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Amazon To Allow Book Lending On the Kindle

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the glad-this-isn't-how-physical-books-act dept.

Books 280

angry tapir writes "One of the oldest customs of book lovers and libraries — lending out favorite titles to friends and patrons — is finally getting recognized in the electronic age, at least in one electronic book reader: Amazon has announced that it plans to allow users of its Kindle book reader to 'lend' electronic books to other Kindle users, based on the publisher's discretion. A book can be lent only for up to 14 days. A single book can only be lent once, and the lender cannot read the book while it is loaned out." Kindle may be the best-known e-reader, but the similarly featured Barnes & Noble Nook has had this ability (complete with 14-day timeout) for several months, if not from its introduction.

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280 comments

sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007058)

is technology really improving our lives?

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (3, Interesting)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007104)

In some ways, yes. I really like my Kindle. Mostly because it allows me to carry a good portion of my library in my bag. I have about 4 books on it that I'm currently reading along with one that I'm currently reading to my daughter.

I've bought almost all the books (some were PD, so didn't cost anything) and are books I may not have bought otherwise since they were impulse buys from the store. I'm looking at you "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".

Do I still buy physical books? Sure. Do I miss lending? Sorta. Books I lend out rarely return. My copies of "Snow Crash" and "World War Z" are somewhere on the East Coast of the US, but I can't get much more specific than that.

What I would love to see for the Kindle and iTMS is a family account, where my wife and I can each have a Kindle managed separately under our own accounts, yet share books between us without having to repurchase the book. She has her preferences, I have mine, and neither one of us wants our suggestion list 'spoiled' by the other, though there are times we like the same book and would each like to read it.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007992)

You know, I've got a lot of technology around my house. I like it. Very much. I abhor the practices of current industry to try and monetize every thing I do. I love books. Reading them, enjoying a fine binding and appreciating quality paper, lending them even if they don't come back (no dig towards you). So gracious of those companies to allow me to lend my book. Once. Fuckers.

Besides, what the hell are all the censorship minded folk going to do, burn a pile of their Kindles :)

Man, pretty soon I'm going to be to old to be on my own lawn.....

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (4, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007126)

Didn't you hear? Previously you couldn't lend a book to someone and now, with technology you can!

Seriously, the restrictions of 14 days and lending only once is so ridiculous that it should push people over to the side of sharers.

How many books could one roundtrip of the sneakernet fit?

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (3, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007260)

> "Seriously, the restrictions of 14 days and lending only once is so ridiculous that it should push people over to the side of sharers."

To be fair, virtually anything a company does (short of policies that would result in their own bankruptcy) are easy excuses for "sharers". Example: "they charge money for books - that should push people over to the side of sharers." Presumably, the "solution" for them is to stop charging money for their products.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007450)

Here's my copy of War and Peace, but you have to finish it in 14 days. Some sort of new competition?

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007520)

Bad example. Copyright on Tolstoy expired long ago.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2600 [gutenberg.org]

Book 2600, even....

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007922)

except that means jack shit when it comes to Amazon, they'll still persue copyright on the matter.

Remember, copyright is useless for us to wield, only large corporations are allowed to wield it.

Otherwise, they're allowed to steal and reclassify works as copyrighted under pure technicalities (such as republishings, or sheet music)

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (3, Informative)

jacquelinew (946851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008074)

I agree that copyright laws in the US are screwed up and need fix'n, but this is still a mis-aimed argument, Amazon offers War & Peace for free in their store - all nice and formatted for Kindle.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007528)

Seriously, the restrictions of 14 days and lending only once is so ridiculous that it should push people over to the side of sharers.

There's a little part of me that likes this. I can't tell you how many times I've lent stuff to people only to have it never come back - even after asking for it back.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (5, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007800)

There's a little part of me that likes this. I can't tell you how many times I've lent stuff to people only to have it never come back - even after asking for it back.

In this case, though, the restriction is too tight. There ought to be no specific time limit.

The person who lent the book should have a 'return' button to push once they're done with it. They should be required to connect to the network every 7 days to verify the book is still lent out to them.

When the person who lent the book selects the book they should have a 'request it back' button.

Once it's requested back, the person who lent it out will get a text message sent by the person who lent it to them. They'll have 14 days to hit the 'return' button. 14 days after it's requested returned, the return is forced.

The person who lent it should also have an ability to set a 'due back by date' when lending the title.

Restriction against lending something again are absurd.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008266)

So, just to follow up on something a lot of people complained about when it happened, you're totally cool with Amazon having the ability to delete a book off your device without your explicit authorization?

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007598)

I'm surprised they even let you loan out the whole book and not just 1/2 of it, or more likely, the first chapter. Something just slightly longer than Amazon's preview...

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007128)

The kindle is a great piece of hardware, but why buy books from Amazon when you can instead buy DRM-free ebooks from more enlightened publishers like Baen? Then you can lend ebooks without worrying about any silly restrictions. (Really, two weeks? I'm a bit envious of those who have enough free time for reading to reliably finish books in only two weeks...)

Of course, some day I may run out of science fiction/fantasy/space opera/etc. authors that I like on Baen; I guess then I may have to decide between the immoral option of actually buying DRMed ebooks from Amazon and the illegal option of buying paperback editions and then pirating the corresponding ebooks.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007624)

Once someone figures out how to crack the ungodly DRM, sure. Then we can do it just like the old days.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (4, Informative)

hawkeyeMI (412577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007974)

Someone already has. Google is your friend. I actually didn't buy more than 2 or 3 Kindle books until I figured that out. Now that I have, I buy a lot more. I also don't spread them all over the internet, I just know that I can always switch readers down the line. Kind of like what happened with iTunes/MP3s. Funny, eh? Meanwhile, the pirates continue to pirate, DRM or no.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008100)

Did you ever find a good conversion for Topaz books? Removing the DRM is easy, but the only conversion I can find assembles the OCR search text into a file. I was hoping for something to string the SVG images together...

