Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Idea for a Crowdsourcing Booksharing network

DIY Book Scanner Skunk Works. Share your crazy ideas and novel approaches. Home of the "3D structure of a book" thread.
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Idea for a Crowdsourcing Booksharing network

Post by emdiesse » 18 Jul 2011, 12:09

I'd love to scan all my books into a digital format, especially to give me an excuse to purchase a kindle or similar. I see the advantages to ePub now after looking at the way pdf's are handled on the kindle.

I just wish there was a way of scanning books, leaflets, documents and sharing the scanned and OCR'd versions with peers who also own them in dead tree format.

I began thinking on a social crowdsource style website where you can scan a book and upload it or if it is already scanned and uploaded you may proove your ownership and download it in some kind of digital format. Also each book would be stored on the site like a project so anyone who owns the book could rescan pages, correct OCR mistakes, edit the content entirely if OCR fails, etc.

Main problem is prooving ownership. Perhaps people could proove their ownership of a book by reproducing a small portion of it's content? Rather like reCaptcha. To proove ownership the system could ask for you to type out the first paragraph of page 6 and the 5th paragraph of page 18. It could OCR the text and ask people the same question and if you are >80% correct it could accept that you do own the book and you may continue to download or contribute to that book.

Once someone has prooved ownership they may then download the book in digital formats available and also start contributing to that book's project (for example, if one page's raw image is hideously scanned they could scan a single page to replace it. Or maybe if a book is hideously OCR'd they could be so kind as to correct some of the text. Sort of like a wiki)

In reality this idea will probably just stay an idea because really there is no real way to be able to proove ownership of a book. Do you have any ideas on how book ownership could be proved? Also on top of this it'd obviously need to then be approved by publishers, authors, etc before something like this could ever even exists. It'd be great to be able to share scanned books with others who also legitimately owns the book.


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Re: Idea for a Crowdsourcing Booksharing network

Post by daniel_reetz » 18 Jul 2011, 14:37

I can't say anything about the law, and this is not legal advice, but the relevant issue here is (among others) "first sale".

Many of us wish we could reduce the duplication of effort legally. I am open to any discussion or new ideas.

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Re: Idea for a Crowdsourcing Booksharing network

Post by rob » 19 Jul 2011, 16:06

The way the law works in the U.S. (and by extension, in any nation signatory to WIPO), the only way you can prove you have a physical copy of a book is to physically show the physical copy of the book. And since you can legally only have one copy of the data in a book when you buy the book, you have to immediately destroy your physical copy once you make an electronic copy, to maintain the artificial scarcity of one book. That would make it very difficult for anyone to maintain a data cloud containing electronic copies of books unless they actually bought the book in the first place.

In theory, if you had a cloud with an electronic copy of book X, then someone could send you their physical copy of book X, and then you could release your electronic copy to them, maintaining the artificial scarcity fiction.

Booksellers would rip the covers off books to prove to the publisher that they "destroyed" a book. That's why you sometimes see a notice on the front page of a book saying that if you got the book without a cover, it has been counted by the publisher as "destroyed" and therefore you must be a CRIMINAL, YOU FILTHY NASTY PERSON! :)
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Re: Idea for a Crowdsourcing Booksharing network

Post by LHemphillix » 08 Aug 2011, 14:31

Another of those things that is going to change because it will have to. We are entering a new age in the sharing of information. Unfortunately, our institutions, especially the law, lag behind the development of technology. I think what you're presenting here is a great idea, but it would probably get anyone who did it in legal trouble except for works that are out of copyright. The revolution is on its way but hasn't been finalized yet.

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