Intellectual Property Issues That Never Occurred to Anybody 10 Years Ago


The AFP reports that Japanese publishers are up in arms about "digital shoplifters"—readers who "visit bookstores to photograph magazine pages with their cellphones rather than make a purchase."

[Via Todd Morman.]

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  1. i have never undersood the point of cheat codes on video games.

    then again i’ve never understood bthe point of video games themselves either.

  2. Sean, what have you done!

    Then again, you could just contract the work out to a bunch of bananas in other countries, use scanners and call it a universal library.

    Now the whole world is beating a path to that door. (The page cannot be displayed. The page I’m looking at is currently unavailable. I think that web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or there so many Reason readers trying to access it at the same time, that your link caused a tremendous bottle-neck.)

    You have a big bunch of intellectually curious readers on this blog, that’s for for sure.

  3. The cheapest bookstore in town is the local university library. Between the Library of Economics and Liberty, the Avalon Project,, and, just about any major book on economics or classical liberalism is available online. Not to mention Ivan Illich, Lysander Spooner, and God knows what else. Limit yourself to printing out 30 pages or so at a time, to avoid dirty looks. For the cost of a $1 binder, you’ve got yourself a book.

  4. Beats finding used porn mags in the mens room, like we used to at a bookstore I worked for.

  5. This is not a lending library!

  6. This is not a Kwik-E-Mart!

  7. This is not a pipe!

  8. this is not funny!

  9. I gleefully celebrate the death of the music industry, the publishing industry, and perhaps the long awaited death of paper as well.

    I quake in fear of what will arise from their ashes.

  10. hope they don’t make it illegal before Dylan finishes collecting the lyrics for his next album.

  11. How does this differ from those people who simply walk into a bookstore and look through a magazine, reading what they want, then putting it back? Sure people may copy a small photo, but this can be done on the internet just as easily. Given that the old school version of this was simply ripping the wanted pages or pictures out of the magazine, leaving the product unsellable, I don’t see much of a problem. I’m guessing this is just a scapegoat for slumping sales. Please, govt, save us from this blight with wisdom and power only you yield.

  12. A few years back when Napster was taking off, I commented that just as that signaled the end of the music industry business model that’s been around since the days of mass-published sheet music, the print publishing industry would be in big trouble once cheap printers with binding attachments hit the market. Here’s the right juncture, but I’m delighted to be wrong about the technology that did it.

    The only missing piece is a simple scheme for distributing responsibility for who copies which pages of a given book or magazine. A starter idea: copy, say, three pages starting with the one that matches the last two digits of your cellphone number. Let’s say Jenny’s number is 310-867-5309. She’d be responsible for pages 9-11, 109-111, 209-211 and so on of whatever pubs she wants to grab. This way, as long as a reasonable number of anonymous people went at a given publication, you could be reasonably sure of getting all the pages online pretty quickly, and nobody would be spending suspicious amounts of time pointing their camera at a book.

  13. I’m told people on Usenet already do something like that with regular books. People take turns buying books, scanning the text, and then post it to a binaries group so other people can read it on their PDAs.

  14. Then again, you could just contract the work out to a bunch of people in other countries, use scanners and call it a universal library.

  15. Samsung bans camera phones (including those that they manufacture) from the workplace, fearing industrial espionage.

  16. I few months ago one of my kids took a little pocket cassette recorder into Barnes & Noble. I found him at the magazine rack with a video game mag, whispering the published cheat codes into the recorder.

    “This way, you won’t have to spend any money on the magazine for me,” he said.

  17. Thou Shalt Not Steal!

  18. I gleefully celebrate the death of the music industry (I HATE music); the publishing industry (I HATE reading); and perhaps the long awaited death of paper as well (I HATE to write.)

    And I quake in fear of what will arise from their ashes … Dulcet electronic sounds to taunt my wicked soul; knowledge and wisdom to damn my dull mind some more; creative expression which I abhor — Aaargh! Please get me back to my cave!!

    — Warren, the troglodyte

  19. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/25/2004 01:19:54
    Fashion exists for women with no taste, etiquette for people with no breeding.

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