I'd like to let you in on a conversation that happened at my house the other day...
Me: What are you doing on the computer?
Daughter : Reading.
Daughter: Harry Potter, The Half Blood Prince
Me: Oh you are reading about the book?
Daughter: No the actual book. It was out at the library.
Daughter: So I googled "Read Harry Potter online" and found the book on this website.
Me: Ummm, I don't think you can do that.
Daughter: Why not?
Me: Well the person who scanned that book and put it online didn't have permission.
Daughter: But it's her book right? She bought it. Can't she do whatever she wants with it?
Me: HHMMM no it doesn't work that way -- she bought the book but that only means she can read it.
Daughter: But the library bought the book and they let a lot of people read it.
Me: That's different.
Me: Well in the library only one person can read that book at a time and online many people can read the book at the same time.
Daughter: So then there wouldn't need to be as many books if a lot of people could read the same book all at the same time.
Me: Exactly. The author of the book wouldn't be able to sell as many books if everyone put it up online.
Daughter: OOOH, so she wants to make lots of money.
Me: Well no, that's not entirely the point. Errrr -- can't you just wait until it is back in the library?
Daughter: I guess, but I still don't know why I can't read that girls book online.
Me: (muttering) Where is the email of that guy who talks about copyright stuff again.. maybe he can do a better job than me.
Harry Potter was taken off of that website today due to suspected copyright infringement but the fact remains that for a short period of time my 8-year old was an outlaw. It's a sticky subject, and an important one but I'm not sure I'm up to the task of translating into a form that an 8-year old can fathom. Her logic has me a bit stumped. It really is a whole new world out there...