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007784)

Sure it does. I own a Kindle DX, and, insofar as reading convenience goes, it's awesome. But I don't use their store except for newspaper subscriptions. For books, I go to a book store which sells me legal books in Kindle-supported format (.mobi) with no DRM for 1.5-2x less than a paper book.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Insightful)

forebees (1641541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008142)

Richard Glover (Sydney Morning Herald, Australia) wrote a great column about things being invented in reverse. The article was title "Sometimes it's the simple things in life that strike a cord" 22 May 2010.

In the case of the Kindle (et al) which he didn't mention) he 'would' have written:

Imagine if you had a Kindle/whatever and someone told you of this really interesting new device called 'a book'.

1. You can buy them second hand
2. You can loan them to anyone you like, as often as you like and they can lend them to someone else
3. You can read them anywhere you like, though in the dark you need a torch :))
4. If you drop it in the bath, you only have to let it dry out
5. You can sell them once you've read them
6. Sometimes you can get them for free because people give them away
7. They don't have batteries so you can open and read them anytime
8. You can copy pages from them to use in tutorials, lectures, give to others so they can read that small part, keep for notes in the future
9. You can put very pretty bookmarks in them and ever WRITE on them

Imagine! You can do all this and more with the new 'Book'. :)

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Informative)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008286)

10. They're heavy.
11. They take up a lot of space if you want more than two or three.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (1)

Nocuous (1567933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008162)

The Kindle already was improving my life - my wife and I both read about 40% of the books either of us buy. We have the ability to read any of those books, both of us at the same time, on our Kindles, phones, or PC's. This is actually superior to the ability to lend either hardcopy or electronic books.

I have friends and family, and we're diverse enough from each other that we seldom are interested in sharing books. I've never felt deprived of any of the features that dead tree books provide, quite the contrary.

So nice addition, Amazon, but you already had me. I'll be interested in whatever next-gen Kindle you offer that will let me do some easy side research on the net while reading, so I don't have to put up with the weight, lock-down, or film of smug that comes with an iPad.

You deserve eBook freedom. (0)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008198)

Clearly with this particular technology, non-free eBook readers, it is not. Publishers and distributors shouldn't be allowed to determine how long you can lend a book to someone, which books you can lend, nor should they have the power to track your book lending or cut off your book lending. Only you should decide these things for yourself. If Amazon can (in the words of the all-too-supportive /. headline which looks more like an ad) "plan to allow users of its Kindle book reader to 'lend' electronic books to other Kindle users" then clearly Amazon will have the power to do all of these things to any Swindle user. Comparing this book reader with some other non-free eBook reader like Barnes & Noble's is besides the point—choosing between proprietors is not freedom. You should declare your freedom to decide these things for yourself and use only a free software eBook reader and books you can fully read and share without DRM, or select no eBook reader at all and continue reading paper books.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008244)

Technology made meaningless concepts like lending books, or selling electronic versions at the same price as paper ones (even if the costs associated with managing the electronic versions are orders lower than the ones with paper versions), even book scarcity or limited editions. But still bookstores don't like that people realize that the emperor is naked, so they are ruling that is fully dressed, and is your fault if you dont see that.

The problem is not technology, are the companies that should had became obsolete with it.

Re:sometimes, you have to ask yourself... (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008260)

In some ways yes, in some ways you simply have to understand its limits. For something you want to lend out, for something you want to hold onto forever, or something with lots of pictures, get a real copy. If you just want a fun or quick read, an ebook works great.

An E-reader does make some things significantly better -- for instance, I've been wanting to read a particular book for a long time, but it was unavailable as an ebook. I checked it out from the library, and started to read it, but its massive (4-5 inches thick). My best times to read are on the bus/while travelling, and something that big is simply difficult to read, and I couldn't make enough progress. Add to this having a couple of other books to read if I'm not in the mood to read that, as well as a few magazines, and it makes reading much more pleasant for me. I can honestly say I've read more since getting a kindle.

Plus theres the simple fact that its easy to read in bed or read while eating when you dont have to hold the thing open.

Self control and a bit of knowledge allows you to get the good parts of a technology, and avoid some of the ugly side effects.

Lent once at a time, or once ever? (4, Interesting)

Ndkchk (893797) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007072)

By 'lent once', does Amazon mean that you can lend a book to one other person at a time, or that you can lend it to one other person, once, for each purchase? If the latter, it's not exactly that useful; if the former, I look forward to the websites letting people legally trade ebooks with one another.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (5, Interesting)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007258)

I look forward to the websites letting people legally trade ebooks with one another

This is what will kill this plan; or rather, what will convince publishers to never, ever, ever allow ebook lending. It would be possible to set up a site, or a protocol for lending books, where you share the unused books you have licensed in a big pool with a bunch of other people; members who share will simply check out books from the pool. Then, it's fishes and loaves: if you have 2 copies of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", and 100 people who want to read it, they can all read from those two copies, 2 at a time. That would call for a queue, but a less popular book might not. And even if you don't want to wait in queue, if you purchase a copy, then there will be 3 books in the total pool....and eventually there will be more copies than there are interested readers at any given time, and no one will have to buy the book.

