Is It Ethical to Have a Required Lead Form before Allowing Your?

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Is it ethical to have a required lead form before allowing your website visitors to download a PDF that was created by someone else?

There are actually two parts to this question, and t’re separate. In fact, make that three, and let’s do that last one first. It will depend—in part—on the laws of the country you’re in. What’s legal in China may be illegal in Belgium. Now the other two. Buying an ebook in any format (PDF, EPUB,MOBI) and then uploading it to a web site you own sounds iffy, but, again, might be OK, or at,least not illegal, where you live. But the clincher is “let people read it just like a public library.” So, how many copies of the book did you buy? And how many people on your web site can read it simultaneously? If the answer to the first question is “one” and answer to the second question is any number larger than “one”, then you are violating the key principle of copyright. You are paying for one copy and turning it into multiple copies. So, you are “stealing” and/or enabling others to “steal” those extra copies. Libraries can often allow multiple readers to access copies of a title simultaneously, because t specifically paid for that right.

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In contrast, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, etc., which pay nothing for that right, can and will allow anyone to access a page, video, or book whenever they are done. If this sounds ridiculous—if it seems like a contradiction, or like a legal technicality—because Google doesn't have any such right, then you just must not know what you’re talking about. Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. have paid a lot more than you do, and their business is built on it. And don’t say that they didn't… “Do” something wrong. We get caught up in legal jargon when we imagine that we are in some kind of adversarial process with an authority that’ll judge our actions to determine if ‛or not they’re legal. What we really need to do is ask ourselves if’or not this is the way in which we’re currently using our collective power–that is, what.