The government funds piracy of the publishing industry on a massive scale.

Friend,

Did you know that while the RIAA attempts to stop the $4 billion in annual worldwide losses, there is another industry whose losses are nearly ten times that high within this country alone?

I am speaking, of course, of the publishing industry. That’s right. there is a government sanctioned program of stealing money from the mouths of the children of these fine upstanding entrepreneurs. Whole buildings dedicated to theft of intellectual property, and paid for with your tax dollars. I am speaking, of course, of libraries.

Each library purchases one copy of a book—maybe a few more if the bandwidth of a single copy is not sufficient to satiate the thieving fingers of its “members.” They hire staff that will help you search the system, and allow nearly instantaneous access to the information. And then you get a copy for yourself, to use as you want, for a period that is more than sufficient to fully drain the work of all future value to you, and then it is returned for the next person.

“But the founding fathers supported this”, say the liberals. But did they really? As everybody knows, the country was founded on Christian principles, and “Thou Shalt Not Steal” is one of those Christian principles, the liberals are clearly interpreting history in a way that supports their desire to get things for free, rather than really looking at the truth.

Then there is the cry of “Fair Use” But don’t be deceived. Fair use is the courts setting national policy, and is a liberal extreme of the principle that once you’ve bought something, you should be allowed to use it. I go to the hardware store and buy a rake. I use it; my wife uses it; my children use it (though not enough.) This is fair use, and I support it. But my neighbor wants to use it. They want to use it not just now, but every time they want to rake their yards. This isn’t “fair use” it’s using my rake to do his work. Let him get his own rake…he probably won’t return it anyway.

So what is wrong with libraries? Aside from using your tax dollars to fund the buildings, the people and the boxes filled with puppets that your kids play with while you wander around and steal, the library is providing the means for the theft of THIRTY BILLION dollars in intellectual property a year. That’s right, I said THIRTY billion dollars—and that is in the US alone. Ultra-liberal countries like Canada and the UK probably steal even more than we do, though I haven’t done the math for that yet.

So where does this number come from? Solid facts…that’s where. Knowing that there are roughly the equivalent of 12,000 fully functional libraries in the country (plus school libraries, and branches which I haven’t even included.) Assuming each of these libraries permits 250,000 thefts (Sorry, I mean “check outs”) per year, that is THREE BILLION Check-outs annually. Assuming a per-item cost of $10, that is 30 BILLION dollars per year in intellectual property going out the doors of these evil institutions.

“But each checkout isn’t a sale” say the ultra-leftwing liberals. Sure they aren’t. Try taking something you don’t intend to use out of a WalMart, and see if “I wouldn’t have bought it if I weren’t stealing it” works for you. I think not.

So keep this in mind, the next time you are looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon. Rather than supporting this rampant pattern of theft, go to a Waldenbooks, or Barnes and Noble or any fine institution and actually BUY the books you intend to read. You’ll feel better, and God will feel better.

19 thoughts on “The government funds piracy of the publishing industry on a massive scale.

  1. While I take this article in the satirical spirit in which it was written, and I did enjoy reading it immensely, I want to point out that, at least here in Oz and I think also in Britain, authors get annual payments from the government based upon how many libraries their books are in and how often they are borrowed in order to compensate for the fact that people are just borrowing it for free instead of buying it.

    Oh no, I’m a book nerd!

  2. Assuming this was written as a parody of the arguements against the online stealing of copyrighted material, not just mindless rambling, I still keep finding these bad analogies thrown in the the mix. 

    I go to the hardware store and buy a rake. I use it; my wife uses it; my children use it (though not enough.) This is fair use, and I support it. But my neighbor wants to use it. They want to use it not just now, but every time they want to rake their yards. This isn’t “fair use

  3. I think you seem to be missing a fundamental point on the nature of intellectual property.

    Development Cost v Reproduction Cost
    One key aspect is that the cost of reproducing the product is often not that high especially in comparison to its development cost. Thus making the first piece of software or pill may cost millions but to reproduce the second one may cost only a few cents.

    Single Copy
    When one uses the library to borrow books, nothing is being reproduced. Thus this is similar to one purchasing a DVD or music and lends it to a friend or sell it without keeping a copy. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    Reproduction
    File “sharing” or to be more precise file reproduction is similar to a person going to a library, taking a book and photo-copying its entire contents. That is why in many educational facilities or universities, there is often a copyright notice near its photo-copying facilities, informing people the amount one can copy. Furthermore in many instances, the cost to copy a page is often significantly higher than if you were to bring it to a commercial copying store. The higher cost both attempts to prevent people from copying the entire book and also provides some royalty to the author/publisher.

    Reproducing Books
    As an aside, there are people who reproduces books without the permission of the authors to sell. It occured in the past with DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s lover. More recently it occured in South America with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s (Nobel Prize winner for Literature)latest book, although he did have the last laugh as the copy reproduced was fake, or to be more precise the last chapter was completely faked by the author in anticipation of this unauthorised reproduction. And it also occured in China with Bill Clinton’s memoirs.

  4. …not only are libraries theft, but what about all the billboards and TV ads people take in, and subsequently fail to buy the advertised product?  Not to mention fastforwarding past DVD ads, or listening to a nightingale…

    The issue of intellectual property is a sticky one, all right, and there’s no obvious joint to carve, but I would draw the (arbitrary) line a wee bit on the other side of libraries…

  5. What about photocopying to have after you return the book?
    I keep those photocopies forever and, even though it’s not the whole book, I’m still getting somethin’ for nuthin’.

    BTW, that was totally awesome, JethricOne.

  6. I’m still getting somethin’ for nuthin’.
    – Hey, shana, that’s life in a nutshell.

    Wrong, Zilch. TANSTAAFL.

