Someone posted a comment about the books on facebook, calling them "bootlegged." I became a little alarmed: wasn't this perfectly fine, what we were all doing?
I emailed an M2 who hosted a website full of the books. I asked him what the law surrounding ebook sharing was. Here is his response:
To be legal, you should not obtain these digital copies if you do not currently possess the physical book. To be moral, you should buy the book if you plan to continually use it and keep it. Otherwise I see it as no different than checking out a book from the library, and you should delete them after you are through with them.I stared at the screen, aghast! We can be "moral" while being illegal?? What kind of doctors are we planning on being?! (Apparently, lousy ones who don't listen to all their elders talk about slippery slopes!)
I have now bought paper copies of all the ebooks I use, and deleted all the rest. I hope some of my classmates do, too...but I hate to bring it up. ("Hey, I think your integrity is being eroded by the possession of those e-books. You'd better buy the physical versions for the sake of your soul and the health of your patients." Yeah...that'd go over well.)