People complain about first-sale doctrine with digital goods, and I understand, but the fact of the matter is that the potential for a streamlined secondary market for digital content is a much larger liability than it is for physical goods. Even having to make the trip to GameStop to sell your copy of Prince of Persia is prohibitive compared to being able to purchase a game, immediately license it out to people on the cloud, and then license a different copy whenever you feel like playing it.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (5, Insightful)

alannon (54117) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007366)

If only there was some sort of brick & mortar equivalent of such a scheme to use as a point of comparison, but then, surely our society would never allow some sort of public book repository where a member of the public could borrow the book for a limited amount of time, as that would have destroyed the book publishing industry! Who would ever want to own their own copy of a book if they could just borrow it for free?!

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007408)

His point was that the effort needed to walk/bike/drive to the library might be what prevented the book publishing industry from being destroyed. With organized electronic lending, the balance could shift.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007480)

Going to the library takes time. So does returning the book when you're done. And a library book isn't just like your personal book; if you spill your coffee on it, the library's going to charge you for it. An ebook, whether bought or lent, is exactly the same as every other copy.

Sometimes it's about scale. I'm 35. When I was in college in the mid-90s, we would copy other people's CDs. Of course, that copy was made from CD to tape, and you had to be there to do the recording (to make sure you split the album correctly between the sides of the tape), and you had to buy the tapes and keep up with them. In short, you could pirate music, but it was dependent on having a large group of friends with varied tastes in music and having lots of time to do the copying, and you were left with a copy inferior to the original. By 2002, five years after I graduated, it was trivial to amass a vast collection of music at the cost of a single hard drive dedicated to storage. These copies were very good, they did not degrade with time, and you didn't need to know anyone else who liked your kind of music in order to get them.

The publishers don't have to give us ebooks. They can refuse to put out anything but paper books. In that world the only books that are available as ebooks are ones popular enough for someone to scan, OCR, and correct them. Yes, there are limitations to ebooks, but there are advantages, too - I can take a book I buy on my Kindle and read it on a Mac, PC, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android device. It will even sync to the last page read automatically among the devices.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007532)

My library HAS eBooks....

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007658)

I live somewhere else. Can I check out ebooks from your library?

I would bet that the system I was trying to describe would only really work if it were implemented on a large scale. And it would work better if it were P2P and managed like a torrent tracker, rather than relying on a central repository.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007668)

Yes, but they won't loan them to me, because I don't live in your city. guyminuslife is making a point about what would happen with universal lending.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007930)

Most libraries will let you sign up if you visit and are not a resident. You'll get charged a yearly fee for a card, but you'll still be a member.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008252)

So? They won't let me sign up for free over the internet, and so don't really enter into this discussion. guyminuslife makes a very good point about what will happen if there is unlimited, non-time-restricted lending of ebooks across the web. Totally different situation.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (2, Insightful)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007670)

My library HAS eBooks....

My library has eBooks as well and the availability and checkout policies are the same. The library can lend out as many "copies" as it purchased from the publisher for the usual checkout time limit. I do have to say that the current licensing scheme for eBooks comes off as ridiculous. A subscription based model, where you pay a monthly fee to read as many eBooks as you wish would be a better idea than trying to make intellectual property function like physical property.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (5, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007702)

The publishers don't have to give us ebooks. They can refuse to put out anything but paper books.

Even if most won't, some will, and they'll make a killing - even if the margins are low, the company with the monopoly always makes a good buck. Then it'll eat the others' market, which will have to follow suit if they want even a small piece of the pie. It's simple market based economy.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (0)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008228)

You do realize that you're responding to a thread about free public libraries, right? The margin is zero.

Second, a reality check: Baen already does offer free ebooks. They've got Jerry Pournelle, Mercedes Lackey, and Larry Niven. All of them write good stories, and are successful authors, but they're exactly not topping the NYT bestseller list. Big name authors (Stephen King, etc.) aren't going to sign on with publishers that give their ebooks away. Like it or not, the limitation that you can't offer a copy to an unlimited number of people for an arbitrary amount of time is going to be part of any DRM scheme. And until the publishers feel like dropping DRM will benefit them more than it hurts them, they won't do it.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007556)

Getting books from libraries is rather inconvenient if you want them on a long term basis. You have to contact the library to renew them every so often (this is not as bad as it used to be thanks to internet based renewals but it's still a pain). Depending on the particular library you may also have to watch out for messages saying the book is recalled (which in turn means if you are going away for a while you have to gather up all your library books and return them) .If you fail to renew or return on time (including returning the aforementioned recalled books) you can easilly end up with fines that are way more than the book is worth.

You also generally have to physically go to the library that has the book you want and you can usually only have a fairly small number out at a time.

I see libraries as a compromise. They allow those too poor to buy books themselves to get access and they allow access to books that have gone out of print but they are inconvenient enough that there is still a market for selling books. Also IIRC libraries in some countries pay fees to the publishers.

A system where books can be borrowed from anywhere and where they auto-return rather than fines being levied would be far less inconviniant and threfore far scarier to publishers.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1, Insightful)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008116)

What the heck is a recalled book? Does it explode without warning?

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007382)

It's called a "library", and hasn't killed real books.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007474)

Libraries don't kill books, but librarians kill libraries.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (4, Insightful)

drew30319 (828970) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007502)

If I were Amazon I would be doing more than this because the first-sale doctrine will eventually be held to include digital goods. The more that Amazon does now to treat ebooks like physical goods the longer that they'll be able to continue before they are explicitly required to do so. The fact that their current licensing scheme has lasted as long as it has surprises me; this has to be at the back of their minds.

