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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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John Bennett says:

"Why is it that there is no national clamor to end this nonsense?"

Because the vast majority, perhaps 95%, do not care. While e-books continue to grow in popularity, millions of paper and e-books are sold each year and there are few people who expect them to be out there for free.

Everyone who sometimes uses a public library expects books to be out there for free.
Deadpan:

On a loan basis. Everyone who sometimes uses a public library also often finds that the book they want is unavailable for a variety of reasons - including being under lock and key.

That's a bug, not a feature. :)
There are approximately 121,000 public libraries in the United States. The vast majority are funded by taxpayers. These public libraries offer PURCHASED books for loan. If the same book is purchased by every single library, the author gains 121,000 sales. My local library typically buys 5-10 copies of best sellers, and my local library is relatively small. That can mean that a best seller could easily sell 500,000 to 1,000,000 copies to libraries only.

So, are the books in public library "out there for free"? No. They were purchased by and are owned by the taxpayers.

And yet, people can read them without paying anyone a dime. Funny how that works.
Except...they already paid a dime...in fact, many dimes. My town allots millions to the library system. If you are not a member of my town, you are unable to borrow the books in my town's library system. Funny how that works.
Just because your town restricts access doesn't mean they all do. Most not only don't, but participate in interlibrary loan.
I would like to see statistics regarding which libraries fit into the "most" that you describe. I have lived in Superior, Wisconsin, Colorado Springs, three different cities in California, four cities in the St. Louis area, four cities in the Kansas City area, three libraries in the Columbia, Missouri area, a city in Illinois, and a city in Indiana. Every one of them would not permit non-residents to check books out. In fact, every one required proof of residency within the political boundary of the library (i.e., city or county) to get a library card, which is a pain when you first move to a city because they want either a utility bill showing street address or a driver's license. If you have your bills sent to a P.O. box and do not have a driver's license, you are out of luck. Based on my sample of 18 library systems, I would say 100% of them require you to be a resident to check a book out.

Most participated in the inter-library loan program. However, you had to borrow the book from your own library.

Enough distraction. Fact is, library = read books for free, to the point that there are misguided publishers and even some misguided authors that hate libraries and would like it very much if copyright law restricted them in some way.
Snark:

The fact is that taxpayers have purchased every single book in the library. Libraries are collectives that purchase books in quantity for the benefits of the members of the collective. Because the cost is spread over thousands to millions of people, the collective is able to make thousands of books available for a relatively low cost per person. There is nothing "free" about libraries at all. Admittedly, libraries were more popular when the price of books put them out of the reach of ordinary people, but they still provide a relatively low-cost way to make books of all types accessible to members of the library.

Libraries will never go away. Indeed, libraries supported authors and publishers by buying their books when most people could not afford to buy them. I first visited a library back in the dark ages of first grade and have been a regular visitor since then. I love libraries and am glad that my community has seen fit to support them with their (and now, of course, my) tax dollars. While the system is not free, it is affordable.

Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Snarker:

I agree. Enough distraction. The fact is, you already bought the books through your taxes. So your "no extra charge" means no extra charge beyond the taxes you already paid to build the library and buy the books. You already bought the books, why would you have to pay another charge to read them?

Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Snarker:

I have already agreed with you. You can read books at the public library because your taxes have paid for the books, meaning that you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.

Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Snarker: I have already agreed with you. You can read books at the public library because your taxes have paid for the books, meaning that you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.

Enough distraction. You can read books at the public library because your taxes have paid for the books. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.

Enough distraction. You can read books at the public library because your taxes have paid for the books. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge at a public library because your taxes have already paid for the books. Emphasis on the "no extra charge" since there was already a charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge at a public library because your taxes have already paid for the books. Emphasis on the "no extra charge" since there was already a charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge at a public library because your taxes have already paid for the books. Emphasis on the "no extra charge" since there was already a charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge at a public library because your taxes have already paid for the books. Emphasis on the "no extra charge" since there was already a charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge. End of story.
Enough distraction. The fact is, you can read books at no extra charge at a public library because your taxes have already paid for the books. Emphasis on the "no extra charge" since there was already a charge. End of story.
Snarker:

You keep saying "at no extra charge," which is accurate when considering Anonymous's state where he/she points out that taxes paid for the books, which is also an accurate statement.

Anonymous seems to be saying that library books are not free. What is your point?

Everyone who sometimes uses a public library expects books to be out there for free.
Deadpan:

Yep, the books are available for a short-term loan to all residents of the library district without paying an additional fee. Sadly, our district only permits 10-day loans. When I was a kid, it was 30 days. Times have changed.

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