Neil,It's lovely, and generous, I think it deals with the ethical issues pretty well, but it doesn't solve the systemic problem of how producers of such cultural artifacts get paid in the new world...
Last week I got an ipod nano. After putting some music on the ipod, I checked out Anansi Boys from my library and copied the audio book CDs onto my ipod. I have been listening to the book as I go about my day. However, I feel guilty, as if I have ripped you off somehow. Is it okay to copy library versions of your books onto my ipod? Have I broken the law?
Thanks in advance for either slapping my wrist or easing my guilty conscience.
A HUGE FAN!
What a wonderful ethical question. I feel almost rabbinical pondering it. No, I don't believe you've broken any law. If you'd checked out the MP3 CD from your library you'd be expected to put it onto your iPod, after all. There's a weird sort of ethical fogginess, in that I suspect that part of the idea of libraries is that when you're done with something you return it, and of course once you have your MP3 on your computer and iPod you can keep it forever. But I think this is just one of those places where changes in technology move faster than the rules.
If you're listening to it, and you've got an iPod or suchlike MP3 player, you're almost definitely going to listen to it on your iPod. That's how things are, and it's a good thing (it's why I got Harper Collins to release American Gods and Anansi Boys on MP3 CD, after all).
Probably wisest not to pull it off your iPod and give it to other people, though. Let them at least take it out of the library themselves.
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