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The Great Library of Amazonia

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the like-powells-only-virtual dept.

Patents 140

theodp writes "Amazon had a dream. To bring the world a modern-day Library of Alexandria. Apparently they had a second dream. To own the patents on it. Interestingly, fears of lost cookbook and reference text sales voiced by the Author's Guild are echoed in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's patent application for the Suppression of features in digital images of content and a9.com CEO Udi Manber's follow up Access to electronic images of text based on user ownership of corresponding physical text, which discuss how one might block content from viewers who have no proof-of-purchase for a book on file with booksellers."

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Yes, there's a reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035006)

Yes, there's a reason why I don't buy anything from amazon.

Re:Yes, there's a reason (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035023)

Yes, there's a reason why I don't buy anything from amazon.

Pirahnas?

Re:Yes, there's a reason (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035769)

24 foot long man-eating pythons, head hunters, giant lesbian women...

Re:Yes, there's a reason (1, Funny)

whovian (107062) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035090)

Yes, there's a reason why I don't buy anything from amazon.

Don't you want to know what customers also didn't buy?

Say it ain't so. (3, Funny)

Templar (14386) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035008)

Oh my. Hypocracy in corporate America. I'm shocked.

Re:Say it ain't so. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035063)

Companies generally don't do things just to be evil, they do things to make money.

Design a system where honesty and ethics are rewarded big bucks, and you'll see companies fall all over themselves to be corporate saints.

Re:Say it ain't so. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035170)

Design a system where honesty and ethics are rewarded big bucks, and you'll see companies fall all over themselves to be corporate saints.
Except, of course, that free marketeers vigorously oppose efforts to create such a system. See how they rail against government regulations and socially responsible investment efforts. Pollutes the "purity" of the free market, don'tcha know.

Re:Say it ain't so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035794)

Parent isn't flamebait. Ethics and honesty do stand in the way of free markets, and anyone who truly believes in free markets would have these characteristics be secondary in their preferred economic model. the fact this got modded down proves it really.

Posting anonymously because I modded parent up.

astflgl

Re:Say it ain't so. (1, Insightful)

Winkhorst (743546) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036786)

"anyone who truly believes in free markets would have these characteristics be secondary in their preferred economic model"

Let us finally get one thing straight here, Poncho. The ONLY advantage of "free markets," and capitalism in general, is that they work relatively well despite the inadequacies of the average human animal. This does NOT somehow make those failings good in any philosophical sense, nor does this fact mean that there is something superior about the free market economic model. Capitalism is not a free ticket to do as you damned well please. Nor is it an excuse to sit on your butt and do nothing about the problems with the world. It is just a makeshift system devised in order to prevent the worst instincts of humanity from completely destroying all hope of a rational economic system. If we had ideal people, any economic system would work. The goal should be to improve the human condition and the human animal to the point where this model is no longer the only one that can possibly work, not to enshrine their current abominable state in an economic model that some seem to think actually requires human depravity in order to function.

Re:Say it ain't so. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035606)

Robbers generally don't do things just to be evil, they do things to make money.

Design a system where honesty and ethics are rewarded big bucks, and you'll see robbers fall all over themselves to be saints.

Re:Say it ain't so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12036342)

You can't blame the system. If people rewarded honesty and ethics, the system would do the same. Like all human endeavors, it's a direct reflection of the people involved.

Neither customers nor shareholders care about honesty and ethics. If the shareholders cared, the business would have honesty and ethics or be sued. If the customers cared, the business would have honesty and ethics or go out of business.

Unfortunately, American stockholders care more about profits and American customers are lazy.

Re:Say it ain't so. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035322)

hypocracy: noun. Rule by hypocrites.

Good neologism.

MODS ON CRACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035814)

Hello, dumbshit, parent post was actually +1 Funny. Kill yourself, useless piece of shit.

This first post brought to you by (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035015)

The letters F and U.

