File-sharing Follow-up and Friday LEGO
So on Tuesday we had an all-nighter at the E.R. Last night my four-year-old got sick. This week officially bites the wax tadpole.
I did have two follow-ups to yesterday’s post on e-book file sharing.
1. It’s almost a rule on the Internet: Don’t read the comments. Particularly with something like book piracy, it’s easy to get into rabid nastiness. Instead, once again people were thoughtful, respectful, and flat-out smart in your comments and conversation yesterday. Thank you for that. Y’all are awesome.
2. One of the questions that keeps coming up is “How can someone be against file sharing but not against libraries and used bookstores and people loaning books out to all of their friends?” Inspired in part by the discussion over on Facebook, I came up with this:
When you buy a paper book, you purchase a physical object that you now own. It’s a thing, and you can do whatever you like with it — keep it, burn it, give it away, sell it, etc. With an electronic book, there’s no physical object. With file sharing, you’re not sharing a single object that you’ve purchased and now own; instead, you’re distributing that book. You basically set up a competing “publisher,” one which takes the work done by the actual publisher, then distributes the end product for free.
Again, a lot of good points from yesterday’s comments, but the used bookstore/library question has always nagged at me, and hopefully this clarifies why. (I know it helped me to sort some things out in my own head.)
And that’s about all my brain is good for today, so here, have some LEGO. Most of you should recall the Nebulon-B Medical Frigate from the end of Empire Strikes Back? Steef de Prouw has done it in LEGO. This thing is amazing, over four feet long, with little docked X-wings and even the Millennium Falcon. Click the pic for the full photo set.
January 15, 2010 @ 10:42 am
Yeah yeah on the piracy thingie, 🙂 but that Lego ship is AWESOME! My ten-year-old would go bonkers building that thing.
Jim C. Hines
January 15, 2010 @ 11:12 am
Forget the kids. I want one for ME!
January 15, 2010 @ 11:15 am
You need to start looking at the frequent visitor program for your hospital. Maybe they have a punch card you can get so your fourth trip is free.
Jim C. Hines
January 15, 2010 @ 11:19 am
This makes me want to laugh and cry both 🙂
January 15, 2010 @ 11:19 am
“When you buy a paper book, you purchase a physical object that you now own. It’s a thing, and you can do whatever you like with it — keep it, burn it, give it away, sell it, etc. With an electronic book, there’s no physical object. With file sharing, you’re not sharing a single object that you’ve purchased and now own; instead, you’re distributing that book. You basically set up a competing “publisher,” one which takes the work done by the actual publisher, then distributes the end product for free.”
Utterly correct, in my opinion. Claiming that file sharing is just like the library is facile at best. However, I will qualify it that giving an electronic file to a friend because you really want them to have the chance to try a book I regard as something different than putting the file up on a file share site for the world to grab. For instance, my sister and her kids wanted some songs as holiday gifts but couldn’t do iTunes, which we’re signed up for. So we bought the songs for them, gave them to them on CD’s, which can then be loaded onto their music players as well as played in the car. But we also kept the files, in case we have to record some of them again — as it turned out we needed to do — and my daughter kept some of the songs for her iPod. So iTunes lost the double sale on those songs, but also became who we went to for music, and will buy more music from for the relatives. So they come out ahead. And the artists lost the double sale, but get the chance of more sales of their music from us that we might not otherwise buy.
So file-sharing in the entire concept is not inherently evil. But if you’re using file-sharing as an excuse to avoid buying from artists and helping others to avoid it also en masse, there’s an ethical disconnect there and a lot of anger toward writers and musicians that doesn’t help anybody.
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February 18, 2010 @ 12:28 am
How do file sharing websites generate moolah ? I would imagine that it’s hard to make income from legal movie streaming websites !