The Wonders of a Library

I happen to know a few librarians. Pretty cool people with a wealth of knowledge in their head. Can’t find a book? I bet they can point the way!

On my recent vacation, one of the places on my list was the local library. I had a little regional research I wanted to do. While I didn’t need a librarian to help (let’s face it… I’m old and know the Dewey Decimal System, even if it’s computerized), I did find a wealth of information for a novel idea I have.

Some might think that libraries are a nostalgic bygone era. I’ll disagree with anyone believing that. In fact, our downtown library where I live is expanding. Go books! You know what else you can get (for free!) at libraries? Books! Sure, you have to return them on time or face a fine but if you can’t afford to buy the latest and greatest, you can read it at your local friendly library. Most are even keeping up with the times, providing ebooks as well.

Yet some still pirate books and recently, author friends of mine came across some scumbag selling free reads offered at our publisher’s site. They weren’t his books and he was pandering them off as his own. Worse, he was charging for them! Luckily, they were taken down after we pounded the site with one-star drive by rating to the tune of “STOLEN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL!”. It’s a greatest hit, you know. Available at the FBI’s website.

Another site was also selling books from several publsihers. The problem? They didn’t have the right to do so. Yes, pirates are starting to sell they’re ill-gotten gains.

You’re eyeing me right now, aren’t you? Ready for the old one two punch against piracy, eh? While I’m not going to (or at least try to) go off on that tangent, I’m not going to stop on that front. In fact, my IP address was blocked (like I can’t change it or mask it, you idiots) on a pirate site. Of course my book they were pirating isn’t listed anymore, whether it’s because I sent them a DMCA notice or my report to the FBI I don’t care. My intellectual property is not theirs to give away. I say again–I have stuff to read for free here on my blog if you want a taste.

In any count, I’ll leave you with some words from Neil Gaiman. Take it or leave it. Either way, I’d love to hear your opinions.

My opinion on the matter? I don’t make Neil Gaiman money and the place he said the illegal downloads were happening was Russia. I’m more concerned with the thieves residing in the United States. The one thing that stuck out in my mind is this: His publisher put the book out there to read on their site. The Publisher… not some pirated site. Completely legal under the copyright law because, between Gaiman and the Publisher, the copyright is owned. I suppose I’m one of the people to be sniggered at because I wasn’t lent nor did a steal a copy of my favorite author’s book to discover him. I bought the book because the blurb intrigued me. I’ve also bought books on recommendation from friends.

That’s not to say I don’t pass my books along to my friends. I do and my father does. When we’re through with them, we donate them to the library.

Ah… there’s that majestic word again–Library. Have you checked out yours lately?