If Scott Turow's goal is cultivating an image as an epic jackass and simultaneously eroding reader support for the authors by way of the Author's Guild, he's been doing a bang-up job lately.
In the past there's been many wackadoodle anti-ebook rants, but this week, Turow steps it up and takes on libraries. Yes, libraries.
Apparently, Turow and the Authors Guild believe that libraries offering ebooks is yet another in a vast conspiracy against authors. (He also--perplexingly--accuses "search engines" of conspiring against authors as well; read Tech Dirt's analysis of that lunacy.)
Now many public libraries want to lend e-books, not simply to patrons who come in to download, but to anybody with a reading device, a library card and an Internet connection. In this new reality, the only incentive to buy, rather than borrow, an e-book is the fact that the lent copy vanishes after a couple of weeks. As a result, many publishers currently refuse to sell e-books to public libraries.
In his piece, Turow chooses to ignore a number of facts in favor of grand statements (hey, why let facts get in the way of a good argument?). But what struck me most was Turow's bizarre assumption that library users who can easily (and that's debateable for anyone who's used Overdrive) access ebooks won't buy books, that instead they'll simply click and download books "for free*"
Library ebook readers won't buy books?
That assertion has got to be the biggest, stinkiest load of crap I've read in a very long time--and I've spent a lot of time on the Internet.