANO's an OUTRIGHT LIAR, see below for proof:

"Me:
1) Degree in Biotechnology and Computer Science. (Did your troll factory offer dual majors, or just the standard "how to be an obnoxious twat on the internet" syllabus?)"
- by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

First of all, Kevin B. Pease = AMERICANO from Merrimack New Hampshire - kbpease@hotmail.com - YOU DID NOT GET A DOUBLE MAJOR!

AMERICANO = Kevin B. Pease has a MINOR only in CSC, for starters:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbpease [linkedin.com]

PERTINENT EXCERPT:

Kevin Pease's Education
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Biotechnology

1993 Ã" 1998

Minor: Computer Science

---

LMAO - it took AMERICANO 6 YEARS to get a CSC MINOR? Rotflmao...

---

(Want more people? Ok!)

---

Kevin B. Pease steals the code of others from books:

http://www.justskins.com/forums/looking-for-inspiration-cascading-16594.html [justskins.com] [justskins.com]

PERTINENT QUOTE EXCERPT:

"Hi Garry, I think I have a script that will do exactly what you want, based on and I hope, improved...) a program in Lincoln Stein's "CGI.pm" book. The most notable change from his version is that I wrote in"

---

Kevin B. Pease has others do his work for him:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:iH45r7p9xV8J:www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/modperl/modperl/89045+kbpease&cd=21&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com [googleusercontent.com]

---

Kevin B. Pease/AMERICANO NEEDS TO LOSE WEIGHT (fatboy, lol!):

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/126/26720893.jpg [userserve-ak.last.fm]

(There's NO WAY AMERICANO'LL EVER get a date looking that way, pal, unless he PAYS the woman!)

Re:Yawn (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295376)

I have an honest question: How is an author going to be paid for their time writing the books if we allow one person to purchase the book, and then lend it to an infinite number of people at once?

The blindingly obvious answer is that you set the price for the one copy high enough that you only need to sell one.

Now who is going to pay $250,000 or even $25,000 for a novel? A few wealthy patronage types possibly. But there is nothing stopping a bunch of regular joes from throwing a couple bucks into a pool to raise that much money together.

If any of my favorite authors put a book out like that, I'd throw $5 or $10 into the pot to get it "released".

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295508)

Now who is going to pay $250,000 or even $25,000 for a novel? A few wealthy patronage types possibly. But there is nothing stopping a bunch of regular joes from throwing a couple bucks into a pool to raise that much money together.

This is already how it happens, TODAY. What's a publisher, really? It's a wealthy patron who buys a single version of the author's book for a lot of money, and then turns around and resells it many times to its customers. But the author really only sold the book ONCE. If the author is just starting out or not that good, well let's just say that even $25,000 is probably a bit high. And if the publisher/patron is shrewd, then the contract will net the author nothing upfront after initial costs and fees, and only royalties, which reduces the risk to nothing, and the payments to the author to very little spread over many years.

The MODEL of patronage has always been the main model, and will probably continue to be in the future. It's the only model where the author can spend fulltime work on his book/novel. All other models require the author to set aside more or less time for non writing related activities, and that has to impact the book quality and delivery date.

Everything else is just details. Lots of publishers will go out of business (they always have), and lots of new publishers will try things, and eventually a good new publishing business model will be discovered.

Re:Yawn (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295700)

You know, there's more than a handful of webcomic artists who profit enough off of books, t-shirts, and other merchandise that they basically do it as their day job (or if not that, a part-time job). Sure, very few of them are Penny Arcade rich, but there are more of them that are making minimum wage or better from merch, donations, etc. than you'd think. I know of a few offhand that pull in anywhere from $1000-2000 a month in donations (that doesn't count ads or merch).

If your work can stand on its own merits and you have a tip jar out you can make money. See: buskers and other street performers, who have been doing it for thousands of years and making money just fine.

Re:Yawn (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295752)

You neglect the obvious corollary.
Where in the past the prices of books were set at a level that would both compensate for the physical cost of the media and the author's intellectual contribution, now essentially the media cost is zero.

You're right, John Q Author won't get to sell books through massive publishers. But JQA can sell his books directly to his fans for almost nothing and make a nice profit.

