Earlier this year, the copyright claimant to the Tannihills’ classic book The Market for Liberty demanded that Mises.org unhost a pdf to the book. We tried to explain that this would hurt sales of the book, which the publisher was trying to market. This was correct of course: sales plummeted, which is exactly what one would expect if you keep the products under the counter and demand that people cough up for them without seeing them.
There is nothing particularly unusual about the demand (though I never actually saw the proof). The very life of the Internet is daily under attack in the name of “property rights.” The odd thing is that the claimant was Laissez-Faire Books under the management of one Jim Peron, an old timer with reactionary views on intellectual property, so reactionary that he actually invoked state power to digitally ban a text that advocates and explains anarchy. The irony is intense.
Actually, the action was even more terrible that it appears. There were several college classes that were using this text and suddenly it was not available from the main link – and the action sent students and professors hunting for pirate editions online (which of course they found in time).
Ok, now to the great news and a great Christmas gift. Bad management failed the market test. Laissez-Faire Books is now sold to Agora Financial, a wonderfully competent company of free-market thinkers and doers. We are already planning some co-publication projects with the new company. It has a bright future.
The payoff for you is that The Market for Liberty is back!