Monday, November 08, 2010

To copyright or not to copyright

First, the FRBR blog linked to me the other day. It was not especially complimentary, but, there you are. I can't always be thought right. I agree totally that the work being done on FRBR is changing it, though. So we can all agree on that.

Also, I was reading First thus this morning. He posted some things about how copyright law is stuck in the past, and how it's not helping anyone that you can't do anything with digital versions of books except read them. You can't loan them (because such a thing does not currently exist, apparently), you can't copy them, nothing, without infringing on the copyright.

But something about that post irks me. Yes, there are lots of rules with regards to copying digital files and distributing them. Yes, the system seems to be broken in many respects. But what can we actually DO about it? Saying that librarians will be sitting on the sidelines doesn't seem like a very productive way to start effecting change. Maybe as a whole, yes, librarians may end up on the sidelines of the policy debate, but as individual citizens, no one is wholly without the means to make change in this world. Especially librarians.

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"Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness." —Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril.