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Finnish copyright organization shuts down online book rental service

Written by Matti Vähäkainu (Google+) @ 11 Sep 2009 6:48 User comments (4)

Finnish copyright organization shuts down online book rental service A Finnish textbook rental service Bookabooka.fi which allows students (and others) to rent, lend, sell or donate books has been partially shut down by the Finnish Copyright Information and Anti-piracy Centre (TTVK). Bookabooka was forced to close its renting option due to a claimed copyright violation.
Bookabooka and TTVK are currently trying to find a solution that would satisfy both parties as well as the copyright holders. To settle it for now, Bookabooka offered to pay all income from rental books directly to a designated party.

The conflict was caused by copyright law which states that the author or other copyright holder has the right to determine whether the product can be lent or rented. There is no precedent on how this type of cases should be resolved, said Bookabooka in their official blog (in Finnish). Bookabooka does not own the books nor does it deal with shipment or money transactions, it only provides the information between the users.

The site is currently running without the renting option, but according to Bookabooka CEO Vesa Kaartinen, they are determined to figure out a way to reinstate the service as soon as possible.

Bookabooka was targeted earlier this year by TTVK calling them "Pirate Bay for textbooks". The Finnish book publishers' association also accused the site for threatening the €100 million a year textbook business.

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4 user comments

111.9.2009 9:23

And this is what is wrong with college students trying to get a degree. Books are insanely priced. I once ask the manager of my campus' book store and they have a 100% markup on books. Not only are the publishers making a killing but so are the university book stores. We just want our degree!

211.9.2009 10:31

"The Finnish book publishers' association also accused the site for threatening the €100 million a year textbook business."


So creating a new business model that runs cheaper, leaner, and more easily is now considered illegal. Yay capitalism! I read about this on consumerist months ago and I still don't see how anything they are doing is illegal. A used book is a used book. How they can try to claim "piracy" on a noncopied, original print is baffling.

311.9.2009 10:58

i paid $300 this semester on 2 books and 1 of those was used, so its ok for the campus to sell it used or "rent" it to me for a semester then let me return it for <= half price. maybe this shit will cause the scene to start releasing school books as well, it be nice to download my books in pdf's by chapters or something.

412.9.2009 5:15

I guess this means that they will outlaw the library system?

In some schools, the cost of books is actualy more than the cost of classes. This was the case when I was in community colledge...$50 per credit hour, but every 3-credit-hour course needed at least one $150 (used price) book!

On top of that, many new text books include CD/DVD media that does nothing to help the student learn. However, you are not allowed to sell these disks (even if you never used them), and you cannot sell the book without the disks! Thus, you cannot get the book used and you cannot sell it when you are done with it!

Just like the movie, music, and game industries, the inefficient and outdated principals that govern the print text media are driving down sales whenever there is any alternative to their monopoly. Rather than compete, the first strategy (that always fails) is always to try to stop the alternatives that are only slightly profitable. When this fails, they will start releasing these books as overpriced Kindle books that cost more than a new textbook...this will also fail. Then they will start sueing individual users as a scare tactic...and this will fail as well. In the end, customers who would have been willing to pay $100 for a book that costed $5 to print will simply start downloading the books for free. The executives and lawyers that did everything in their power to make this happen will then be able to sit back and say "It's not my fault that we are loosing money...it's because of the pirates. If all the pirates bought our books for $500 each, then we would have lots of money"

Personaly, I would love to see universities go to public domain text books...but there is too much bribe money floating around for that to happen.

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