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Internet Public Library That Actually Works Like a Public Library

  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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Why should free libraries on the internet (e.g. The Internet Archive) be limited to public domain books? Why not instead have it work like a real public library: the non-PD books are licensed for a limited number of viewers at a time and DRM'd (to keep the publishers happy), and the whole thing is supported by taxes and/or donations. If all the copies of a book are in use, you'll have to wait until someone checks theirs in. You'll also need your library card number to log in.

Now I know that publishers will object because even with DRM, the door is open for piracy. This is just something people need to get over. People just need to trust people. It is not limited to digital media; I can (and have, in times of desperation) just as easily copy a physical book, I have the technology.

Spacecoyote, Dec 17 2008

Baen Free Library: military SF only http:\\www.baen.com
There are some very good books here. [Voice, Dec 17 2008]

Open Library http://openlibrary.org/
[Spacecoyote, Jan 31 2011]

Accessibility Camp DC http://cleartypemed...essibility-camp-dc/
access for all - accessibility, innovation, open source, open space [JesusHChrist, Feb 02 2011]

Hacker Spaces in Public LIbraries http://www.pcworld...._make_magazine.html
bring innovation into libraries [JesusHChrist, Feb 02 2011]

Video tour of HackSpace in San Fransisco http://laughingsqui...e-in-san-francisco/
the future of public libraries [JesusHChrist, Feb 02 2011]


coprocephalous, Dec 17 2008

       You can pirate a physical book too, by sticking it on a scanner or a photocopier.
Sorry, you´ve already said that. We´re seeing a situation with intellectual property similar to the one with the weavers at the beginning of the industrial revolution, the difference being that the owners of the rights have got lawyers and lobbyists. Whereas it´d be nice to get an income from publishing, the difficulty of doing so doesn´t create a worse situation than existed in the early nineteenth century. The question is, what can one actually do which is both relatively harmless and can provide one with an income? Things need to be different, but they won´t be.

       I voted for your idea, incidentally.
nineteenthly, Dec 17 2008

       //People just need to trust people//
//I can (and have, in times of desperation) just as easily copy a physical book//
Trust... fail.

       //and the whole thing is supported by taxes and donations//
Tax the entire world ? Micro$oft can't even do that, successfully.
FlyingToaster, Dec 17 2008

       The idea of taxing is merely a suggestion. I'll change it to taxes and/or donations. Anyway your library card is proof of taxation.   

       //Trust... fail// I never said I wasn't a hypocrite :). People should trust people *even though* they don't deserve it, it's called having faith in humanity.
Spacecoyote, Dec 17 2008

       My point is who are you going to tax for a service that benefits the world ? Me? I already have a public library within easy'ish walking distance (granted not an exceptionally good one, but there is a rather nice reference library a short train-trip away, and universities have them, too).   

       The rather sad upshot is that after you had run out of pre-existing good stuff, everything contributed to your free library would just be half-baked garbage... analgous to this website in some respects, but with the major difference that this site is not a mandatory research nexus for schoolchildren as your proposal would eventually be. And that would dilute the dissemination of real works.
FlyingToaster, Dec 17 2008

       Yeah but when you're studying and have only a couple hours left, there's not time to get on the bus and go to the library.   

       Really there's no need for a tax, plenty of similar things get along just fine on donations.
Spacecoyote, Dec 17 2008

       I'd be cynically curious as to how many of the donation works were donated by the original author *and* worth the bits they're stored on.
FlyingToaster, Dec 17 2008

       I dunno. If I were an author, I'd donate some of my book to a library, it's cheap advertising.
Spacecoyote, Dec 17 2008

       Lots of people donate to wikipedia (according to wikipedia). Surely, with similar advertising, they would donate to an online repository of real books?
ryokan, Dec 18 2008

       Also, many non-students in my city pay $40/year for access to our huge and excellent university library. Why not charge for online library cards? People unable to access physical libraries could get one free or at a steep discount.
ryokan, Dec 18 2008

       //Lots of people donate to Wikipedia// Lots of people donate other people's stuff to Wikipedia.
FlyingToaster, Feb 02 2011


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