Mar. 9th, 2013

kitewithfish: You are the warm rock that my happy lizard self lies upon. (lizardhappy;somethingpositive;)
I am so looking forward to the day when it is taken for granted that there will be an ebook copy of a book available.

We've got such huge gaping chasm of which books can be found as ebooks- either the very old and the very famous which have been preserved and distributed for free through things like Gutenberg, or the newest publications coming out. That's it.

There is such a vast library in human history that will probably never be made into ebooks, because the demand is too small or the text too rare or the effort to convert it is too costly. I'm looking at you, books in Fraktur, incunabula, and those fragile texts that preserve the trade records of tiny German nations. You're probably going to remain obscure and hefty at best.

Wanting an ebook is not a huge deal, right? And if the author of a work is alive and savvy, then maybe someday there will be before the author stops being able to control the use of their works. But for works where the author has died, we're in the waiting period until it enters public domain

As we move on, the major texts are largely becoming available for free online, as long as they are old enough to slip under the copyright laws. And the edge is moving ever closer- there are a lot of books that are coming out this year for free that were under copyright last year, and the list gets bigger every year. As long as someone wants them enough, they can be found.

The problem is, of course, copyright law in the US and the limitations on fair use- other have written about this, better, but I'm just staring down from this mountain of freely available modern novels and even some textbooks, looking back at the vast number of books that were written since, and I just want them in ebook form.

Is it really too much to ask?



(I've been looking for an ebook of Royko's "Boss" - a 1987 book, but the author passed on in 1997, so there are, as far as I can tell, no publicly available ebooks, and might not be any privately available versions, either. But all you need is one person who's willing to share....)

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kitewithfish

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