Can Your Camera Phone Turn You Into a Pirate?

Can Your Camera Phone Turn You Into a Pirate?

By NICK BILTON January 15, 2011

MY wife and I sat cross-legged on the floor of a local Barnes & Noble store recently, surrounded by several large piles of books. We were searching for interior design ideas for a new home that we are planning to buy.

As we lobbed the books back and forth, sharing kitchen layouts and hardwood floor textures, we snapped a dozen pictures of book pages with our iPhones. We wanted to share them later with our contractor.

After a couple of hours of this, we placed the books back on the shelf and went home, without buying a thing. But the digital images came home with us in our smartphones.

Later that evening, I felt a few pangs of guilt. I asked my wife: Did we do anything wrong? And, I wondered, had we broken any laws by photographing those pages?

It's not as if we had destroyed anything: We didn't rip out any pages. But if we had wheeled a copier machine into the store, you can be sure the management would have soon wheeled us and the machine out of there.

But our smartphones really functioned as hand-held copiers. Did we indeed go too far?


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Reply to
Monty Solomon
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I've used my digital camera several times at the library, rather than use the overpriced blurry copier. I know the librarians have seen me and never told me to stop.

One said she wished others would do that since old and rare books suffer a lot of wear when doing them on a copy machine!

Reply to

I don't know if the library makes a profit on the copying charges, but at least they expect you to read the book there and leave without it. Book stores expect you to pay them for the book if you want to use it, so I would think that their reaction would be a bit different.

Reply to
Geoffrey Welsh

Barnes & Noble and Borders both have -no- problem with you sitting in their store and reading one of their books, in it's entirety.

Reply to
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