You’ll have a hard time finding a copyright monopoly maximalist who insists that public libraries should be banned. This would be political suicide; instead, they typically tell lies about why it’s not the same thing as online sharing. Let’s have a look.
A concept that’s becoming increasingly useful is “Analog Equivalent Rights.” Culture and knowledge should be just as available in the digital space, as it is in the analog space. We should enjoy exactly the same privacy rights and civil liberties online, as we do offline. The concept is completely reasonable, and nowhere near rocket science. This is a tremendously useful concept, as it makes lawmakers and others reflect on the liberties they are killing off for their children, sometimes followed by a mental shock as they realize what has been going on with their silent approval. Let’s have a look at how this applies to public libraries.
When you are challenging a copyright industry lobbyist over the concept of public libraries, and ask them if they are opposed to people having access to such culture and knowledge without paying, they are smart enough to not deride public libraries – as this would weaken their political position considerably. However, online sharing of culture and knowledge is the Analog Equivalent Right to the public libraries we’ve had for 150 years. Lobbyists will sometimes try to change the subject around this, or more commonly, lie using one of three myths. Here are those myths and lies, and why they are untrue:
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