Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I've been enjoying the new library nearby but it's brought about a LOT of questions for me!

I know! How can that be?

I've enjoyed borrowing a few CDs and this is where my questions arise.

I've written about this before: I have friends that are professional photographers, professional musicians, authors, etc. Add to that David works in the software industry where pirating software is a BIG deal, so I am perhaps a bit more aware of copyright issue than some people.

To me, it makes sense not to copy music, software, or books for someone because it, in a real sense, is stealing. You are taking their property and not compensating them for it.

Now, there is a "nice" part of me that thinks it makes sense to support musicians, photographers, authors and artists because if you really enjoy them, then you want to help support them so they'll be able to make more music, art, etc. and we can enjoy even more.

With bigger corporations, it is a bit easier to think that they are the ones "ripping us off" and deserve to have their stuff copied. If they weren't so greedy then their stuff would be priced better and we'd be able to buy things legally instead of copying it.

I know that many don't believe that stuff like this is "stealing" but I really believed it was.

And then the Library has caused me to wonder.

One of the reasons I don't care for ebook readers, Kindles and iPads are because how can one legally, ethically share books with friends? With a real book you don't think twice about loaning them a book. Libraries do it all the time. We think we "own" the book and the right to allow someone else to read it, keep it for a time and then give it back.

At the Library, I can borrow a CD. Not a problem, I suppose that legally it is my responsibility to not download it or make a copy and instead just enjoy it during those two weeks, and then give it back. It's hard to do that!

Also at the library, for certain books you can choose to download instantly a PDF version of the book.

So..... if a library will allow that, is it really legal and okay for me to forward on to a friend a PDF version of a book? Do libraries have special permission?

Out of respect for artists I have often chosen not to burn CD's for others, yet there have been times when I have burned a CD for a friend so they'll learn more about that artist. I encourage them, if they like the music, to buy their own copy. Most do.

The other day I forwarded a PDF version of a book I finished reading. I was tempted to delete my own copy because isn't that just like loaning out a "real" book?

I know I think too much. I know this is not an issue for most people. I know that many think that these laws are stupid or "everyone does it" yet I am still hesitant. I don't judge others that are more lenient on this issue than I am, and with the realization that the library offers PDF versions of books, CD's etc, I am re-thinking my views of what to believe.

I don't know. What do you think?

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