The recent release of BookSnap, a device that scans books—at a rate of 500 pages per hour—and transfers the content into PDF files, which can then be downloaded to a computer, has stirred a debate over whether the product will take off and, if so, make books more susceptible to piracy.
What the commentators said
If BookSnap catches on, said the blog All My Little Words, “we could eventually be looking at a publishing industry piracy problem” similar to the one that “is already rampant in the film and music industries.” And it’s easy to imagine that “fiction would be hit hard and fast, as young people usually tend to adopt new technologies the quickest.”
No way, said John Mignault in his blog. “It’s almost impossible to sell self-digitization to the iPod generation” because “it’s so much more labor-intensive than ripping a CD.” And tech-savvy people like to multitask: “Scanning a book is a tedious process and you can’t really do anything else” while “you’re doing it.”
And have you seen this thing? said Steven Levy in Newsweek.com. It’s “an ominous three-foot high construction draped with a thick black darkroom-style shade”—it “looks like a Goth puppet theater and weighs 44 pounds.” Not to mention “it costs $1,600, not including the two Canon digital cameras (about $500 each) necessary to capture the pages and send them to your computer.” Sorry, but BookSnap is “not a revolution.”