Public Libraries — Trillion Dollar Menace to Media Industry?

Eric Hellman on the threat posed by public libraries

It’s a joke post that stops being funny pretty quick, but it raises a question. If there were no public lending libraries and someone tried to open one, would they be allowed to do so? If it hadn’t been grandfathered in, would lending CDs and books to friends be legal in the current legal climate?

The one powerful argument for buying CDs and books rather than downloads, is that you can still lend them out. You can read out books out loud to an audience, and though the music industry might beg to differ, you can copy CDs for backup purposes. If you buy a book for a Kindle, or a song from iTunes, you don’t ‘own’ anything, and the many of the natural everyday uses to which you might put them to are in fact illegal.

Consider this — sites like Beatport and Boomkat will sell you music whose primary purpose is to be mixed by DJs, but if you make a DJ mix and put it on your blog, you might be doing something ‘illegal.’ I’m not sure if the license they grant you will give you license to play those tracks in front of an audience.

What the fucking fuck?

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