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?