And FYI, libraries around the world (in countries including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, Mexico) are already offering ebooks online. Check out http://search.overdrive.com/ListLibraries.aspx [overdrive.com]

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (0, Flamebait)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007996)

the first-sale doctrine will eventually be held to include digital goods

Out of curiousity, which illegal smoked pharmaceutical gave you that idea?

Our corporate overlords will never allow it. Even judges are only as good as the corporations pay for.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (4, Interesting)

drew30319 (828970) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008194)

Our corporate overlords will never allow it. Even judges are only as good as the corporations pay for.

Fortunately the Constitution has something to say about copyrights. Check out this Congressionally-mandated report about the feared impact of DMCA on the first sale doctrine.

DMCA Section 104 Report

A plausible argument can be made that section 1201 may have a negative effect on the operation of the first sale doctrine in the context of works tethered to a particular device. In the case of tethered works, even if the work is on removable media, the content cannot be accessed on any device other than the one on which it was originally made. This process effectively prevents disposition of the work. However, the practice of tethering a copy of a work to a particular hardware device does not appear to be widespread at this time, at least outside the context of electronic books. Should this practice become widespread, it could have serious consequences for the operation of the first sale doctrine, although the ultimate effect on consumers is unclear. (emphasis mine)

And here's an interesting law review article about the most significant obstacle to applying first sale to digital rights "digital exhaustion." Digital Exhaustion: UCLA Law Review, Vol. 58 [ssrn.com]

Amazon (and publishers) are much better off if they can keep Congress from either creating legislation or the Courts from creating precedent about the first sale doctrine as it applies to digital media; one or the other is going to happen if they don't treat digital media more like traditional media.
And that's why Amazon is begrudgingly offering this "lending" feature.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008258)

Fortunately the Constitution has something to say about copyrights.

Nothing that hasn't already been liberally ignored by Congress and the Courts.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007584)

Already exists. It's called a 'library'. Even works for non-Kindle devices such as the Sony readers. Look up Overdrive.

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007816)

eventually there will be more copies than there are interested readers at any given time, and no one will have to buy the book.

In other words.... Netflix for eBooks?

Re:Lent once at a time, or once ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008094)

Your post might have been moderated "Score:5, Interesting", but it's also "-1, Offtopic".

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-gadgeteer/how-to-loan-ebooks-on-the-nook-with-lendme-service/2250 [zdnet.com]

"The basics of the LendMe service is that you can lend supported books ONE time to ONE person" (where's Janis Joplin when you need her?).

The only reason Amazon got publishers to make this deal is because the publishers already made the deal for the Nook's LendMe service (yay for MFN pricing clauses!). E-books licensed for the Kindle will get the same licensing/pricing that was applied to the Nook; nothing more, nothing less (boo for MFN pricing clauses).

Even real books do not have such restrictions (4, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007074)

The lend once only is very onerous and I have never seen a good reason why. Can anyone tell me?

I lend my book(s) more than once, even to the same person.

I hate it when they try to force non-physical objects to behave like physical objects.

I guess next they will implement missing pages....

Re:Even real books do not have such restrictions (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007242)

I won't accept ebooks until I can get a digital DRM enforced coffee stain on it.

Re:Even real books do not have such restrictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007924)

If you can lend ebooks as much as you want, people will set up exchanges where they trade them and publishers will only sell 20 copies and then 20 people at a time can read it. Obviously, the demand for some books would be high enough to generate more sales, but most books won't. Now, if you made it lend as often as you want, but require physical proximity of the devices to transfer the book might be a step towards easing the concern of the publishers who aren't willing to let go of the market because they have no way back in. Who needs a publisher when you don't have to print anything?

Libraries need improvement too (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007078)

I can download ebooks and audio books from my county library, but they use DRM and can only lend out one copy at a time. Really turns me off to the whole medium. I can see letting Joe User only lend it once at a time, but having waiting lists for a digital edition at a library is just ridiculous... They may own 15 physical copies of a book, but have bizarre restrictions on the digital version.

Re:Libraries need improvement too (1)

Kalidor (94097) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007202)

This is probably a question of licensing though. My library does the same but it generally gets 10-15 copies of every ebook it puts on the system, so it's closer of an analogue to the physicial book model. At the end of the day, even libraries are beholden to pay the publishers.

Re:Libraries need improvement too (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008102)

You're, right, it is licensing. But, what's the difference between allowing 1, or 15 for you area, download it versus allowing everyone to when it has the time restriction? Over time the readers who want to read it will get it. I'm torn between thinking that all the publishers are doing is limiting excitement about their titles and that they are trying to make sure they are profitable. I don't have the answer, but it could be improved. They aren't losing a sale, just losing my interest, I'll go borrow something else and forget that I wanted to read their title.

Still not good enough. (4, Insightful)

ChrisKnight (16039) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007100)

This is what Amazon needs to do to make the Kindle a worthy replacement for physical books:

http://www.ghostwheel.com/merlin/Personal/notes/2009/03/05/open-letter-how-amazon-can-fix-kindle-drm/ [ghostwheel.com]

Re:Still not good enough. (2, Interesting)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007168)

That's a pretty great idea. I usually don't read books again after my initial read, so the ability to gift, trade or sell them appeals to me.