I have decided that (-1, Redundant)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035020)

I am going to come up with the most ridiculous and obvious idea relating to computers and patent it, just to see if i can get something completely insane throught the USPTO. now, who wants to give me $350 :o

Re:I have decided that (4, Insightful)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035136)

I am going to come up with the most ridiculous and obvious idea relating to computers and patent it, just to see if i can get something completely insane throught the USPTO. now, who wants to give me $350

I tried. The response (a good 3 years later) was:
  1. Author did not use a patent lawyer.
  2. Author used the phrase "may be used", which could mean "it possibly not possible".
  3. Author used the phrase "it is possible", which could mean "it may not be possible".
  4. Patent refused.

So, like the rest of government, get a lawyer. There's no room in there for common folk.

Re:I have decided that (1)

Fyz (581804) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036325)

Well, thank God they refused your patent. Otherwise you would have been one of those assholes everybody hates and write about on Slashdot!

Oh god, here come the zealots (-1, Flamebait)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035027)

Who wants to be first to post the completely irrelevant "Right to Read" story by fellow bearded person RMS?

Look, you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might just find that you get what you need.

Re:Oh god, here come the zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035047)

Looking at your post I get the feeling they are already here...

Re:Oh god, here come the zealots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035228)

Well, since you clearly represent the holier-than-thou asshole brigade, we might as well let the others have their say too.

Mumbo jumbo? Fair-use? (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035043)

I never can fully understand these patent writeups but I want to know if this will only allow you to search through full-texts of books you have proven you own.

Why can't you be shown a snippet of the text through fair-use? You should be able to retrieve that information freely w/o restriction IMHO but IANAL.

What about libraries that own these books. Could they setup a link to this searchable database so their patrons could look through books that the library owns? That sounds like a good idea to me ;)

Re:Mumbo jumbo? Fair-use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035073)

Libraries generally do not own books. They own copies of them, but have no copyright to any of them.

Re:Mumbo jumbo? Fair-use? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12036557)

Actually, they own the book outright, it's the information contained within the book they have no copyright to.

I'd wager if a library washed all the ink from the pages of all their books so that the information was completely obliterated, leaving only the paper on which the information used to be printed that not a single, solitary publisher would balk at their giving away their entire collection.

Re:Mumbo jumbo? Fair-use? (2, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035288)

A library could do something like that. But only if they have a mechanism to ensure that the number of concurrent users for their electronic version of the book is less than or equal to the number of physical copies of the book in the library, not being used by patrons, at the time the ebook is being used.

Quite frankly, you're not going to find [m]any public libraries with the resources to digitize their entire collections and the desire to actually manage something like that. It would almost certainly be cheaper for them to license the books from the copyright holders for electronic use. And most of them aren't going to have the funds to do that, either.

Re:Mumbo jumbo? Fair-use? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035399)

Well, as long as certain sections of the book aren't being copied at the same time I don't see the problem.

If someone is copying information out of a reference book as part of fair-use and that book cannot leave the library why can't someone else be accessing a completely different section of the same book?

Of course. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035056)

"...discuss how one might block content from viewers who have no proof-of-purchase for a book on file with booksellers."

Because this was an issue back in the day in the library of Alexandria too, with those pesky raiding marauders burning books without a proof of purchase on file from booksellers!

Re:Of course. (1)

Eternally optimistic (822953) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035330)

This brings up an interesting point: is it allowed, under the various copyright laws, to burn books (or erase electronically stored copies) or material which you do know have the right to read ? You might be interfering with the rightful owner's potential future income stream.

Maybe I don't get it... (4, Insightful)

justkarl (775856) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035058)

But it seems to me that if they were supressing images and images of text to people who didn't own a proof-of-purchase, it would defeat the purpose of having that information available.

Re:Maybe I don't get it... (2, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035138)

Yeah, I agree. I don't get it either. It'd be like showing shirts only to those who already bought the shirt.

I thought the point of having the images of text on Amazon was so that those who didn't have the book could check some of it out BEFORE buying.

Then again, maybe I should have read the article before posting.

Re:Maybe I don't get it... (0)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035315)

I agree, and also, the guy that submitted this story to Slashdot didn't make it any clearer. He put in about a million links that go all over the place, so I still don't really see what the bottom line on this story is.

