Monday, February 14, 2011

Ripping your books to save space

And, finally .... Tablet computers and e-readers do a lot of things. But in Japan they are now being used to clear space. Japan is the world's biggest market for paper books and it's also home to some of the world's tiniest apartments.  Well, according to Bloomberg, dozens of companies there are racing to convert paper books into e-books ... because people want to read of course.  And so they will have a little extra room in a country where the average living space per person is 398 square feet.

Yes ... people are going to want to have their books "ripped" to save space.  And for other reasons too: convenience, searchability, etc., etc., the list goes on. But when people have their books ripped, guess what?  This will make them easy to share.  If the sharing involves a copyrighted work (and most works are) that will be an illegal, unauthorized counterfeit.  

Is the book industry ready for the onslaught of these counterfeits?  Do they want their own digital sales to start eroding like music and movie sales??

The DCE is the only known mechanism for acting as traffic-cop/monetizing-mechanism for this onslaught.  If the music industry had adopted our method 15 years ago, it would not be vending its own music directly without necessarily needing any help from Steve Jobs.   And it would not be in dire straits.

Will the book publishing industry learn from this folly or not?  They will eventually.  It is just a question of whether they will lose millions of dollars first before they figure it out.

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