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One-Winged Balrog

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  • dispension of susbelief

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  1. Lukianenko is a fathomless well of chauvinist imperialist shit. I know, I've been checking his Russian blogs from time to time. Also a hypocrite of the highest calibre. Used to blog from his Italian vacations to tell his readers about the glories of Russia and the rotting west
  2. We seem to be talking past each other, so I'll try again to explain what I was trying to say before. It is true that once a new book has been purchased, the physical copy of the book now belongs to the buyer and they can do with it as they please (in USA and most of the western world, at least). However, the very existence of the market of used books is predicated on the existence of the market of new books. Someone else needs to buy a book first, for it to become used. You seem to think that because the author has agreed to participate in this system, then everything is fine, but I think it's more complicated than this. The market is shaped by the behavior of the buyers. It is not different from cars. If suddenly a lot more people had decided to only buy used cars, the shape of the market would change. Some car producers would collapse, others would shift to invest more in servicing cars, there would be fewer new cars produced, these cars would be more expensive and they'd be different types of cars, adapted to a new situation (which would probably be better for the environment, but that's off-topic). Of course, in case of books it is not only a large corporation (the publisher) who would be affected by the change, and also an individual author. And art as a product is different from cars or clothes, in that it is a lot less fungible. If your favorite author stops writing for any reason, you can't get their new books from someone else. The question then is, what is the ethical thing to do if you like an author and want them to write more books? As an example of a similar situation, consider presidential elections. The chances that a single vote would change the outcome are extremely small. The chance that the results of a single elections would affect your life are also not very big. It is also perfectly legal to not vote (in most countries). Yet a lot of people vote out of civic duty. Now consider that a median author has a lot fewer readers than a presidential candidate has voters (thousands rather than tens of millions). The influence of an individual decision to buy or not buy a new book is therefore much more influential. What, then, should be the civic duty of the reader?
  3. I read the whole thing, but I'm afraid I found no answer there.
  4. @Ser Not Appearing Let's cut to the chase. You said in the previous thread, as far as I recall, that you tend to buy used book. Which is perfectly legal. Now, I personally don't think that a person who is too poor to buy new books/ebooks, or someone who is unable to buy them (because, e.g., his country is under international sanctions), should be unable to read books. However, would you not agree that someone who is only buying used books does not directly compensate the authors in any way? Basically, authors are able to gain money, at the level they do today, because a population of readers of a certain size is buying new books. All the other readers, whether they buy used books, pirate e-books or rob Barnes and Noble stores at gunpoint, piggyback on the people who buys new books. In biological terms, they are parasites.
  5. Well, I'm pretty sure than most people in the modern world would disagree with this idea. The majority believes that there is nothing wrong with lending a book to a friend. And it it quite possible that lending a book to a friend will end up beneficial to the author, because if the friend likes the book, they will be more likely to buy books of that author. However, if 99% of the population were only reading borrowed books, the author would surely suffer financially, compared to current situation.
  6. This framework will be incompatible with lending a book to a friend. A friend is a different consumer.
  7. Well, here's an idea to chew on. The labor of the author was writing the book. The author is not the one who makes new copies, so why should they be compensated for every single one? (To clarify, I don't agree with this idea, but it is not as easy to refute as you might think).
  8. Once again people confuse legality and morality. /sigh
  9. If I had a halfling character in a fantasy book who changed their names to Frodo Baggins, I'd be probably pushing it. Unless it's a parody.
  10. But out culture very pointedly doesn't have folk heroes. We want to know who the author is. The author has a brand.
  11. My country doesn't enforce piracy laws anyway, so legality doesn't really matter to me. I'm more interested in the ethical side of the matter. Not whether it is legal, but whether it is good. And if not, why?
  12. Are copyright laws really restrictive? It is true that I can't publish a sequel to LOTR. But I can take all its themes, ideas, visuals and plot points, put it in my book, call it "The Sword of Shannara" or something, and publish it completely legally. I can't have a character literally named Frodo Baggins, but does it really restrict my artistic expression? What's in a name?
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