Giving Customers What They Want: Japanese Company Will Digitize Your Print Library

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When digital music became mainstream, people were ripping all their CDs to their computers so they could make them part of their digital collection. Now it appears that people in Japan are doing the same, only with their print books.

To help them convert print to digital are several start-up companies that take the time-consuming task of scanning those books for their customers.

An article from the Sydney Morning Herald explains that publishers aren’t keeping up with consumer demand:

‘People are taking matters in[to] their own hands because the publishers are not meeting the market’s needs,” said Takagi.

Bookscan, one of the many budding digital scanning companies in Japan, will take your print books and digitize them into the PDF format:

Bookscan converts books into PDF files that can be read on the iPad, iPhone, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The company charges 100 yen ($1.20) a book for a service called ”jisui” or ”cooking for oneself”.

”The homemade e-book market will continue to exist as long as the copyright situation isn’t dealt with and people cannot find books they want in electronic format,” said Masashi Ueno, a researcher at Yano Research Institute.

The article says that Japan’s copyright laws do allow for digitizing texts for personal use. This should be a wake-up call to US publishers who are hesitant to release ebooks because they are afraid of piracy. Resisting ebooks because of such unfounded fears will only increase piracy as consumers digitize and share their own book collections.

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