Re:Still not good enough. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007428)

Do you gift, trade or sell the mp3s that you buy from amazon? Just as music DRM was defeated, I expect book DRM to follow. Amazon learned from Apple that to make the most money you need to initially push DRM, until your competitors can sell good variety without DRM (then the game is over). Isn't it ironic that Amazon used DRM-free mp3s to take on Apple, and now is the biggest ebook DRM supporter?

I believe the convenience cost of a file is the effective value of a file... any other argument to elevate that value is usually false. Software that is improved and supported is different to a file, as there is real value in updates and support.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008128)

No I don't, however, I do that wiith the physical books that I buy from Amazon.

Re:Still not good enough. (4, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007188)

They need to get rid of DRM altogether. It worked for iTunes and many others

DRM is stupid - i would not buy a closed device that implements such restrictions against me. When you buy a piece of hardware it should do what *you* want, not what the company that made it (and still controls it) wants it to do.

Re:Still not good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008140)

I hope that Amazon drops the Kindle DRM. I don't think it will cost them many sales due to piracy, and it will certainly increase their sales by making the device and ebooks more useful.

Having broken DRM, such as the current Kindle DRM (see unswindle [blogspot.com] ) is almost as good. If I want to lend a friend one of my ebooks, what Amazon thinks are reasonable terms is irrelevant.

Re:Still not good enough. (3, Insightful)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007254)

I'm assuming that's your blog, and your point there is ridiculous. Stop trying to map physical objects to digital versions. That's what the RIAA is trying to do and most /.ers (as well as most people informed on the subject) think it's unreasonable to expect a digital medium to have the same restrictions the physical medium does. Treat each medium separately, and instead of pointing out advantages one has over the other and pushing for those to be mapped into each domain, KEEP THEM SEPARATE. It's an e-book. It's digital, can be copied for zero cost, etc. etc. Don't whine about not being able to share it with a friend. Yes, that's an advantage of the physical book. But it isn't a physical book, it's an e-book. So why try to create a system to match physical books?

You can't have it both ways. Cheap, DRM-free music and e-books, or RIAA versions of both. All the arguments being made for physical media -> digital media are the same the RIAA uses. Pick one.

Not posting as AC because I stand by what I believe. DRM sucks and needs to be removed, but publishers/artists/companies AND CONSUMERS need to understand that the two media are not the same and stop trying to make them such. In case someone gets the wrong idea from this post, I want the DRM-free versions and can't wait for companies like the RIAA to stop existing. I just think wanting to have it both ways makes you a hypocrite.

Still not seperate enough. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007364)

I'm assuming that's your blog, and your point there is ridiculous. Stop trying to map physical objects to digital versions. That's what the RIAA is trying to do and most /.ers (as well as most people informed on the subject) think it's unreasonable to expect a digital medium to have the same restrictions the physical medium does. Treat each medium separately, and instead of pointing out advantages one has over the other and pushing for those to be mapped into each domain, KEEP THEM SEPARATE. It's an e-book. It's digital, can be copied for zero cost, etc. etc. Don't whine about not being able to share it with a friend. Yes, that's an advantage of the physical book. But it isn't a physical book, it's an e-book. So why try to create a system to match physical books?

Wonderful since we're keeping things separate does that apply to the economic laws too?

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007440)

I'm assuming that's your blog,

Did the title "The wacky world of Chris Knight" give it away? Just wondering because the post your replied to was made by a /.er called "ChrisKnight" and you seem to be having trouble with the connection.

I'm fairly sure that you also entirely missed the point of the blog. Chris is making the point that the DRM on the Kindle prevents the ability to sell an ebook that you no longer want or need. The blog then goes on to say that while Amazon allows the sale of used books (and video games), it doesn't allow the sale of the Kindles e-books, yet it presumably has the mechanism to do so. Chris is NOT saying that the DRM needs to be removed - just that if Amazon can allow the sale of used items, why not allow the sale of Kindles DRM protected books via the Amazon web site?

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007680)

Actually, I skipped the title. Only saw the "-Chris" at the end, hence assuming. Now I know for sure.

You're right, Chris doesn't argue for stripping the DRM. That part of my argument is a bit out of context in that light; but the remainder stands. He's asking to sell a freely-reproducible digital object. Buying a 'used' copy is literally identical to buying a 'new' copy, except the recipient of your money isn't the original publisher, it's some person who no longer wants access to the book, and the price is lower. The main argument here seems to be price; I posit that if the e-book price is set to the expected difference in value between new and used, would you still resent being unable to lend or sell the digital copy? Your total cost of ownership is identical. With the e-book, you will always have access, but you would be unable to loan or resell your copy - just like if you had bought, used, then sold your physical copy.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007944)

I posit that if the e-book price is set to the expected difference in value between new and used, would you still resent being unable to lend or sell the digital copy?

It doesn't matter how much the "new" unit costs because the "used" one is usually cheaper. The difference in price comes not from a physical difference (there are none) but from the book's value to the consumer (a book that is already read is less valuable than a new one.)

This means that to keep things in balance you must allow people (incl. the publisher) to set prices on items that they offer for sale. If you make a second sale impossible then the item is no longer a manufactured product that can be freely traded on the market, but a service that is rendered and instantly consumed in full (like a movie / theater visit.)

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

k2enemy (555744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007504)

Treat each medium separately, and instead of pointing out advantages one has over the other and pushing for those to be mapped into each domain, KEEP THEM SEPARATE. It's an e-book. It's digital, can be copied for zero cost, etc. etc. Don't whine about not being able to share it with a friend. Yes, that's an advantage of the physical book. But it isn't a physical book, it's an e-book. So why try to create a system to match physical books?

