Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One streaming book, please.

Five publishing houses were the first to abuse the new Ipred law, attempting to start legal proceedings against the owner of an FTP server, claiming he had made publicly and widely available copyrighted material. Those of you knowing what an FTP server is will know that they usually don't make anything "publicly and widely available".

Anyway, one of the publishers behind this revolting act, Storyside, has come up with a brilliant idea to battle piracy (besides violating human rights and suing their customers): A "Spotify-like" service for sound books. Yes, that's right, folks!

Helena Gustafsson, VD på Storyside, funderar i lite andra banor och vill utveckla nya kanaler för distribution av ljudböcker. Hon tror att människor vill köpa ljudböcker på olika sätt och är övertygad om att det finns flera modeller som ännu inte testats.

– Jag tror till exempel på en sajt som Spotify fast i bokform. Strömmade ljudböcker ska vara billigare än nedladdade, den som vill äga en produkt måste vara beredd att betala, säger hon.

Right. Now, who on earth would be interested in sitting in front of his computer listening to a streaming sound book? Sound books are for long car rides, intercontinental flights or maybe even subway rides, provided they are long and boring enough. And the idea to actually charge money for this? Umm, well, good luck. Especially now that you've alienated your customers by taking legal actions against them.

Another one of these bright minds, Shadi Bitar of Earbooks, is looking for laws and regulations on the Internet:

– Vi hoppas att det ska införas lagar och regler på internet. Det är väldigt svårt att konkurrera med det som är gratis och först om vi får en legal marknad kan våra tjänster utvecklas, säger Shadi Bitar, VD på ljudboksförlaget Earbooks.

Well, Shadi Bitar, here's a newsflash: There are laws and rules on the Internet, just as there are in real life. And the police have traditionally upheld them, cracking down on child pornography, frauds and scams. The problem is that you and your comrades in crime insist on bending these rules and even creating your own rules enabling you to act as both police and judge.

Anyway, for those of you interested, the publishing houses involved in the abovementioned judicial farce are:
  • Bonnier Audio
  • Earbooks
  • Norstedts
  • Piratförlaget
  • Storyside
They're all on my do not buy-list (or "don't feed the monster" list), and they should be on yours too.

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