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NY Times’ Ethicist Approves of Illegal Downloading an eBook

underthedome.jpgIn the Ethicist column at the New York Times over the weekend, a reader asked if it was permissible to illegally download a copy of Under the Dome by Stephen King once they had purchased the hardcover edition of the book.

Here is ethicist Randy Cohen‘s controversial response: “Your subsequent downloading is akin to buying a CD, then copying it to your iPod. Buying a book or a piece of music should be regarded as a license to enjoy it on any platform. Sadly, the anachronistic conventions of bookselling and copyright law lag the technology. Thus you’ve violated the publishing company’s legal right to control the distribution of its intellectual property, but you’ve done no harm or so little as to meet my threshold of acceptability.”

What do you think? This column brings an eBook availability issue into the mainstream after months and months of debate inside the publishing community. (Via Book Bench)

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