Publishers are doing virtual embargoes on the number of ebooks a library is allowed to "have," because copyright law and DRM are just enforcing the endgame of artificial scarcity at this stage of digital distro.

All you really have to do is look at this to see why things like insulin, which have minimal material and logistical requirements for mass production, aren't difficult to get for any reasons beyond arbitration.

Absolutely nothing would change if we got magic Star Trek replicators under the current framework, beyond the overhead for the capitalists.

@Zero_Democracy There was a major criticism of The Orville for handwaving much of its history as "Things got better when we invented magic vending machines." which... doesn't really make sense when you think about it.

Even Star Trek didn't have replicators off the bat, and they were invented long after they sorted most of their shit out.

@Jo Yeah in retrospect I probably should have used a similar thing from other fiction where it is a world-fixing detail as an example, Star Trek is just the one that popped into my head. Replicators are basically a convenience in the show itself.

@Jo I assume the intergalactic post-scarcity socialist society probably had pretty cheap general-purpose manufacturing techniques down before they got the vending machines that assemble matter on the atomic level.

@Zero_Democracy Yeah, but you know some people out there are thinking "we should invent this and solve all the world's ills!" without realising that it's going to take more than a fucking valhalla machine* to solve anything.

* Terry Patchett's words, describing the dumbwaiter machines in the novel Strata.

@Jo That is definitely the tech industry line of thinking, which is why they sink all their energy into trying to solve racism with apps and such. Keeps the technically-inclined occupied so they don't start asking philosophical questions.

@Zero_Democracy if your library wants copies of FASA game books, let me know. We don't use DRM and we're happy to provide PDF or softcover copies for libraries.

@Zero_Democracy oh yeah, this has a big deal since pretty much the instant ebooks became a thing. I remember writing about it when getting my MLIS.
They set limits on the number of checkouts per purchase of the rights, which they claim are based on the number of times a book can circulate before becoming unreadable—which is always WAY less than realistic.

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