Can anyone fill me in? Me dumb...

Allowing access to electronic version (4, Interesting)

yintercept (517362) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036408)

supressing images and images of text to people who didn't own a proof-of-purchase

Rather than saying that they block images from people who don't own a proof a purchase to saying that they allow you access to the electronic images of the text if you purchase from Amazon, then you get a completely different picture of the meaning of such a patent.

Basically, Amazon would be able to give people who purchase through Amazon more than their competitors. When you purchase a book through Amazon, you get both an eBook and the book. While if you purchase through the quaint bookstore down the street, you get just the book.

Giving both an ebook and a book when you purchase through Amazon.com, and using a patent to essentially block other dot coms from doing the same could really firm up Amazon's position in the book selling industry.

This looks a little bit like the Beam It Up case that cost MP3.com its hide. MP3.com said that if you owned a copy of a CD, then that entitled you to add it to your MP3.com playlist. The record industry quickly extracted the soul from MP3 for its beam it up technology. I doubt the author's guild has sufficient power to extract Amazons.com's soul. First, the pirating of music on Napster made it easy for the RIAA to paint the punk kids using MP3.com as anarchists. Books are often purchased by staid and true baby boomers. There are even some Republicans who read books. Amazon.com is probably smart enough not to put their technology forward as something that will move the earth. MP3.com seemed convinced they were transforming the enire culture.

Re:Allowing access to electronic version (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12036663)

There are even some Republicans who read books.

I was with you up until that point...

So they can charge for the service (1)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036533)

They suppress access so they can charge people to use it if they don't own the book. You have to have the patent first before you can make the money... otherwise it's just another free internet-copyable service.

Stallman is not an alarmist (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035061)

At the time it was published, it was easy to look on Richard Stallman's story, The Right To Read [gnu.org] , as dystopian hyperbole. It was easy to believe that he was writing about an exaggerated worst case that could never come to pass. Sadly, with each passing year it looks more and more like the only thing he was wrong about was how quickly it could happen.

actually, he is an alarmist (4, Interesting)

ClarkEvans (102211) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035248)

and rightly so -- the world he writes about is very alarming -- and we are flirting with such a world. By calling him "not an alarmist" you're degrading those people who rightfully raise red flags. People who were right about bad trends that happened to take a bit longer than they predicted. Stallman was smart, he made his predictions far far off into the future (yet, a bit less than the term of a copyright...)

Re:actually, he is an alarmist (1)

thelexx (237096) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036320)

Actually the definition of 'alarmist' is someone who raises FALSE alarms. So no, Stallman is not an alarmist.

alarmist (-lärmst)
n.
A person who needlessly alarms or attempts to alarm others, as by inventing or spreading false or exaggerated rumors of impending danger or catastrophe.

Vote with your feet (2, Informative)

wheelbarrow (811145) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035067)

So what?

If you don't like what Amazon is doing then vote with your feet and walk away from them. If enough consumers make the same free and voluntary choice that you do then Amazon will have to change or close their doors for good. Remember Amazon only exists because they give people what they want.

Re:Vote with your feet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035209)

This is not insightful. The old system of libraries works, this system doesn't -- it creates a world of "have" and "have-nots". It keeps those (esp. children) without money/education in a disadvantaged state. This world is everything but a world of opportunity... its a world of opression. It has _nothing_ to do with freedom.

Now, if copyright was for 24 years, I'd be OK with this -- but it is not, it is, for all practical purposes, infinite.

Re:Vote with your feet (1)

jim_redwagon (845837) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035213)

Exactly! I have been staying away from them because I don't like reading every other day about their patent antics. If more people did this, maybe they'd think before they paid a (patent lawyer) retainer.

Re:Vote with your feet (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035365)

How will a critical mass of people ever walk away, if stories such as this one aren't around to make them aware of the issues involved?

Re:Vote with your feet (1)

Bhasin_N (838449) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036233)

Sorry, first time poster on slashdot. Don't crisp me please.

