Fighting piracy: our 3-point program

Blog entry on fighting ebook piracy by publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin.

What can librarians and libraries do to combat piracy of books and ebooks?

Should librarians combat piracy of books and ebooks?


I will:

Make sure my staff and policies comply with the relevant laws.

Make sure my network is set-up to prevent piracy, within reason.

Comply with the library's contractual obligations to our ISP, vendors and content providers.

I will NOT:

Be the piracy police for multi-billion dollar corporations.

Be an unpaid intern for said corporations' anti-piracy and security departments.

Give a fat crap how much money you make. You don't care about my circ. numbers of FTE hours, I don't care about your company's health or shareholders.

Help you "figure out" how to stop piracy. The minute that the publishers and DVD makers of the world get together to help me stop whoever the hell it is stealing my stuff, then I'll serious entertain this "public-private" partnership. Until then, don't make me pay for dinner and then ask me to thank you for feeling me up.

Have me or my staff spend ONE SINGLE MINUTE more than absolutely required by law or contract, in the narrowest possible definition, on making sure you get everything you think you're owed.

Soil myself at the mention of the word "lawsuit." If you think the largest, most unpopular companies in the world suing one of America's oldest and most beloved institutions is a good idea, with a good chance of success, well you just come over here and try it, Big Boy.

If you think you have the legal muscle to drag things out and make people cry uncle, let me introduce to The Government.

Libraries can fight piracy by providing books, music, and movies online so that patrons can check them out easily. There are many library services that do this and they are getting better every day. I think if a library can provide the same materials pirates are targeting, there will be less piracy. People should be able to access this information and entertainment for free and many do through their public library. The big difference is that the library pays for the material that everyone else enjoys for free.

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