In my opinion, the problem is price. If we stop trying to treat e-books as real books, then we shouldn't have to pay real book prices. I would be fine with either of these scenarios, but would probably prefer the second...

a) Keep trying to treat e-books as real books. Let people lend and re-sell them. Keep prices where they are now, usually somewhere between a hardcover and paperback.

b) Treat an e-book as a DRMed digital object. No lending or resale. Also recognize that it is nearly zero marginal cost to produce, and bring the price way down. Maybe somewhere around $1 per book.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007566)

In my reply to Chris's blog, I offer b) as a point of consideration, though I set the price at the expected depreciation of value of the book between new and used copies, since that's how much you'd be out if you bought a physical version and re-sold it again via the First Sale Doctrine; at least with the e-book, you will always* have access.

Otherwise, agreed.

*: you know exactly why I starred this word.

Re:Still not good enough. (5, Informative)

MHolmesIV (253236) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007814)

This would be reasonable if the digital versions cost less than the paper. This is often not the case. [amazon.com] (Dammit Slashdot, fix your comment system, I had to type the entire URL because for some reason I'm not allowed to paste...)

Let's look at a $7.99 paperback: (like this one [amazon.com] )
Components making up the selling of this book are:
Retail Markup: (30-45% for B&N) (We'll go with 30 for simplicity) :$2.40
Wholesale Markup: 10%: $0.79
Author Royalties: 8-15% (Lets be generous, publishers rarely are): $1.20 (I normally hear around $0.70 per paperback, but we're being generous)
Printing: 10%: $0.79
Pre-production (editing etc): 10-15%: $1.20
Other (Marketing, lunches, power ties...): The rest.: $1.60

With an Ebook, you can cut out the wholesaler and the printing cost. Marketing is probably a lot cheaper too, since it's taken care of for you by the digital seller (amazon, itunes). No big cardboard cutouts, no phoning stores asking them to stock the book etc. Pre-production is slightly cheaper, since you don't have to worry nearly as much about absolutely perfect layout, since the ebook formats don't support it anyway. (As far as I've noticed, they don't even bother proofreading the ebook versions...)

We've cut out at least $1.50 from the costs, and probably closer to $2-3.
Unfortunately, if we just reduced the selling price by that much, the author would get screwed (they get a percentage), so authors need to think about that when negotiating. I would say reasonable royalties on ebooks are 25%. So for the author to get the same $1.20, the selling price of the ebook should be around $4.80. With the agency model, that would be $1.44 for the retailer, $1.20 for the author, and $2.16 for the publisher, which would easily take care of their associated costs.

Of course, that's not what happens. As we see, the books sell for about the same (maybe $1 less), and the publisher skims twice their normal share.

Baen, the only enlightened ebook publisher, has a guideline that they sell their e-books for around 75% of the lowest cost paper edition, capped at about $6. It's done very well for them, but it's going to take years for the dinosaurs in the rest of the publishing business to die out and be replaced by people that actually know what's going on.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007852)

Fully agreed. The comment you replied to was a shortened version of the reply to his blog, which says this. I won't re-type it, but you should look at some of my other replies to people in this thread; you just happened to do the math to support our argument.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008132)

Dammit Slashdot, fix your comment system, I had to type the entire URL because for some reason I'm not allowed to paste...

I have no problem pasting into the text area. Maybe something is wrong with your web browser.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

DavMz (1652411) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007344)

The ability to sell indeed would be great indeed, as well as the ability to give (i.e. transfer freely a book from one kindle account to another) - or lending for an unlimited period of time. ^^
I don't know how it works in other countries, but in France kids have to buy schoolbooks from junior high school, and usually sell them when they move to the upper class. I would have loved to have a Kindle not to have to carry those heavy paperbacks from home to school and back everyday, but I know I couldn't have afforded to buy every new book each year.

I am sure I will buy a Kindle some day, because I think it is a really good product (and I would have indeed bought an XL if the pdf support and the keyboard were better) and I will surely enjoy not having to carry books anymore, yet I feel somehow sad about it. The sheer weight of books is a strong incentive for their giving. When I moved to Japan, I gathered friends of family and told them to take all the books you want, there's no point they stay in boxes (yet my comics were off-limit :) ). When I travel back to France, I usually take one or two novels with me (airplane food), give them to my mother or my sister when I arrive, buy some more books there and leave them where I finish them (friends' or family's, cafes, trains, etc.. hoping that somebody will pick them up and enjoy them). When I will move back to Europe, I also plan to give most of my books to French and English libraries in Japan. If all those were on Kindle, I'd probably keep them.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007588)

Thanks for saying this for us. It's one of the two hurdles to me using a Kindle2 (no resale and not beach-safe); and I'd still buy one for home if they'd get over this one hurdle. Problems is, with a physical book, the purchaser has control of the medium, with puts them in a powerful position relative to Amazon. Since Amazon controls the license, and there is no individual physical medium, they have all the power. It's essentially free for them to create a new license themselves, so why would they ever resell your license for you? If they create a new license, they get to keep all of the profit instead of sharing it with you, so they'll never allow the re-licensing of books at a cost less than an original license (ie same profit margin). Heck, the cost of re-sale of licenses would probably have to be higher than "new" because of the infrastructure needed to do the re-sale verification. Guess I'll stick with dead-tree for a while longer.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007742)

One issue with eBook resale is that unlike real books, eBooks don't wear. This eliminates the incentive to pay more for a mint condition book.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

ChrisKnight (16039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008224)

There would be one incentive to pay for a 'new' eBook over a 'used' eBook: Lack of availability. If Amazon implemented the method I described, there would have to be 'previously owned licenses' in the pool for you to be able to buy a 'used' copy. On day one of release of a new book, there would be zero 'used' versions. If nobody put theirs up for sale, there would be zero 'used' versions. If the resale rate is low, there may be no 'used' copies when you decided to purchase, leaving 'new' licenses as your only option.