Further, his market is no longer the 'segment' identified by a marketer, it's EVERYONE with an internet connection.

We're moving from an old paradigm that dealt with the realities and limits of physical media, to a new one where people will be paying the authors DIRECTLY for their value. I would cheerfully pay for a new Neil Gaiman book on my kindle, or Peter Gabriel on my ipod...if the prices weren't set by BOOKSELLERS and RECORD SALES at a market rate based on physical media, which is complete bullshit.

In fact, I daresay I'd probably cheerfully pay either of these creative, talented individuals probably DOUBLE what they're getting per-creation from their publishers, and it would be a bargain. From what I understand a top-20 NYT mass market bestseller makes about 6-8% on an $8 book. After agent commission, taxes, expenses, etc. that nets to about $0.41/book.
Would you voluntarily pay your favorite author $1 for their next book? Hell I sure would, even if it was available for download for free elsehwere.

I'd cheerfully pay Gaiman $10 today (direct) for the next 3 books he'll write on spec, and count myself gleefully happy. I *won't* pay $14 for a new book for my kindle, just because paper copies sell for $15. That's nonsensical.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35295910)

remember that this isnt about authors making money, its about (non-creative leach) publishers making money. most authors even in pre eBook era's didnt make a lot of money but publishers did. Only a few popular authors were given lucrative enough contracts to earn well, the publishing industry holds these few up as their 'we're trying to help authors' shtick while maintaining poor contract conditions for the majority.

Re:Yawn (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293990)

Publishers want to make money. If they allowed libraries to have a "checkout as many copies of this book as you like" policy then popular books wouldn't sell any better than unpopular ones (since the library only would need one "copy" of everything). Likely, a library licenses the right to have X number of copies "out" at any given time. If they want to have more out at one time, they have to pay more. So popular books make more money that way, the same as they would if the libraries were buying actual physical copies.

Re:Yawn (1)

mybecq (131456) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293996)

There is not a single reason to "only lend one digital" copy out at a time, other than to force some insane business model down the throats of people

There is this little thing call copyright law. It has to do with the RIGHT to COPY something. They have a right to loan out their single copy, but not more than one.

Re:Yawn (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295230)

There is this little thing call copyright law. It has to do with the RIGHT to COPY something. They have a right to loan out their single copy, but not more than one.

A relic of an age where making mass numbers of copies required expensive industrial equipment. Now the majority of people have the necessary equipment in their living rooms.

The world has changed, and it is time to start updating the law to reflect those changes. You know, like how we updated plenty of other laws to keep pace a changing world, new technologies, and so forth? Oh, wait, I forget, copyrights are special.

Re:Yawn (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294618)

I'm not really sure if the idea of a lending library even makes sense any more with eBooks. When I first learned that I could borrow eBooks from the Chicago Public Library, I was a little shocked because from the publishers point of view it doesn't really make sense. Even over a period of 2 weeks, I have access to the entire book which I may read completely, or perhaps hack so that I can lend it to millions of "friends" on the internet. Either way, the publisher is likely losing a sale. I would not be surprised if the publishers started pulling back the number of titles that can be loaned as eBooks until they figure out how to make money in the new digital environment.

Re:Yawn (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294982)

It doesn't make any less sense than selling ebooks in the first place. I'm sure that if you know where to look, you can find all sorts of ebooks available for pirating.

Not to mention that companies like O'reilly don't seem to be having any trouble making money with their DRM free ebooks.

It's not the libraries' fault (1)

mmj638 (905944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35296242)

Unfortunately if you work in libraries you realise that it's the e-book (and other database) vendors that are applying the old world methodologies to their business models and libraries have no choice.

If libraries had their way all the world's published knowledge would be free and open to everyone.

Wish There Was A Way to Donate eBooks (1)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293540)

I'm very glad to see programs like this. One of the reasons I chose a Nook over the Kindle was because my local library supported eBook lending. However I wish there was a way to donate eBooks I've purchased to the library (similar to how we can donate physical books). Do any online book sellers provide such an option (allow you to transfer the license)?

Re:Wish There Was A Way to Donate eBooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293596)

I'm very glad to see programs like this. One of the reasons I chose a Nook over the Kindle was because my local library supported eBook lending. However I wish there was a way to donate eBooks I've purchased to the library (similar to how we can donate physical books). Do any online book sellers provide such an option (allow you to transfer the license)?

