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This book scanner is changing the Reading infrastructure 14/02/2013 Daniel Reetz is an artist and engineer who was met with a problem one day - the office building collapsed, breaking steam pipes and ruining all the building's books.

But while the physical books were destroyed, the Reetz loss was not 100%. He had digitally scanned most of them, and whenever he had redundant backups in ones and zeros, he never really "lost" his books.

Reetz is the brain behind DIYBookScanner, a piece of open source hardware that has been redesigned and reinvented with the help of a large Internet community. The scanner digitally captures books to keep them and put them in any device you want. It can be built with materials you probably already have in the house, or you can order a kit from your site for $ 475. The next most similar device you can buy would be much more expensive.

We love it when an expensive or inaccessible technology is instantly made easy or affordable. But because the DIYBookScanner deals directly with aspects of intellectual property, preservation of knowledge and the action of circumventing the "broken half" of physical books, a number of questions are posed.

Reetz had the kindness to answer some of them for us.

Business Insider: Interesting stories about how the scanner is being used?

Fundamentally, this project has really become all things niche scanning book that everyone ignores.

BI: Is it fair to say that ultimately the scanner is about preserving knowledge ?

DR: Yes, and people helping themselves. The most important thing to note here is, despite the enormous emphasis on digital books, its marketing, exploration, distribution, reading and selling, has been rendered almost zero in all books that people already own. Whole classes of books and desires related to the book have been totally ignored. That's where I - and my designs and the league of interesting people - come in. We help people get their books in a format that they can use, using most things they already have.

BI: What is the most frustrating thing about existing intellectual property legislation?

DR: The fundamental problem of the law of intellectual property is that it was formed in a totally different technological era. It was not designed for our current day of computing and photocopying. When these legal concepts came into existence, it was difficult to make a copy. You need, for example, a printing press. Today copy thousands of times per second with our electronic devices. The law can not handle the present. And that's where the problems begin. Some people are trying to change the law, but others are exploiting it to make the whole world miserable and to make everyone tithe. I am not the first person to say this, and it will not be the last. It's a bad situation.

BI: You've previously called the "half-broken" physical books. Attention to elaborate?

Fundamentally, I would like to see a new way of reading that takes the best of physical books and digital books. For example, I would like to have a textbook that receives incremental updates instead of having to buy back with each new edition. This already existed many years ago in the form of an encyclopedia as a binder that has been updated as knowledge of the world increased. Or I'd like an eBook that does not have to be turned off during takeoff and landing, and you can easily mark it with a pen. All the technology to do it already exists. It is only scattered.

BI: What is the value in a digital file through a physical book?

DR: Accessibility, mainly, in the broadest sense. I can get it, use it, and share it anywhere. Annotation - the margin can be (but not yet) extraordinarily powerful. Also search - being able to search my entire library for just the passages and information I want would be wonderful. Double-edged weapon, however - scanning through books looking for specific things often leads to new ideas and unexpected connections.

BI: What is the value of a digital file over access through of the Amazon cloud?

DR: If you own the file, you control it. That is the fundamental thing. You can copy, backup, delete it or even climb the bits in interesting digital art, whatever!

If you are on another server, and can only be reached through an application , which is not owned or accessed by you. It's the worst of the rental market, because someday its owner is going to die. Or get tired of renting to you. Or the device you are reading on that will become obsolete and unsupported. This has already happened on some of the platforms of early ebook readers.

DR: If you ask me, physical books will follow a path similar to vinyl. They always have and will always contain the information they care about and want to have access to. And their medium has special and wonderful properties that make them worthy of being loved and not easily discarded, unlike, for example, 8-track. So I will be there for a long time, but more and more its maintenance will become increasingly expensive.

Meanwhile, the market will move into increasingly cheaper and more ephemeral forms of distribution, like, well, he already has. On a personal scale, you can buy bits less and more and more bytes. You're going to have less, but they have more. At some point, real books, such as the press, vinyl and other media with a history of weight and wonderful physical manifestations, well, they are going to be niche. There will be handmade folders in Brooklyn bandage books of the ancient form of rabbit tail, and there will be a variety of companies that survive a technicality like some documents that are legally bound to print in book form, or some people (such as people with visual impairment) that they need in a particular physical form.

But as time goes on, new real books will increasingly become a novelty, an add-on for a digital purchase process . Its position as a source of examined, edited, quality clarified and concentrated and exposure is unlikely to change, given the extreme brevity of online communication, but the flow of information and discussion will not be so gravitationally vertigo around it. / p>

But this is not a regret. I expect more access and a more sensitive distribution, as well as larger volumes of books for people who can only be consumed in a particular way. I also look forward to the end of the darkness. That's what I'm really looking forward to helping out of all this. No longer going to those rare, one-time rotting books until someone, unknowingly them baboons. They'll be out there, somewhere, ready for discovery. Ready to read.

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