No one is going to do that, seriously.
This is not cynicism (ok maybe a wee bit) but

People have not started using, or are aware of, the explicit category DRMed material, vs the categories Books/CDs/DVDs.

Buying a CD is viewed as buying Music, not as buying a program, or a device to 'restrict' the usage of the data on it.

People currently believe they are buying "A song", "A book", "An album". Their buying habits reflect this reality.
The average consumer is NOT worried or aware about DRM.

They have far more pressing problems than DRM.

Consumers are not aware of the difference between a CD and a DRM enabled data storage device.
People are unaware, or confused about, the difference between the two.

Everyone is busy-with-their-life and have other things to worry about.

But people ARE bothered by being told what they can or cannot do.

People DO NOT respond well to being or feeling cheated.

If you want people to vote with their feet,
make the difference abundantly clear and direct them to/create an alternative.

My two cents.

(If i have missed anything or got something wrong, do let me know.)

Kiss Public Domain's Ass Good-Bye (-1, Flamebait)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035088)

Please, give me one good reason "and it's the law is not a good reason" why we should respect copyright's anymore?

The copyright holders no longer respect the copyrights. We the people granted them a short term exclusive right to profit by said work. (Thoughts and ideas can NOT be owned.)

Now, the people never get to enjoy them....screw'em!

Re:Kiss Public Domain's Ass Good-Bye (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035265)

sigh...

Re:Kiss Public Domain's Ass Good-Bye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035429)

I like to read and there are a lot of writers whose work I enjoy. I like the fact that they get paid enough so that they can write full time since that means there is more for me to read. I may not be happy in thirty years when I can't obtain a copy of a book because its out of print but still in copyright but I'm not going to hold that against the author who wasn't involved in making the law.

The author signed the contract (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035627)

I may not be happy in thirty years when I can't obtain a copy of a book because its out of print but still in copyright but I'm not going to hold that against the author who wasn't involved in making the law.

Really? The author signed the contract granting perpetual exclusive rights to a given publisher. Authors who know what they're doing insist on clauses that should the work go out of print, the publisher's exclusive rights become nonexclusive rights.

Gift givers get a bonus (3, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035089)

I wonder how this will work if you give an Amazon-bought book to someone? As the registered buyer of the book, the gift giver would, presumably, have access to the electronic copy even as the give up the physical copy.

That way you can give the book and read it too.

I suppose the solution is a transferable ownership certificate (paper receipt with code or online transfer process -- yay, another claim for a patent), but I wonder how many people will actually bother to keep/give/input the certificate.

Re:Gift givers get a bonus (1)

jim_redwagon (845837) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035241)

online transfer process -- yay, another claim for a patent

If anyone wants to help beat them to the punch, I'll pony up the patent fee cash and we can submit this today.

Re:Gift givers get a bonus (1)

Leadhyena (808566) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035749)

To make the process complete when you give a book to someone else and relenquish the certificate, they'd have to wipe it from your memory so that no copies of the book remain when you pass it on.

Kinda creepy when you think about it.

DRM for text (2, Interesting)

octalgirl (580949) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035091)


If Amazon can pull off a successful digital rights management for text, then I'm all for it. As long as it's the publics right being protected more than the copyright holder. I think that is the biggest glitch with DRM for entertainment media - no one can figure out how to do it so the public rights are not infringed upon. With music downloading, there is no real way to determine if you own a copy or not. I know some movie/music publishers have tried to include some sort of access code along with purchase, but it is all very cumbersome.

The thing is, a company as large and with such a dominating internet presence as Amazon, has the both the $$$ and the desire to invest in good old fashioned R&D, which is something the MPAA/RIAA has been to stubborn to do. They would rather pay lawyers and elected officials to do their bidding.

The bottom line is, if Amazon can pull this off, then they will have created a succesful model for others, which just doesn't exist right now.

Re:DRM for text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035304)

They dont give a crap about the consumers rights. They are only trying to protect their bottom line. The only way consumers rights will be protected is if "WE" protect them ourselves. End of story.

