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News Libraries should only lend ebooks '26 times'

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 7 Mar 2011.

  1. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    Do these publishers think they have some god given right to peoples money?
    What next. Short term biodegradeable glue in paper books so they fall apart after eighteen months?
    If they charge the same for an ebook in the first place, they'll make extra money from reduced costs (paper print etc).
    We should have the same rights for our e-purchases as we do for our physical purchases.
     
  2. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    "Free" distribution of media has been around long before MP3 and DivX came along. Before the internet, we used to swap audio and video tapes and make copies for ourselves. The internet and file-based media certainly made things easier, but file sharing has been around a long time.

    With books, however, we have multiple generations of people who are used to free access to literature from their library. Libraries currently are facing stiff cuts due to the financial mess, and now they are facing increased costs for e-book files based on what seems at first glance to be a somewhat arbitrary figure. They already have to spend more money to increase hardware and software infrastructure to handle the increasing demand for digital content.

    If a library has to re-purchase an e-book after it has been loaned 26 times, will publishers be willing to lower the price for a qualified institution? What costs will libraries face if this plan goes through?
     
  3. Whirly

    Whirly New Member

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    I have to disagree with you slightly on the buying of music and video. Certainly the iPod/phone/pad users are "buyers" due to their choice of fashion statement. But outside of that subset I would suggest that you would find a large percentage own mp3's that are not licensed. Still, I have no concrete research to back up my theory EXCEPT for the music and video industry's official statistics on how much piracy is costing them a year - figures that are so high they MUST mean that a very significant percentage of the population does not buy their music or video.

    I suspect we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

    As for the idea of physical books becoming extinct, wash your mouth out for even saying such a thing and tempting fate! IMO the feel of a book is irreplaceable and ADDS to the reading experience (unlike the containers of other media). Nevertheless, I can see e-readers becoming the norm and books becoming a luxury experience. Sadly.
     
  4. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    I agree with you on books, I love the feel of them and the smell and..well everything.

    Of course there are those who don't pay for mp3s. But do you really trust the music industry on how much they are losing?? I don't. People were making copys on cassette tapes and ripping CD's long before mp3 came around. What we have seen is a decline in CD sales...but then who purchases a CD now when they can get it digitally and all ready for the mp3 player? No one.
     
  5. deadsea

    deadsea New Member

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    Maybe the libraries should just stop buying e-books from them. It's not as if e-books are any cheaper. Moreover, actual books are loaned out till they fall apart or are retired however long that may be and not some arbitrary 26 times.

    Maybe they should just link e-book replacement to actual copies of the book. E-book gets replaced once a certain percentage of the library's hardcopies get replaced. But then again, considering the whole scent of a money grab this carries, I'd bet good money that it'll be a 1 to 1 ratio.
     
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    No, it wouldn't.

    You'd have something akin to the internet today: 99% full of ****, 1% worth using. Where the genuine works of art are drowned out in a mass of spam and cheap crap. THAT is why Appstores have become so popular - to give a trustworthy, vetted source of paying for applications that work. They are the publishers of today.

    Just type in "backup application" into Google and tell me, which of the thousands are worth paying for? Brand name only? :eyebrow:

    Physically, no, eBooks don't age, but how else would artists get money for their works? You can't sell directly because there are a million writers out there. Some kind of gatekeeper is unfortunately needed. This is even more important in keeping the quality of learning and informative works, which I would argue libraries are specifically designed for.

    You have to also question whether libraries should also be "free" to ctrl+c, ctrl+p an eBook for everyone that might want to borrow it...? I mean, they are only borrowing it so would give it back anyway - how do you "give back" an eBook?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Mar 2011
  7. ZERO <ibis>

    ZERO <ibis> Member

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    We all know that to make an e-book you first need to print a real book then photo copy it so it gets into a computer. After than you then burn the old book b/c you no longer need it. Then you also protect the one digital copy with drm so there can only be one. Thus for every additional copy you make a new book, photo copy it and then burn it. As this is how e-books are made I do not understand how anyone can say it costs nothing to make them. Clearly it even costs more than a real book b/c not only do you need to make a real book you also half to pay for the photo copy, the drm and the dire to burn the book. These high extra costs leave the industry with no choice but to charge a 100% markup every 26 uses. We should be glad they give us that many! Previously the physical books we would buy could only be used for 26 pages before turning to ash and requiring us to buy a new one.

    That would only be the case for people too stupid to know how to use a search engine to find good data. Also the people who are too stupid to find good data would not be able to appropriate good data anyways in digital or physical for that matter so is anyone really losing here?

    It is just like music, want people to listen to classical convince them they need good audio equipment once they have that and listen to classical they will be buying the **** off the shelves. I never thought I would listen to that stuff until I got audiophile grade equipment within a month I was buying box sets of classical music and other works so I could make quality flac rips myself. Technology opens new doors, we should not keep them closed becuase we fear the inability to filter what will come out.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2011
  8. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    You gotta be shitting me. No way that's real.
     
  9. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    That's most of the world then. Why is Apple's App store very, very popular?
     
  10. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I'm really sorry that I missed the reason why this turned into yet another pirating discussion. :eyebrow:

    Anyway, publishers are useful to filter out all the crap and to make sure writer's/artists actually DO get (some of) the profit they deserve. Yet I still have to see a single valid argument being made why I would have to pay the same amount of money for an ebook as I'd pay for a "proper" paperback, never mind hardcover.

