Saturday, February 07, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird is available for free?

Last night, after Jeannette returned home from her monthly book club meeting she mentioned that she was thinking about reading To Kill a Mocking Bird and Anna Karenina .  She was particularly interested in reading these books as as ebooks.  I gave her a few suggestions about legal sources for both books and she set off to find them.

After only a few minutes I was surprised when she said she'd found and downloaded both books.  Given the publication date of Anna Karenina I wasn't surprised that this book was easily accessible.  On the other hand, given that the author of To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee, is still alive and that the book is still very much still subject to copyright (and has only been available as an ebook since 2014 after a legal battle about copyright) I found it quite surprising when Jeannette said she found it available as an ebook on the Internet Archive, a site that typically seems to be quite vigilant about only posting materials that are either out of copyright or posted with the permission of the rights holders.

I guess it's possible that this was posted without the approval of Ms. Lee or the publishers and it will be removed shortly?  Of course, given the news about a new sequel/prequel to the book I suspect there has been renewed interest in the title and that such an easily available source would have been brought to the attention of the publishers and the Internet Archive - so the continued existence of this version of the book (now more than 12 hours after we first found it) is baffling.  According to the Internet Archive's statistics the book has been downloaded more than 34 000 times as of the writing of this post.

Do you think if I check back on this item tomorrow it will still be there?

Could this version of the ebook possibly be approved by the rights holders, a thought I am only willing to consider because of the high regard in which the Internet Archive is generally held?

Cameron - 6
Neil - 0

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