Re:DRM for text (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035846)

I tend to differ with you about Bezo. Overall he has been concerned with Consumer rights. The real problem here is that Amazon holds the patents. If Bezo dies or is dismissed (think scully at apple), then somebody else is in charge. That person may elect to make heavy use of these along the lines of a MS or RIAA.

Re:DRM for text (4, Insightful)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035568)

Okay, I'll bite. Now this is going to sound a dumb question, but I am serious and I want a serious answer.

How, exactly, does any DRM system ever ensure that "it's the publics right being protected more than the copyright holder", given that the entire point of DRM is to prevent the public from using material in any way other than those dictated by the copyright holder?

Re:DRM for text (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036754)

Please.... everyone knows DRM stands for "Dollars to RIAA management".

Re:DRM for text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035826)

What dozy publishers tried to include some sort of access code? If you, as a buyer know this code, there's nothing to stop you giving the code to all your friends and family - and then they can read/listen to the content. Any content owner/license authority knows this. That's specifically why DRM has failed so miserably.

Apple tried a 'fair use' witn N licenses but it all falls over in, what 10/15 years when you want to copy your content onto the latest fabuloso digital toy. It is possible provided the license authorities still exist and you have remebered your access name/password to the authority and the authority is flexible enough to allow transfers. But they don't.

Re:DRM for text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12036216)

As long as it's the publics right being protected more than the copyright holder.

How can DRM possibly do that?

model? (1)

sum.zero (807087) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036630)

not so much a model for others as it is a revenue stream for amazon...

amazon [bezos] hold the patents. others will only be able to do this if amazon licenses the patents. amazon has a history of not playing nice with e-commerce patents [eg one-click].

sum.zero

Not again (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035101)

Another silly patent
"1. A method for suppressing one or more features in an image of a page of content, comprising: (a) acquiring an image of a page of content; (b) identifying one or more features in the page image that are to be suppressed or not to be suppressed; and (c) preparing a substitute page image that only includes images of the identified features that are not to be suppressed. "

This sounds to me like a log-in site , with a feature kind of like that which slashdot subscription has ,where you can "supress" Advertisments.
Really its worded horribly This patent.
The rest seems to mutter on about things like text recognition etc and image recognition

Re:Not again (0)

Tjoppen (831002) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035202)

"Really its worded horribly This patent."

You make it sound like some sort of exception...

Re:Not again (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035358)

This is particularly bad even for a patent , I despise patents but i doubt we will get rid of them quickly , but a nice interim mesure would be forcing then to be made in jargon free standerd lingo as a vast majority of us do not have legal degrees and of those who do, few specialise in patent law .
I suppose its in their intrests to let the mass continue on in latin

You have to own books first? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035103)

I didn't read the whole article, but, it seems that this tool is going to require you to already own books to be able to search them? How is this anything like the Library of Alexandria?

Unfortunately I don't trust Amazon to do anything for the public good. Well, I don't trust most corporations to do such things. A repository of all the world's knowledge is awfully stupid if it requires you to pay for it. It will simply create another case where you have the haves and have nots.

I think all the projects on WikiMedia are probably the most likely to present us with a repository of knowledge that is accessible to everyone.

Re:You have to own books first? (3, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036413)

it seems that this tool is going to require you to already own books to be able to search them?

Now, now. That's no way to talk about Jeff Bezos.

Re:You have to own books first? (1)

Valthezeh (870251) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036513)

Unfortunately I don't trust Amazon to do anything for the public good.

Neither do I. In addition to this latest story, it's been clear for quite some time that Amazon has it's own political agenda - which of course, is their prerogative.

Quoted from buyblue.org [buyblue.org] : This PAC supported politicians that amongst other things supported "safeguards" regulating TV news content, opposed the "freedom to read" amendment allowing federal funds to be used to demand patron records from bookstores and libraries, and sponsored a bill to legalize "censorship software" for stripping "offensive content" out of films.

As someone said earlier on this page, it's the consumer's job to buy intelligently and only support companies whose initiatives they agree with - which may or may not be Amazon's.

Who cares? (2, Insightful)

Broiler (804077) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035104)

I don't want to look at pictures of books anyway!

