Scenario 3 - Paper, Paper, Paper

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With better hardware in 2007, the e-book started a revival, but in the end the publishers don't want to publish that many e-books because there is almost no request from readers for this particular book type. This is mostly because they don't have a need for an e-book reader and the availability of worthwhile e-books is low. This the typical chicken and egg problem.

Besides that, the first plagiarism law suits against producer of a tool against plagiarism detection has been filed. The suit is based on the fact that these tools commit plagiarism themselves.


By the end of the year 2008 Google is forced to stop its book scanning projects by several law suits and terminated contracts with publishers. The only books that Google and the other scanning companies are allowed to scan, are books with expired copyrights. The whole e-book industry gets negative publicity and the readers’ interest towards e-books decrease.

E-book reader manufactures and e-publisher are launching big marketing campaigns to promote e-books. Some of the early adopters are willing to try out the new readers and e-books, but their experiences are negative because of bad readability, expensive readers, lack of unified formats and problems with DRM.


The e-book publishers and e-book reader manufacturers are trying to improve the quality and readability of e-book readers, trying to agree on one unified e-book format and improve DRM. The feedback from the readers is still negative, and common standards for e-book format and DRM is impossible to be found. E-book readers are expensive, and people are not willing to invest $400 for a reader that is not even compatible with all e-book formats.

With DRM, the publisher of the book can decide what you can do with your officially bought book. The readers are reluctant to buy e-books with DRM, because the readers who see a need to read these kinds of books decide to take their chance and download them from P2P or other piracy networks for free.

Publishers try to stop these criminal activities and claim that they have a right to decide how the copyrighted books should be read. Eventually readers claim that even though they want to buy an e-book including DRM, they have to go to a maze of different licensing and file types which means that some people had to buy many different books for different type of hardware.


Students still prefer physical books over e-book versions, as e-book readers are still too expensive and their laptops and pc's are already expensive enough to buy. E-book readers will never kick off.

In the mean time, technology has improved to allow for checks against illegal copying and more and more students are caught with plagiarism, resulting in a dramatic decline in knowledge development, as control over the control is hard to exercise. At the same time many publishers are sued by authors because the DRM doesn’t protect their work well enough.


Because of the low sales numbers, law suits and low future potential, publishing companies stop publishing e-books. E-book reader manufactures decide to stop manufacturing e-book readers, and at the same time webshops selling e-books start to close down.

Plagiarism detection has made it more and more difficult for scientists and students to create new knowledge and get their dissertations and papers accepted. This is a huge problem, because even though all of us are midgets standing on the shoulders of giants, the texts of those giants will become their barrier. Regardless of the value of new and slightly different interpretations of theories and hypotheses.


In 2017 e-books are basically forgotten. There are still a small number of scanned books in expired copyrights online (left by Project Gutenberg), but he most of the readers have already forgotten the attempts to bring the e-books on the markets.