Monday, October 12, 2009

DIY Bookscanning

Another comment that I'm dragging over here to make a post; from this adoring look at a homebrew bookscanner at The Millions. Needless to say, I'm not as happy-go-lucky as they are:

You know, there were plenty of people who created homebrew gadgets to cut those large plastic packages off of CDs in stores, or to make a Faraday cage in their pockets to foil detection systems, or to play tones into a pay telephone to get free calls. All of those people were ingenious, and all of them made neat gadgets.

And they were also all thieves, using their ingenuity to steal things that didn’t belong to them. Google and this guy are just the latest manifestations of that impulse — they’re yet more people who will do anything to avoid having to actually pay for the things they want. (Reetz admits that he started this project because he was “appalled by textbook prices” — he wanted something, but preferred not to pay for it.)

And what, exactly, is a “book-scanning special op?” Is that a clandestine mission deep into the heart of the “enemy” — a bookstore or library — to copy secretly something that he doesn’t have the right to?

Is your next post going to be an adoring look at the ingenious ways one can abstract valuable books out of rare book rooms and antiquarian booksellers? And if not, why is that kind of book theft not the one you choose to glamorize?

No comments:

Post a Comment