Sunday Speculation: Copyright Cynicism

(I’ve always liked Will Manley’s sunday posts in the past, so now I’m going to steal the idea of asking a weekly philosophic question of the library community. YOINK!)

Ok, be honest: have you ever looked at a patron checking out the maximum number of audio CDs (either music or books) and thought to yourself, “That person is just going to go home and rip them into iTunes or burn them onto CDs”?

[raises his hand] I know I have!

But when it comes to people borrowing movies or books, the thought never crosses my mind. Even though we are now in the age of DVD and Blu Ray copyright crackers and the home photocopying machines, I don’t think that a person taking out the maximum number of movies is going home to copy them.

Is this just me? Is it just the history of music and computers has followed a different path? What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Sunday Speculation: Copyright Cynicism

      • I would be interested to see this thread develop. At our library, I have had patrons tell me outright that they are going home to burn the media items they are checking out. Most times, I’m at a loss as to what to say. I don’t feel it’s my place to enforce copyright, especially in my lowly position as library assistant, not a manager of any variety. These patrons appear to not even understand that what they are doing is illegal. As far as I know, we do not have a policy in place to address this. Does anyone else?

  1. I would think that about library CDs because I have done that with library CDs. I have never cracked the encryption on a DVD or photocopied an entire book.

  2. I would think that it’s the media that comes into play on this one. Music, which for so long was stored (is still stored?) on cassettes and then CDs, is easily copied.

    DVD burning, I don’t think, has ever been as prevalent as ripping CDs onto tape. another CD, or into a digital format. And even today, ripping a movie from a DVD isn’t like pressing play on the CD player and then pressing record on the cassette player.

    Should we suspect different things of people who borrow piles of CD as opposed to people who borrow piles of books? Technically, no. But it’s the technology (excuse the pun) – and the way our sensibilities have been accultured through the 80s and 90s – that makes us do.

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