Scan This Book!

NYT article: In several dozen nondescript office buildings around the world, thousands of hourly workers bend over table-top scanners and haul dusty books into high-tech scanning booths. They are assembling the universal library page by page. Story continued here.

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Re:Copyright

Your comments:When someone rents the ebook from them, the ebook expires at a predetermined date. So they copy they gave out, in electronic ebook format, disappears soon after (or becomes unreadable).So in essence they are not giving out a copy. They are renting a copy, for free.If I gave the library a book, I don't see anything wrong with them making a copy of it, giving that out to members, and storing the original in a vault incase some jerk takes it out and never returns it.The problem is you keep using the term "copy" in your comments. Making the copy is a violation of copyright law. Even if you lock the original in a vault you have laready done what you are not allowed to do and that is to make a copy. Maybe you could clarify with an example of what you propose so we can look at whether that situation would be an infringement of copyright. The physical copy of a book that a library buys can be bought or sold because of something called the "first sale doctrine" but beyond that the purchaser of the book doesn't really have any rights in regard to the content of the book. I am not arguing just to argue. I truly want an open debate here. Please continue to counter if you think I am wrong and we can see if we can come to an agreement.

Interesting line from the article

For 2,000 years, the universal library, together with other perennial longings like invisibility cloaks, antigravity shoes and paperless offices, has been a mythical dream that kept receding further into the infinite future.

Re:Copyright

The problem is you keep using the term "copy" in your comments. Ah, ambiguity at it's best. Sorry.Making the copy is a violation of copyright law.Is it? I'm am being serious here.If I buy a book/cd/magazine/DVD and I make a copy of it, is that a violation of copyright law? I don't think it is. If I _distribute_ that copy, without permission from the copy right holder, that's breaking copyright law.The physical copy of a book that a library buys can be bought or sold because of something called the "first sale doctrine" but beyond that the purchaser of the book doesn't really have any rights in regard to the content of the book. I don't know anything about this "first sale doctrine" but it sounds good and seems to make sense. So we'll go with it, and the library example.Let's say I donate a music CD to a Library. Let's say it's Metallica's first cd. Now, thee library's staffers know cd's scratch, and eventually after many rentals (there's probably a better Librarian term for this, but a Librarian I'm not so suggest something here) the media would become scratched and worthless.So the Library dupes it. Stores the original, and lends out the copy.Is that copyright infringement? They are only lending it out at a single time. If its broken, scratched beyond repair, they destroy the copy, make a new one from the master, and continue to offer it to be lent by the community.I don't see any problem here. If I were the copyright holder, I don't know that I would see any problem here.So substitute "cd" with "book".Now is there a problem?I don't see how there should be. Whether the copy of the book is lent out in physical paper, or electronic ebook, if they library has one master copy, and they're only lending it out one at time. What's the harm in keeping the master-media safe and secure?

Re:Copyright

so then goto the Library where they have public terminals? ;)

Copyright

Line from the article, "And unlike the libraries of old, which were restricted to the elite, this library would be truly democratic, offering every book to every person."

Copyright will make it very difficult for this to happen. I think it is completely possible to have a large percentage of books available in electronic format. Whether all those books will be available on the free Internet is another question.

Re:Copyright

If I take all the paperbacks that we have on our shelves (and have read) and donate them to our local library, the library can immediately begin "renting them out" to anyone who lives in our community with a library card.Can the copyright holder prevent the library from renting the material out (for free, or with a late-return-fee)?If they cannot stop that, then I don't see how a copyright holder can stop the "Universal Library".Maybe the "Universal Library" would have to implement an "ebook like" checkout system, where they have one copy of every Steven King book, such that each book can only be taken out for a week by one person at at time. And after that time period, that "ebook" won't open.On another note, boy would it suck being one of those minimum wage workers stuck sitting there for 8 hours scanning crap in all day and nite. Maybe they should have looked into the automated lego book scanner :)

Re:Copyright

Sorry for the delayed response.

If I buy a book/cd/magazine/DVD and I make a copy of it, is that a violation of copyright law? I don't think it is.

Here is a specific section of the copyright law.
17 USC § 106

§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

Subject to sections 107 through 122 [17 USCS §§ 107 through 122], the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

There is an exception for libraries. You can read the full text of it here.
108. Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives
If you read the section if a library can obtain a new item at a "fair price" my take is that is is not legal to replace a worn out version with a copy. You need to buy another copy that was created by the copyright holder. If you cannot obtain one at a "fair price" a library could invoke this section and make a copy.

Slashdot

Slashdot is also running this story. You can see the posting and comments at: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/15/01 9251

Re:Copyright

If a book is scanned and put on the web a copy was just madeThat's not necessarily true. It'd depend on their "distribution format" via their website. They have to have the "hard copy" version of it, from which they scanned their image. Are they giving the hard copy away? No.When someone rents the ebook from them, the ebook expires at a predetermined date. So they copy they gave out, in electronic ebook format, disappears soon after (or becomes unreadable).So in essence they are not giving out a copy. They are renting a copy, for free.If I gave the library a book, I don't see anything wrong with them making a copy of it, giving that out to members, and storing the original in a vault incase some jerk takes it out and never returns it.Now, I 100% agree with you on this - If they put a version of of it up on the web that doesn't expire, that any number for people (1-N) can download at any time, they are violating the author's copyright.

Re:Copyright

If I take all the paperbacks that we have on our shelves (and have read) and donate them to our local library, the library can immediately begin "renting them out" to anyone who lives in our community with a library card.

Can the copyright holder prevent the library from renting the material out (for free, or with a late-return-fee)?

If they cannot stop that, then I don't see how a copyright holder can stop the "Universal Library".

When you give your copy to the library you have not made another copy. If the library collects copies from the whole city they still have not created any new copies.
If a book is scanned and put on the web a copy was just made and that the copyright owner has powers to restrict the use unless you are able to invoke a "fair use" defense. Also, everyone that acesses the copy is making a copy on their computer when they view the file.
For sure, what you cannot do is scan the full text of a book that is in copyright and make it available on the web without the permission of the copyright holders.
Google with their Google Books program is a little more in a gray area. They are scanning the full text of the books but their are not making the full text available. Even with this they are in a gray area and it is possible that a court will hold that this is not fair use and that it is infringing. On the other hand a court may say that what they are doing is fair use.

Suggested read:
Copyright Law for Librarians And Educators: Creative Strategies And Practical Solutions
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/083890906X

Re:Copyright

You wrote:
-Line from the article, "And unlike the libraries of old, which were restricted to the elite, this library would be truly democratic, offering every book to every person."

and I say, IF every person has access to the Internet...."

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