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March 5, 2012

In another victory in the ongoing battle to expand intellectual property rights and privatize knowledge, the publishing industry (which has had its fair share of beef with public libraries) has successfully shut down the unauthorized internet library and protected their profits, while poor students and scholars lament the loss of a virtual fount of knowledge:

The disappearing virtual library

Sure, I realize that most people want authors to be ‘fairly compensated’ for their work, and many probably even feel the same about publishers and booksellers (especially local ones). However, looking at the bigger picture, many of the people who want or even need these texts are denied easy access.

It wouldn’t be so bad if intellectual property law and the repeated extension of copyrights (particularly here in the US by copyright holders such as Disney, Time Warner, etc.) weren’t becoming increasingly more unreasonable, or if publishers didn’t routinely ignore certain markets (predominately non-Western ones). But they are, and they do.


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