A while ago, someone over at MobileRead detailed how they did exactly this. In short, he got in touch with OverDrive (the company that handles many libraries' electronic distribution systems) and had a lengthy back and forth about donating books. He eventually purchased a copy through OverDrive and had it added to his local library's electronic collection. Do a few searches over at MR to find the thread.

Re:Wish There Was A Way to Donate eBooks (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293992)

Not sure how popular the service will turn out to be, but Amazon supports lending of (some) Kindle books - discretion is left to the publisher, and there is now a service, lendle.me, which is geared towards building a library of lendable books from Amazon that people can share.

Not sure how the library services you use compare, but it's an option for people who own Kindles.

Americano: "Livin' the Lie", lmao... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294474)

"Me:
1) Degree in Biotechnology and Computer Science. (Did your troll factory offer dual majors, or just the standard "how to be an obnoxious twat on the internet" syllabus?)"
- by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

First of all, Kevin B. Pease = AMERICANO from Merrimack New Hampshire - kbpease@hotmail.com - YOU DID NOT GET A DOUBLE MAJOR!

AMERICANO = Kevin B. Pease has a MINOR only in CSC, for starters:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/kbpease [linkedin.com]

PERTINENT EXCERPT:

Kevin Pease's Education
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Biotechnology

1993 Ã" 1998

Minor: Computer Science

---

LMAO - it took you 6 YEARS to get a CSC MINOR? Rotflmao...

---

(Want more people? Ok!)

---

Kevin B. Pease steals the code of others from books:

http://www.justskins.com/forums/looking-for-inspiration-cascading-16594.html [justskins.com] [justskins.com]

PERTINENT QUOTE EXCERPT:

"Hi Garry, I think I have a script that will do exactly what you want, based on and I hope, improved...) a program in Lincoln Stein's "CGI.pm" book. The most notable change from his version is that I wrote in"

---

Kevin B. Pease has others do his work for him:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:iH45r7p9xV8J:www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/modperl/modperl/89045+kbpease&cd=21&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com [googleusercontent.com]

---

Kevin B. Pease/AMERICANO NEEDS TO LOSE WEIGHT (fatboy, lol!):

http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/126/26720893.jpg [userserve-ak.last.fm]

(There's NO WAY you'll EVER get a date looking that way, pal, unless you PAY the woman!)

---

(That "takes the cake" - Not only did you LIE about "dual majors", but, lol, it TOOK YOU 6 YEARS TO GET A MINOR IN CSC as well... you're a JOKE! )

APK

P.S.=>

"I'd say I'm pretty much the winner in that comparison, friend." - by Americano (920576) on Friday February 18, @02:27PM (#35247076)

Americano, not only do I have an MIS minor but I also have an AAS in CSC (long done, now 94/120 credits into the FULL 4 yr. Bachelors' too) & these to my credit (& you can't even SCRATCH this list yourself):

---

Windows NT Magazine (now Windows IT Pro) April 1997 "BACK OFFICE PERFORMANCE" issue, page 61

(&, for work done for EEC Systems/SuperSpeed.com on PAID CONTRACT (writing portions of their SuperCache program increasing its performance by up to 40% via my work) albeit, for their SuperDisk & HOW TO APPLY IT, took them to a finalist position @ MS Tech Ed, two years in a row 2000-2002, in its HARDEST CATEGORY: SQLServer Performance Enhancement).

WINDOWS MAGAZINE, 1997, "Top Freeware & Shareware of the Year" issue page 210, #1/first entry in fact (my work is there)

PC-WELT FEB 1998 - page 84, again, my work is featured there

WINDOWS MAGAZINE, WINTER 1998 - page 92, insert section, MUST HAVE WARES, my work is again, there

PC-WELT FEB 1999 - page 83, again, my work is featured there

CHIP Magazine 7/99 - page 100, my work is there

GERMAN PC BOOK, Data Becker publisher "PC Aufrusten und Repairen" 2000, where my work is contained in it

HOT SHAREWARE Numero 46 issue, pg. 54 (PC ware mag from Spain), 2001 my work is there, first one featured, yet again!

