1. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    An International Library Online

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mugen shiyo, Dec 25, 2011.

    Sometimes I think it's money and the selfish self-interest that comes of it that makes some of the best ideas for all people, relatively easy to bring to life, an inconvenience to bring about.

    For instance, shouldn't they have invented an online library by now? This does not mean get rid of the libraries and get rid of printed books, this means making it far more easier for people to access the materials they are looking for.

    Why should college students have to pay for textbooks when they could get it online. The ridiculous alterations between one edition and the next is merely meant to provide the thin excuse for a student to have to buy a completely new but almost identical text book. And even with such revisions in mind, they would be far more conservative changing a few things on a computer than trashing huge numbers of books.

    Why should I have to walk to a library and physically check out a book that needs to be returned at a certain date or risk late fees when I could easily find that copy on the internet and use it at my comfort and leisure.

    There is a bad to this, though.

    * It further compartmentalizes society and people would have one reason less for actually needing to leave their homes.

    * there would be a transition from the librarians of today to the librarians of tomorrow, leading, possibly, to a number of layoffs, but at the same time, leading to the widening of another career path

    But in the general scope, is having the worlds resources available in such a format so bad? The good or bad in a thing is determined by the general intention and practice of the person using it or administering it. And considering that a physical library is only so big and can only house so much, it would make running a virtual library all the more attractive. We would certainly have a new type of librarian, though. One more inclined to an IT, but time changes. The libraries of tomorrow can be managed by tomorrows librarians maintaining and updating a stunning array of information. It would be bigger than the that ancient library burned down in ancient times.

    We always hear that knowledge and education are so important, but when you look at the physical, tangible efforts done to actually bring these things about, it's found very lacking and all that talk feels like double-talk. I think if there ever was a thing we should have had already, it's an international library online where countless texts of educational and recreational nature could be available to anyone at anytime.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Piracy will force it to happen eventually, thankfully. Information wants to be free, and now that the infrastructure for making that happen is developing, it's only a matter of time before all content is available in the public domain and copyright is dead. The day can't come soon enough.
     
  3. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    My Library has an e-branch. The way it works, they have a number of licenses for a certain title (ebook or eaudio), you download the content along with a license file and are allowed to use it for the lending period (7, 14 or 21 days). when the license expires, the application asks you to delete the downloaded files (books won't open anymore). if there aren't enough licenses, you just put it on hold and get an email when one is available.
    I find it great, and am hoping they add lots more titles :)

    It looks like they have libraries worldwide using the same system. Maybe check if your local library is part of it:
    www.overdrive.com
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    don't you know that's what google has been working on for some years now?
    http://www.google.com/googlebooks/library.html

    their goal is to eventually do just what you're suggesting... what you don't seem to understand is that for works still under copyright, permission is needed to make them available for free... if all books could be included, then authors wouldn't make any money for their works, since publishers won't pay them for books they can't sell, since they can be read for free... which is why google can only include those that are no longer under copyright...

    oh, really?... so you don't want to be paid for your writings, arron?... with copyright 'dead' who will be writing anything?!
     
  5. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    @ aaron, hope so :)

    @ maia, no I didn't know google was working on that. I already thought about the copyright thing. No getting around that, but there are a lot of books that shouldn't need approval for availability like text books, reference books, variable forms of media, and whatever else you could normally get in a library. Basically what I was saying is all the stuff you get in a library, make it available online, plus those things like text books and such that would help a lot of students NOT have to pay so much.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    again, though, if they're made available for free, how will textbook and reference, etc. publishers be able to afford to print them?... they're in business to make money, not to be a charitable institution... the only alternative i see is to have a socialized gov't that provides all such stuff to its citizens for free...

    do you see any other?
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    If there is one thing I've taken from my reading of Ayn Rand it is an appreciation of Capitalism (in all other cases: screw Objectivism!). Literature as a commodity a great thing, why? because it pushes standards of print, scholarship, and information up. Look at some of the stygian pits of the Internet and tell me I'm wrong.

    You can get Shakespeare for free on Wikisource, but I still buy the Oxford World Classics copies because of their great introductions, notes, references, and print quality which is a step above the Penguin Classics editions (which, I admit, are fine editions themselves). I can't sympathize with this idea that people will care, and care all the time.
     
  8. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    I am not arguing against regular authors making money. What I am saying is look at what you're saying. It is all right for people to profit off education? I can understand the need to be paid to make textbooks. But they are creating the need to make more textbooks. They come out with a new edition yearly that is basically the same thing. Otherwise, no one would need to buy another book and not many more textbooks would need to be produced. Them doing that is like me making a slightly newer labtop each year that you had to buy, even though there is little or no difference from the other. To go further, I really don't like education being in private hands. Private hands means private business and a business's primary concern is profit, not the kids. You can say that competition regulates the market, but not when all the textbook manufacturers get together and decide to do a group hike on the prices. Look at the prices of those books Tell me a text book costs $200 - $300 to make or ship.

