Is it right for us to share, or rent out these copyrighted
products, in effect robbing these artists of the fruits of their
Dave, You asked a valid question about ethics in the publishing
industry, and in my opinion, I think most people will do the right
thing, and buy the originals. Not all will agree, of course.
I’m a pretty jaded collector of reference books and videos. I’m also
miserly with my money. When I rent or borrow something, I do it to see
if it has enough new (to me) or updated of techniques to
warrant buying it. A lot of good books or videos are $50 and up. I
want to know there’s enough I can use to get a return on
my investment. It also allows me the opportunity to preview something
I might not otherwise have considered to be a candidate for my
reference library. Without this preview opportunity, I have a tendency
to dither about whether to buy it, sometimes for years.
Therefore, I preview candidates for my reference library, by renting,
borrowing or through interlibrary loans. If there is a copious amount
of “new to me” material, I invest my money to have the highest
quality original book or video. Also, if it is my book or video, I
have the freedom of adding notes written in the margins, or inserted
in the jackets.
Marketing a book or video is extremely difficult. You need to get it
into the public’s hands so they can see what it’s about. Many
publishers, such as Alan Revere or Charles Lewton-Brain will
disseminate certain parts of their to the public. It
allows the public to get a little taste to pique their curiosity. If
the reader likes what they’ve seen, they often go ahead to buy the
book or video. I know I do! It’s a sound way to target a niche market
for your material, and makes economical marketing sense to target a
ready market through Lapidary Journal or the Internet. Free copies to
libraries, universities which have jewelry programs, trade journal
media review editors and individuals who have name brand recognition,
are other effective marketing techniques.
My reference library has been borrowed from many times. Those who
have borrowed have gone on to buy their own, for the reasons stated
above. I have borrowed books and videos from friends so I can really
spend some time with the material. Usually, I wind up buying my own
copy. I want the freedom of my owning my own copy and the clarity of
an original. You have to be able to reference the material at will, in
order to not forget important details from these wonderfully talented
people who are experts in their field.
Of course, it’s a risk, and you bring up a valid point and remind us
that someone has put thousands of hours and a lot of money into
producing something for our benefit. We need to be ethical and honor
their hard work by buying the originals.