From The Asahi Shimbun:
The Agency for Cultural Affairs is considering Copyright Law revisions to allow libraries to send digital versions of books directly to readers’ computers or smartphones, triggering fears among publishing houses of copyright infringement and a flood of pirated works.
Libraries already provide a service of copying up to half of a book and either handing the printed version to a user or mailing it to the individual. The service would be expanded to allow for digital transmission as well as faxing the printed version. The user would also be able to print out the digital version from his or her device.
For out-of-print publications, the National Diet Library would be able to directly send digital versions to users.
According to the Research Institute for Publications, sales of e-books in the first half of this year increased by 30 percent to 176.2 billion yen ($1.7 billion).