Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production


Hey there! This article was written in 2012.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Book burning

Posted 6 February 2012 in book, copyright, and life

Recently I received an e-reader as gift, and I've been trying to decide what to read on it. Then I remembered I already own several books that I haven't read. Ooh, and then I can get rid of the physical copies and cut down on space! As a show of good faith, I emailed the publishers of those books and asked if they had conversion/exchange programs, the goal being to get rid of the physical copy and receive an e-book in return. All of the responses amounted to "We want you to pay us again for content you already own," so no surprise there.

I researched book scanners and found a website about DIY Book Scanning. Building a camera-based system with custom uniform lighting may be too ambitious for me, however. I could also cut the binding on the books and run them through a scanner, then convert the PDF to epub format, but that means I'll have to ruin the books to get digital copies. Then it occurred to me that other people may have already done the work for me.

Indeed, the Pirate Bay actually has a few torrents of the books that I own, but I'm concerned that I'll have to keep the books indefinitely to prove that I wasn't committing copyright infringement. That negates the major benefit of the whole enterprise!

All I want to do is rip my books like I rip my CDs. Are there any other options or services out there that I should know about? Does anybody have experience with -- and recommendations for -- doing this?