    Just like many people in this thread and other discussions about ebooks have said before I absolutely love the "experience" of reading a book. Smelling it, turning the page, being able to walk to my bookshelves & just browse for a book I want to read now. This is something that's very hard to replicate with an ebook, in my opinion at least. Does this make me sound like a weirdo? I don't care. I grew up with books and, as long as they're available, will always prefer them to ebooks. Though I'd seriously consider getting a Kindle or Nook Color once they do the following:

    • make ebooks cheaper than paperbacks
    • massively increase the size of the back-catalogues
    • agree on a SINGLE DRM-free format

    Until the industry reaches the state I'm looking/waiting for, ebooks are of no interest to me.
     
  11. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    What happens when the electricity goes out and your batteries run down?

    'I know, I'll just read a book by candlelight until the power's back on.....Oh, hang on....' :D
     
  12. t1alek

    t1alek Mind modder.

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    Renting cd's and dvd's cost money in the UK? In my country cd's, dvd's and videogames are free to rent as long as you return them on time (at least for the time being and often with a limited selection) I even think some libraries will let you download some mp's from the confines of your own home. The same goes for e-books, which is rather convenient, when you're doing a school project etc.

    I am very much part of a generation that is used to getting digital media for free (I'm 20yo) and converting me to a paid for service will be nigh on impossible, depending on the uptake of e-books publishers and authors must accept that their per-unit profit will decrease. This is unfortunate as some will cease operations, but it is the natural consequence of the evolution of media we are experiencing.
     
  13. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    I think maybe you missed the sarcasm in that post.
     
  14. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Yes but then of course they save a bit because the book is printed and burned in the same building on the same day (no storage / transport costs) and then they recoup some of their costs by using the fire from the books to generate a proportion of the power needed to run the printing presses :D
     
  15. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Couldn't agree more - I just got a Kindle and the price of some books for it is laughable, sometimes as high as or higher than the hardback. The only valid argument in favour of higher eBook prices is that (in the EU at least) they are subject to VAT (20% in the UK) whereas physical books aren't. This really should change, but I don't see it happening yet. Against that argument, however, is the fact that the marginal cost of producing one copy of an eBook is effectively zero. I'm guessing (hoping!) that prices will stabilise over time so that eBooks are consistently cheaper than their paper counterparts. Until then, I'm being selective and am only buying eBooks which are what I would counsider fairly priced (i.e. significantly cheaper than the paperback equivalent). Same goes for magazine subscriptions - I love the Economist but I'm not going to pay more for a Kindle subscription than I would for the hard copy to be printed and sent to me by post, with full colour images throughout. Yes there's no advertising on the Kindle edition, but I'm still not impressed. By contrast, the Spectator is fairly priced (£4 a month) and I'm all over it.
    I like the experience of reading a book, but then I quite like the experience of putting stylus to vinyl. At the end of the day, however, I've got very used to the convenience first of CDs, then of (high quality) digital music files, and I don't even own a record deck any more. Same goes for books - I love the phyiscality of reading a paper book, and they will always have shelf space in my house, but they can't compete with a device that fits in my coat pocket, stores more books than I'm likely to read in a lifetime, gives me access to a vast range of titles anywhere in the world in seconds, automatically downloads subscribed magazines, and can easily be read one-handed while holding on to the rail in an overcrowded commuter train. Since I got the Kindle, it's been the only reading material I've taken on my commute. Previously I'd always be carrying at least one, if not two books, maybe a magazine as well.
    We're getting there on items (1) and (2). Unfortunately I think you'll be waiting a long time for item (3). The various players are still fighting for supremacy in the market at the moment, and proprietary formats are here to stay for a while at least.
     
  16. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    But I want my room full of books I've read when I'm old! :p

    Yep, that's my plan, having a whole room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled to the absolute max... and I've read every single one of them. ;)
     
  17. lacuna

    lacuna Member

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    I do. I have never purchased an MP3 and shall continue to buy CD's for as long as I can. The quality gap is still vast even when compared to 'lossless' digital versions, mainly due to device being used as the source. Downloaded music/video/books is all just mass catering for the lazy; those who have lost their appreciation for a quality product and are happy with something which is 'good enough'.

    Its depressing.
     
  18. Paradigm Shifter

    Paradigm Shifter de nihilo nihil fit

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    Why just a room? Why not a whole house? :D

    A wall isn't utilised to its utmost until it's covered from floor to ceiling with filled bookshelves! :D

    Quite.:thumb:
     
  19. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    QFT :thumb:
     
  20. mclean007

    mclean007 Officious Bystander

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    Surely that's down to the quality of your hardware? Over a digital interconnect into a high quality DAC (I use the one in my Onkyo TX-SR 608 home cinema receiver, which is pretty good) the sound quality from a cleanly ripped and losslessly encoded digital version (don't forget a CD is a "digital version" too!) should be identical to that on the CD. In fact the digital bitstream *IS* identical, so the only difference is in the DAC. I accept that a super high end CD player may have a better DAC than my amp, but then the highest end CD players often use an external DAC anyway, so there's no reason why you couldn't connect your network streamer / PC directly to that for indistinguishable quality.
     
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