    You pay for making those copies, and whenever you really need something from them, you find out that you missed that page or put it only halfway on the machine.

  7. ingolfson- all I can say is, poo to you.

    And quote Laurie Anderson:

    The gift of life, it’s a leap of faith
    it’s a roll of the die
    it’s a free lunch, a free ride

    The gift of life, it’s a shot in the dark
    it’s the call of the wild
    it’s the big wheel, the big ride

  8. The article is meant as a bit of satire and I’m glad to see folks picked up on that. It’s also, as Gronker points out, not completely analogous to the debate over file sharing, but I thought it made a pretty good point just the same.

    The truth is in this day and age it’s quite possible for someone so inclined to completely copy a book borrowed from the library for little to no cost using a home PC, a hand scanner, and a bit of time. Slap it into a PDF file and upload it to your Palm or Pocket PC and you’ve got your own electronic copy to read at your leisure and store for as long as you wish.

    Or to upload to P2P file servers. You may be surprised to find that piracy of books over P2P is actually quite prevalent using the methods I just described. I know a fellow who has just about every Advanced Dungeons & Dragon’s 3.5 edition book produced in PDF format on his PC that he got off of BitTorrent. Those rather expensive PC programming books tend to be popular PDF files as well. Not that you have to put that much work into it. There’s services out there doing it for you such as Books 24×7 that have all the latest books on business or programming or what have you in PDF format for your use. I have access to it for free through my current job and have used it to read up on PHP programming.

    So, no, it’s not a perfect analogy, but I thought it was amusing and raise a good point just the same.

  9. While not entirely accurate, this is a great satire on the BS the RIAA is trying to sell Congress… sometimes you need to reduce things to absurdity to really understand what’s at stake 🙁

    … oh … Someone needs to update the “Everytime you masturbate God kill a kitten” image to

    Everytime you check out a Library book, God kills a kitten

    I would do it now, but at work I do not have photoshop … when I get to the hotel tho’ all bets are off smile

  10. Call me Ishmael but I do not really understand the point being made by the article. Except perhaps for the assertion that: RIAA bad, “Sharing” good.

    Just because one is getting away doing something does not mean it is ok.

    If a school was to say purchase one textbook and make thousands of copies for its students, would one complain if the publisher brings an action against the school.

    Book piracy may not be a big deal in US but it is big business, especially in Asia. Police do conduct raids in those countries such as one in S.Korea at a warehouse with about $14million worth of pirated books. Also there are raids at commercial photocopy stores, especially those near universities.

    I recall a phrase that is uttered with regards to unions. “You get the union you deserve.” Meaning, a union is more likely to be antagonistic the more hostile the employer is. Similarly many of the more restrictive laws are created as a result of online piracy. If no one was copying the products, then we would not have copy protection and no laws on circumventing a technological measure.

    There was a case on electronic reproduction recently that may be partially illustrative. NY Times v Tassini. Basically, the authors of articles to newspapers sued when the newspaper sold the articles to LexisNexis, which published them electronically. If I recall the authors won the case BUT these authors that sued the newspapers were subsequently (or so it was claimed) blacklisted.

  11. Wrong, Zilch. TANSTAAFL.

    You pay for making those copies, and whenever you really need something from them, you find out that you missed that page or put it only halfway on the machine.

    That’s a really good book, and that’s a great Acronym.  “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” 

    That book actually formed a lot of my political ideology. 

    As for the subject at hand, oddly enough in the past, I’ve tended to use libraries as I have filesharing.  Borrowing a book for a school assignment or to try it before I actually buy it, and then in the case of a school assignment returning it/deleting it, or purchasing it if I really liked it.  Hrm.

  12. Laws defer in each country but the general rule is that one may photocopy 10% of a book or a chapter whichever is less.

  13. I’ll say somethings countering one of the main points put forth in this innane rant concerning the value of libraries.
    1) I feel that libraries are a excellent resourse for our childern. I know that as a child I did not have the money to purchase the books I was interested in. By being able to check them out at my local public or school library I was able to foster a love of the written word that extends to this very day—-when I am able to purchase books. Consider it a delayed quid pro quo.
    2) Devious people with larceny in thier hearts cannot be effectively stopped in a society that values the free exchange of ideas. If someone in the US wants to actually go to all the trouble to pirate books they would be very hard for law enforcement to stop because law enforcements limited resources must be allocated towards stopping crime that is physically endangering to the citizenry—ie: murder, rape, DWI etc.
    3) If someone is violating intellectual property rights then sue them—that’s what civil courts exist for. Closing libraries or policing the internet and thus reducing my access to information so some greedy git can feel better about his checking account is unacceptable. We already have given up so much in the name of commerce and profit—we must draw the line somewhere.
    4) We should be ENCOURAGING the young of this country to read more not less. Have any of you talked to a typical teenager? Shit, we are breeding a generation of unimaginative robots. Further restricting their access to information that might stimulate they desire to learn for the sake of short-term profits is foolish and
    unpatriotic.
    Well that a few maybe someone could add some more.

  14. It occured to me that there is a very good point here no one has yet raised.  What about USED book/video/music stores?  They make a business out of selling copyrighted material to people at a reduced cost without paying royalties to the author.  Isnt that totally illegal?

  15. The RIAA and other music associations have been trying to shut down the used music industry for over a decade now, and if they get consumers to the point of on-line activation of purchased content, they will be that much closer to winning. Since what’s the value in buying a used CD/game if you can’t activate it to use it?!?

  16. if they get consumers to the point of on-line activation of purchased content, they will be that much closer to winning.

    That would be a pyrrhic victory! Already threads of connection directly between artists and fans are appearing.  It would speed up that process immensely and the “music industry” (which is largely not made up of musicians but rather parasites feeding off musicians) would be shut out.

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