    Capitalism is great, but that's only when the intended process of the system is carried out without corruption. But the problem with the free market is that it inspires a pursuit of unreasonable profit. When that happens, everything becomes about profit. Than people want to find a way to profit off of anything. Like water...education...health...

    and what happens? Now you live in a society where profit dominates everything. Everything is fair game as a source of profit, and in time, that will be highly regrettable.

    You're right about the standards though, lol.
     
  9. Question
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    Allot of colleges kind of have online libraries of sorts with some books online and different databases accessible. Though in order for something like this to work with textbooks would have to be where the school pays like a monthly service to have access to their online books. That way the publishers or distributors would then still make money off their product. This then would allow only students to access them and It would probably be allot cheaper.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It's pretty widely known that academic publishing is the biggest racket in the publishing world, if not in the world at large. Authors are not paid for their contributions (which generally come from government funded research), nor are the peer reviewers or editors. Yet the companies can charge upwards of $30 to read a single article once, and in some cases tens of thousands for an annual subscription, and since demand for academic journals is inelastic, libraries and universities are forced to pay whatever these companies demand. For decades now, the largest of these companies has kept a 36% operating profit margin, which as you can probably guess is completely unique and totally unreasonable in the publishing industry. If the government refuses to regulate the monopoly on knowledge that these companies are exploiting, it's the responsibility of citizens (read: pirates) to make publicly funded research available to the public.
     
  11. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Where can I learn to articulate points like you do, lol?
     
  12. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I do live in a society in which profit dominates everything. Pretty much everything has a price, even if it's indirect, like bills. And why is that such a bad thing? In terms of our evolution it wasn't that long ago since we were dying at age 20 from bacteria and illnesses we knew nothing about. And yes, corruption might not be a very nice thing, but you'll get that in any and every society and thus it is not the system that is at fault, it's the people. People are irresponsible and easily corruptible. Reason why Communism will never work really, at least with the human race as it currently stands anyway.

    P.S. Please don't hate me. What you are reading are the words of a 21 year old ex-Leninist who has lost a lot of faith in the world. And now I'm a Liberal. :D
     
  13. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Why do you always think I'm angry, lol.

    But true, in a way, what you said. Corruption is inevitable. It's why I think no system will work for long, it just takes different systems different amounts of time to break down and really, just how long has it been broken. They have statements from presidents who warned and feared the influence big money would have. All these systems try to equate either resources or income between all peoples on some level or make it fair. The problem is that all of them rely on everyone being honest to the cause. That, of course, is never going to happen. At some point, any system offered will breakdown. Capitalism appears to have been durable but we have had many, many instances of money running over peoples rights. The Industrial and pre-Industrial revolution being among the last time these gritty abuses were made public.

    In a way that makes me sad. Means there is no solution and there will never be a time for peace. We'll have to live like surfers, always struggling for balance. But some do it better than others :p
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i didn't say or even imply that abuses don't abound in the system, because of course they do!... but the question was should copyright be abolished... and that was all i was addressing... to do so would be to toss out the baby with the bathwater... instead of doing away with copyright and its 'parent' capitalism, the systems [along with the many others that are rife with abuse] should be made to operate in a more fair way and abuses punished severely... and that, sad to say, won't be possible as long as humankind remains the covetous, greed-driven species it's been since the first caveman wanted something [or more of whatever] his neighbor had...
     
  15. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Agree with you completely. The baby with the bathwater made me laugh, lol.
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Haha. I'm not sure. I shall stop then. :p

    ... that's a very good analogy. I'm going to steal that and pretend that I made it up. But of course it will only be verbal, so I can deny it in court. :p
     
  17. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    There is no fair way to implement copyright that will stop the kinds of exploitations companies get away with now. And, from a generation primarily concerned with content generation, the way we expect to be able to use (and indeed do already use) copyrighted content is shifting dramatically. Whether people are singing along in (copyright infringing) videos on Youtube or pirating ebooks or downloading songs off the internet , the applications of existing copyright laws are becoming obsolete. Studies are already beginning to find (outside the US, where no such study would ever escape the financial influence of the entertainment industry) that those who pirate content spend more on content than those who do not pirate, which means there is still money in the industry for those who want to profit from their work, but that the old models (stifling copyright laws, restrictive terms of use, overpriced products) need to be rejected.

    It always amuses me that piracy is associated with anti-business philosophies and anti-capitalism, when really this is the free market at its best. Governments and industries need to understand that the money isn't gone just because copyright is--people will always spend money on entertainment and education--it just needs to be accessed in different ways.
     
  18. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Such things exist. There's also IRC servers that allow the search and download of countless e-books, but I couldn't count on their legality.
     

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