The scale is staggering. What would you do if you laid hands on the world's best 270 best jazz albums, or 100 best Japanese films, a 100-disk series celebrating the centenary of a famous European orchestra, RSC actors' readings of the complete plays of Shakespeare, or the 50 best books of last year? My friend has 8 terabites of stuff. What I don't understand is what one can do with material in such quantity. He tells me he's working his way through it methodically, but he seems to be adding at a hundred times the rate at which he could be listening. (Reading seems another issue: people here are expert skimmers.)
Did I mention all of it is "free"? My friend is shocked every time I tell him I paid for a piece of music on my computer or a Kindle book. He has no sense that payment's the norm, indeed the norm on which the whole system depends. Speaking of, the picture above is of a first bootleg of our book. I'm responsible for it: I had one copy of the original here and I wanted to give it to someone, and he said he could make a me a copy. I had no idea it would be bound like a book. There are places which create book copies like this in abundance near every university; it cost about ¥20. If Chinese books weren't so cheap I can't imagine anyone actually buying them. Pricy foreign books, well, they have lives here in bootleg and pdf undreamt of by their writers or publishers. I know I'll be less amused if/when my friend turns up one day with the Job book in pirated pdf - what am I saying, with the whole series...!