Also, a British PC Mag in 2002 for many utilities I wrote, saw it @ BORDERS BOOKS but didn't buy it... by that point, I had moved onto other areas in this field besides coding only...

Being paid for an article that made me money over @ PCPitstop in 2008 for writing up a guide that has people showing NO VIRUSES/SPYWARES & other screwups, via following its point, such as THRONKA sees here -> http://www.xtremepccentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=ee926d913b81bf6d63c3c7372fd2a24c&t=28430&page=3 [xtremepccentral.com]

Lastly, lately (this year)?

It's also been myself helping out the folks at the UltraDefrag64 project (a 64-bit defragger for Windows), in showing them code for how to do Process Priority Control @ the GUI usermode/ring 3/rpl 3 level in their program (good one too), & being credited for it by their lead dev & his team... see here ->

http://ultradefrag.sourceforge.net/handbook/Credits.html [sourceforge.net]

---

LMAO - You said you had a "dual major"? You don't even have that, you have a MINOR that took you 6 YEARS to GET, lol!

(You also steal code & claim it as "yours" + you only do "webchump" work... easy as PIE!)

WORST OF ALL/BOTTOM-LINE: YOU ARE A LIAR! Refer to the above... nuff said! apk

Music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293548)

I wonder if this same concept could be used for music too.
Stream the song you want on demand (as long as it's not "checked-out").

And... (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293564)

cue the onslaught of lawsuits from publishers who think this will destroy their business

Re: destroy publisher's business (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293818)

Amazing how Slashdot hasn't run a story (did I miss it?) on Borders being on the verge of bankruptcy. B&N isn't doing so well either. THAT would pulverize the publishing industry.

Re: destroy publisher's business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293950)

Borders is bankrupt because they let Amazon run their web business and Amazon, not being idiots, stole all of Borders' customers. B&N is doing much better than Borders and is only feeling a pinch from the brick&mortar overhead in the recession. BTW, the brick&mortar approach is what is fending off Amazon as more and more readers want to actually (gasp) touch the books. It also gives B&N a local tie-in for authors and publishers who want book tours. Hard to do those when you have no real-world locations to stand in.

Now go back to your computer and leave the book business to the grown-ups.

Thank you.

Re:And... (1)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294520)

These aren't new books that OpenLibrary is suddenly making available. It's really just a search engine for the Overdrive Library System, and the only in-copyright books they offer are what's already available through Overdrive.

If it's really fragile... (1)

hydrodog (1154181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293586)

... then it's old enough to be OUT OF COPYRIGHT, in which case give it out and spare us the nonsense about DRM. It's time for congress to limit copyright to a reasonable period, like patents, so that things can reasonably move into the public domain. Take that, mickey!

Re:If it's really fragile... (4)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293678)

... then it's old enough to be OUT OF COPYRIGHT

You'd be surprised how fast acid paper decays. Yellows, cracks, falls apart. You can actually buy cheap paperbacks at physical barnes and noble stores that have started to decay.

In my opinion copyright law should be short enough for it not to be an issue, but, it most certainly is not.

The other failure mode is heavily used books that are out of print. Go ahead, try to get some newly printed Leo Frankowski. Good Luck. Doesn't have to be ancient to get worn out.

Re:out of print (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293858)

I love the Out of Print scam.

They moan "oh, it costs too much to reprint it" - but skies alive help you if you get a private backer and do it yourself, they'll drill you with a copyright lawsuit.

Re:If it's really fragile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293922)

if it's out of print why do they care if people are reading it digitally

Re:If it's really fragile... (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294170)

You assume that just because they won't sell you something, they don't want to be paid for it. In reality, they are just waiting and trying to keep it to themselves until they think they can make enough money to republish it, and sue anyone who tries to have new copies printed without their permission.

The same thing happens with movies. Studios won't offer a movie unless they think they will make enough (read: a lot of) money selling it to you, even if it hasn't been available in any format for the last 30 years or more.

How Can They Control That? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293632)

So, what's to stop someone from making a second and third copy of the e-book when they have it "checked out?" If it's some kind of encrypted, DRM scheme, how long will we have to wait until the DRM scheme is cracked and those encrypted (illegal?) copies are decoded back to the original text? Two weeks? Somehow I fail to see how this will become anything more than a cheaper way to 'buy' ebooks.