Re:Still not good enough. (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008294)

It's a book, not a 2000 year old relic. If it is is a 200 year old book, a 2 week old one with the same copy is just as good. The story is the value, not the medium.

sounds like an opening for my new startup (5, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007136)

It's well-known that venture capitalists are increasingly interested in diversifying beyond the web into "atom-based" startups, i.e. companies working on manufacturing physical items. This is a perfect opening. While the traditional e-book has served us well for years, some of its limitations become apparent when one wants to run a lending system. It can be implemented, but clearly in an onerous manner. That's why my new startup will propose to make physical e-books. They'll be just as readable and affordable as the traditional e-books you know and love, but with our new permaprint technology, the text will actually be physically imprinted onto thin surfaces; a stack of such surfaces will contain the contents of a book. Since each permaprint e-book will be imprinted on a separate stack of surfaces, which can be moved separately, lending will be as simple as lending the appropriate stack. As an added bonus, battery life is much improved.

Re:sounds like an opening for my new startup (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007264)

We will make e-book readers so cheap that only the rich will burn paper books.

sounds like an opening for my original. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007268)

Cute, but one of the ways to deal with piracy is to remove the idea of "the copy". In other words every reader gets a very personalized original. Technology will make this easier.

Pathetic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007172)

Pathetic artificial restrictions in a feature only needed because it is on a platform with pathetic artificial restrictions itself. Go fuck yourselves.

Not exactly the first... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007184)

Barnes and Noble's Nook e-reader has been able to do this since it was released last year.

In Response to 'digital media should be free'.. (1, Interesting)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007232)

In response to the comments about the 'lend once' model: the major issue is maintaining the profitability of the book business. One could imagine a future where all books are read electronically. Now, if all books were just copied from a library server, then what's the point of buying ebooks? While some people might find the 'non-copyable digital copy' to be kind of an onerous restriction on something that can be infinitely copyable, and react with disdain towards the "why restrict what we can do with books for their own profit?", I'd say that "profit" is really a spectrum between bankruptcy (and we don't want authors to go bankrupt) and 'getting rich' (which we might justly or unjustly have a problem with).

What is the solution? One possibility would be if society - as a whole (not just small segments of the population) - was very generous about donating to authors. This way, authors wouldn't be forced between: (1) having copy restrictions on their work and getting paid vs (2) having no restrictions on copying their work, but not getting adequately paid for their work / going bankrupt.

And, to anticipate all the "Doctorow" arguments: there's a variety of reasons he continues to make money. First, most people still want printed books (this is changing though), and authors get paid for those printed sales. Second, he's famous, in part because of his role as a political activist, being the guy who gets mentioned whenever free-books comes up (which means lots of free promotion), and member of one of the most popular websites - which he can tap for free promotion, and people want to support him to promote his activism. Third, people appreciate that they can get his work for free despite the fact that most everyone else doesn't allow that - which influences people towards donations. He's also hinted at times that he really doesn't make much money from books - which is why I see him writing magazine articles and turning up in other places. I'm convinced that if all books were allowed for free - thus, that was "the norm" rather than "the thing that *this* author does when everyone else doesn't do it" - that people would pretty quickly forget about donations, or would suffer from donation fatigue (I donated to author W, so I've done my good deed - no reason to donate to author X,Y,Z). I'm pretty sure no students would be donating to textbook publishers - and while they may or may not be overpaid, that doesn't mean they won't be drastically underpaid with a "free for everyone, please donate" model.

So, there's your solution to a "free digital media" society: convince society that they should donate so that creators don't feel like they have to restrict their work in order to pay their bills.

How kind of amazon to grant us serfs the privilege (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007392)

If all books were copied from a library server:
  Purchasing ebooks would be extremely expensive
  Ridiculous copyright infringement damages might be logically justifiable
  There would be a profitable business model for subscription libraries
  Public library servers would probably carry mostly public domain, or old copyright books.
  Bookstores might offer library services with their wifi.

Re:In Response to 'digital media should be free'.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007524)

In response to the comments about the 'lend once' model: the major issue is maintaining the profitability of the book business.

Why is the profitability of the publishing industry my responsibility? Obviously the landscape of the industry is changing and everyone is going to have to re-evaluate their expectations of what a book is, but the publishers have so far not shown they are willing to do that.
  Ebooks are great sure, but there are a lot of downsides to the technology as well and the majority of these problems are directly the fault of the publisher. When someone buys an ebook from Amazon or (since I recently bought a nook) Barnes and Noble they don't actually own anything because of drm. Once you read a paper book, you can do whatever you like with it sell it, trade it, lend it to a friend, line your birdcage. What happens when you finish an ebook, now you have a digital book that only works as long as your e-reader keeps working or the company you bought it from still exists. A quick look at my bookshelf and I see a lot books that were published in the 1950's and 60's, will my e-books still be usable in 50 years?

But with all those problems, when I have been looking up e-books for my nook they are often the same price or more expensive(!?!) than the price of the paperback edition.

