Off-topic Ethics Question: Are there situations where it's OK to torrent an ebook, such as this one?

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I am an avid reader, and I truly enjoy reading using my old Nook First Edition (3G+WiFi). I love the ability to change fonts and sizes, carry tons of books, overall readability, and much, much more. I've also enjoyed buying books from B&N, as well as downloading old, free classic books (that are in the public domain) from the Google Books project or from B&N as well, for that matter.

I'm also a big Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror reader, and I still love to go back to the "classics" of sci-fi and fantasy - things like Lord of the Rings, Dune, Dragonriders of Pern, Xanth, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe... you get the idea.

While a great many of these books have remained in print, and have subsequently been released as ebooks, there are also quite a few of the less popular or well known (at least currently) books that have (sadly) gone out-of-print - and of course have not been converted to ebooks either.

So, here's my dilemma/question: When it comes to a book that is completely out-of-print, and the author is dead, is it morally acceptable to download a fan-converted ebook from a torrent site? I'm sure that, technically/legally this is not OK, I wondered what you, my peers (and peeps), thought.

IF I had done this - hypothetically speaking of course - I think I would have a pang of guilt; however it wouldn't be that strong, and I wouldn't redistribute it of course. If I love the author and want to read it again, and it isn't available anywhere, I just feel like - morally - it may be OK.

Thoughts?

Tags: E-books, Ethics, Torrents

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Do you think the author would object? If I were dead and wouldn't get any benefits from it anyway I'd tell you to go ahead. Even if the book was not out of print, the author is dead so he wouldn't get a single penny either way.

True but I think he was asking if it's morally ok, not legally. If the book is out of print there is no way for the family or the publisher to receive any pay anyway.

One quick thing - the book is out of print; any books bought (tree-based, not digital) would be second-hand, and no one but the seller would receive any cash.

In a way, it is almost like someone is giving someone the out-of-print book for free - since it isn't being sold.

Thoughts?

That's a pretty good way of thinking. And as was already said, the people who should get the money, if they wanted it, wouldn't get it anyway. So it's really up to you whether you want a random seller to receive the money, or take it from someone who gives it to you for free.

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