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293774)

I had the same questions, so I went to their site. I browsed around. Read the FAQ. Tried to borrow a book.

I still have the same questions.

-Peter

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293788)

If the person doesn't mind the copyright infringement, why would she take the trouble to crack the file instead of downloading an already unDRMed ebook from $file_sharing_system?

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293896)

Because checking out a book from a library appears completely legitimate to anyone monitoring/logging traffic on the outside and all the 'infringement' is contained entirely within their house and impossible to tell the difference between someone following the rules and someone copying off the data.

Re:How Can They Control That? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294366)

Because (honestly) loads of non main stream books are not available at $file_sharing_system.

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293792)

Without reading the article, most libraries out there now use ePub-format books and something like Adobe Digital Editions for DRM, which is already cracked. (In the sense that you can acquire the decryption keys. It shouldn't be surprising that decrypting the books is easy.)

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293900)

There's nothing to stop you from stripping the DRM and spreading it around, except your own conscience.

Re:How Can They Control That? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35294400)

so nothing, then

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295190)

There's nothing to stop you from stripping the DRM and spreading it around, except your own conscience.

Good thing I had my conscience surgically removed years ago. It is a very simple procedure, involving lazers. It is commonly preformed on politicians.

Re:How Can They Control That? (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293902)

They probably use adobe digital editions or equivalent. I'm pretty sure the adobe security has been broken and cracking scripts made that relatively low-tech-savviness persons could use, but I think that many of us still wish to do things legally (hence the popularity of overdrive vs pirate bay). I'm a big fan of my local tax money going to buy books (which supports authors, editors, publishers, etc...) and then lets me have an extremely large volume of quality work for a fraction of the cost without too much inconvenience in sharing it with the rest of the community. I'd be highly supportive of these people getting some government grants (funded by my taxes) to make a very large national electronic library.

Copy (1)

FenixBrood (760690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293642)

Or you just lend the same book to many people. You can have the law allow for public library to lend books... becourse it helps the people.

can I checkout slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293692)

I don't get the parallel between the digital and the dead tree versions here. For example, after I "checkout" a book, how do they enforce me to "return" the book. Why are we still pretending its the dark ages and information is some kind of scarse and privileged entity?

Re:can I checkout slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35293764)

If you return it to get another book, or if the 2 week period is up, I guess

Re:can I checkout slashdot? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293772)

For example, after I "checkout" a book, how do they enforce me to "return" the book.

Simple, after x amount of days the DRM prevents you from accessing it any more. Wow, that was hard.

Re:can I checkout slashdot? (1)

blue trane (110704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293938)

"Why are we still pretending its the dark ages and information is some kind of scarse and privileged entity?"

Because some ppl are happier creating artificial scarcity, because they fear they wouldn't get any attention otherwise.

I honestly don't see the point in this (1)

Fizzol (598030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293876)

Overall it's not really very useful. Its ebook loans go through Overdrive, so if the title you're interested in isn't available as an ebook from your library then you're out of luck. Why bother going through Open Library when I can just use the search engine at my own library instead? Any PD books they have are going to be available at any number of places so why bother?

So what? (1)

bLanark (123342) | more than 3 years ago | (#35293886)

So what?

I live in semi-rural England (Bracknell Forest.) I can check out audio books (spoken word) from our library online using our council (municipal) website. This is just doing it with text/pdf/proprietary format files, which, to me, is no more impressive.

Lot of fuss about nothing. Go on, mod me down!

Re:So what? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35295050)

I hear tell that you can now make phone calls, not by twisting a dial or turning a crank, but by pushing buttons, and sometimes you can even have the phone dial the previous number again!

YAY! Take the future and make it suck! (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294034)

This is a winning concept. Take the best aspect of digital information and remove them. Next up: Slowing computers to one operation per second and adding the soothing clicky noise an abacus makes, then make a few cell phones without batteries that can only be used while connected to a power cord.

The Dark Ages are back again (1)

keneng (1211114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35294302)

Welcome back to the Dark Ages. LOL! April Fool's is just around the corner. Maybe this is a prank.

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