If the publishers want to stay in business they will need to realize that in the current state e-books just aren't worth what they are asking for them. The idea that people are going to stop writing books because it isn't very profitable just isn't true. In fact you yourself eluded to the fact that Cory Doctorow isn't making all that much off of his books, so why is he still writing them?

Don't misunderstand I like e-books, and I don't necessarily hate book publishers and believe that everything should be free. I just think that publishers are going to need to adjust with the technology to stay relevant.

Hmmm... (5, Interesting)

mordejai (702496) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007276)

I've lent several books to friends and relatives.

Most of them had the books for months or years, returned something that didn't look at all like the book I gave them, or didn't return them at all.

So, this new "feature" is not at all like lending books!

too little, too late (4, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007312)

If I own the book I should be able to lend it for as long as I like, or lend it several times, or even give my copy away. They have the DRM technology in place to prevent theft of multiple copies, but they refuse to let the user do as he wishes with his own property (In spite of Amazon's own insistence of the rights of first ownership when they were aggressively into selling used books before the days of the Kindel and its DRM). As far as I'm concerned, if there is abusive DRM like this that diminishes the rights of the owner then I don't really own it, so I'll refuse to buy into the technology until they clean up their act.

this-isn't-how-paper-books-act (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#34007356)

True. Paper books don't provide convenient means and permission to make temporary partial copies. You have to loan out the whole book. Just as you have always been able to loan out your Kindle.

Re:this-isn't-how-paper-books-act (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007608)

Do you really believe what you say, or are you just trolling? Do you think you should have to lend out your Kindel just to lend one book? I don't have to lend out my entire library just to lend a book. and, having bought a physical book, I can choose to keep it after I've read it, or give it to a friend, or even give it to the public library. Giving away Kendels that way would be prohibitively expensive.

Re:this-isn't-how-paper-books-act (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007770)

Xeroxing a Kindle seems harder.

Re:this-isn't-how-paper-books-act (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008200)

That's because you haven't tried it.

Re:this-isn't-how-paper-books-act (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008076)

Just as you have always been able to loan out your Kindle.

Ah yes, so when I loaned my copy of The Cathedral and the Bazaar to a friend of mine, what I really should have done was hand him my entire bookshelf full of books -- you know, because we are supposed to be replacing our bookshelves with our Kindles.

No the real answer to this problem is for book publishers to wake up and realize that their business model is dead, we live in a new world with new rules and they need to adapt or die. Technology is not going to kill books, it is going to make books more available to more people than ever before, without the scarcity that plagues the current paper book distribution model.

publishers must opt-in to lending (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34007396)

@guyminuslife, publishers have to opt-in to the lending feature, not all titles will be "lendable"

More DRM Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007600)

I can see being able to lend it to one person at a time - that's analogous to what we have with the physical goods now. But only being able to lend it one time - bullshit. Why shouldn't I be able to lend MY book to how ever many people that I want, as many times as I want - so long as it's one at a time? Answer: There's no good reason.

Why just 14 days? What if the person I lend it to is a slow reader? Who is the publisher to say that I can only lend it once, and only for a specific number of days? Screw them.

Why ONLY if the Publisher agrees? They don't have that ability with physical goods - so screw them again.

This is why I'm 100% against Digital Restriction Management. It's a bunch of draconian crap that gives too many rights to the publisher, and takes too many away from the buyer.

And yes, I'm not a licensee - I'm a BUYER. I own it, I'll do what I damn well please with it thank you very much.

When Publishers reduce their pricing enough so that it's not worth it for me to pirate the thing, or when the pirated version doesn't give me more rights and abilities and less hassle than the commercially-available version, then guess what I'll do?

Until then - I'll crack it, and get it from where it's least expensive... Eventually they'll get the message. If they don't - then they can go right out of business like the schmucks at the **AA's. And we can get back to business with the actual authors and creators of these masterpieces...

Fuck off, Amazon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007660)

Lent only once? And only for 14 days?! Whoever come up with this moronic idea obviously never read books himself.

Fuck off, Amazon. I am going to delete the just-downloaded Kindle app on my iPhone even before I ever launched it. Thanks for saving my time and money, the Kindle platform is useless to me.

Adama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34007710)

Never lend a book. Only give or do not give

Marketing feature, not a real benefit for users (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34007848)

re: publishers have to opt-in to the lending feature, not all titles will be "lendable"

Translation: this is NOT a feature for users, this is a marketing tool for product placement.

If lending doesn't fit into the strategy needed to get the product sold, it won't be enabled.

If the book's sales are lousy, they might turn on lending... once a book has a chance of becoming popular, or being a bestseller, and lending is more of a liability, they turn lending off.......

Message to Amazon: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008032)

Fuck this shit!

That is all.

First-sale doctrine... (1)

single_malt_steve (1927540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34008104)

"...based on the publisher's discretion."

Why do I need the publisher's permission to lend an electronic book? If I buy an actual book I can do whatever I want with it. Why are electronic books different?

This clearly violates my rights under the first-sale doctrine [wikimedia.org] :

"The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy ends once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made."

No additional copies? This requirement is satisfied by the following digital restriction:

"...and the lender cannot read the book while it is loaned out."

Under this doctrine, I have a legal right to control the change of ownership of any electronic books I have purchased. In other words, my legally purchased copy may lawfully be sold, lent, traded, or given away at my discretion, not the publishers.

Publishers who prohibit the lending of electronic books should be named, shamed and avoided. Why give financial support to publishers trying to abrogate our first-sale doctrine rights?

freedoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34008110)

So the Amazon takes away most of your freedoms and then it's a major victory when they give a tiny bit of them back?

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