I can understand the concern (1)

vrimj (750402) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035114)

I was thinking abut this the other day when I looked something up at Amazon - at some point Amazon will have to decide if they are a reserch tool or a bookseller. Looks like they are leaning to bookseller. This is not a huge problem for me. I suspect that they will allow you to serch for a passaage, but not read much around it if you haven't bought said book. I think they so something like this now for people without active CC# on file. This seems fair, espically in the case of cookbooks; I for one buy a cookbook, read it and then only use 3-5 recipies.

Re:I can understand the concern (1)

PoPRawkZ (694140) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035270)

On a sidnote: I've become a high tech ninja chef by googling the name of what I want to cook with the ingredients I have available. Usually several recipes will come up and I find one that I can make do with. It has come in handy when I'm missing one key ingredient in a recipe and need to know what I can do to make it passable as fine cuisine.

Amazon (1)

blobzorz (864386) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035124)

Amazon's dream was shattered because of their high prices

proof-of-purchase for a book (1)

danknight (570145) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035144)

Does this mean I'm going to have to give the bookstore my Personal information when I buy the Anarchist Cookbook ?. I suppose there is no chance my book buying habit could fall into the hands of the feds ?

Re:proof-of-purchase for a book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035715)

Who knows. The only certainty is that people who buy the Anarchist's Cookbook are vast losers.

Re:proof-of-purchase for a book (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036257)

Does this mean I'm going to have to give the bookstore my Personal information when I buy the Anarchist Cookbook ?

Hate to break this to you, Boy-O, but if you actually buy The Anarchist's Cookbook, you're a lousy Anarchist.

In fact, I think the authors have made a special Poser's Edition available specifically for the people who offer to buy the ACB, with all the plastic explosive recipes altered just enough so that you blow your fool hands off...

Somebody PLEASE!! MOD PARENT _UP_!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12036636)

EXCELLENT point that only a lousy anarchist would pay for the book.

Honestly, I'll chuckle about that one all day. Thanks!

My Take (2, Insightful)

RagingChipmunk (646664) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035164)

My take on this patent application is to "sell" access to reference books - probably more for trade books than the the casual "Idiots Guide To XP".

I can see a subscription service that allows you to browse through some medical text seeing bits and peices relevant to your search, but, not the entire page. To see the entire page, you gotta "buy" the page. The implication that you must first own the physical text is a red-herring - its really about rights to use the book in "whole, or in part".

I can see it being useful to ME for access to pages from the Chilton manuals etc.

MP3.com (3, Insightful)

telstar (236404) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035178)

"access to electronic images of text based on user ownership of corresponding physical text."
  • Isn't this precisely what MP3.com tried to do with audio files? If you could prove you had a CD of something, you could stream a digital version of the song to wherever you may be logged in. What's the difference?

The difference? (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035514)

The difference is that the RIAA is better at lobbying than book publishers.

Sounds like conditional printing to PDF (1)

CoolRay (526069) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035181)

Not much different than doing a conditional print from Word to a PDF file, does it?

are they going to burn it down too? (1)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035234)

repeating history doesnt have to mean repeating the dumb parts too.

Re:are they going to burn it down too? (0, Troll)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036324)

/. mods can go ffuuuuuuuuuuck themselves with a plugged in waffle iron.

There is an easy way to stop this amazon patent (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035255)

STOP SHOPPING THERE!!!!
I moved to BN a while back and have never looked back.
Why don't the rest of you do the same?

How about we patent digital libraries Mr. Bezos? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035260)

Being a paid member of a digital library allows you to "borrow" an electronic version of a book. After reading it you "return it" by deleting it from your reading device.

How is this different than a library? Am I gonna make a fortune off of this one? Great business model eh, Jeff?

Information wants to be free (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035299)

however the expression of that information might be copyrighted.

I am buying fewer and fewer books. Most of what I want to know is available on the web. The information that isn't on the web isn't there because nobody took the time to put it there.

I guess that what I'm saying is that restricting access to books mostly won't work. There is darn little information that doesn't make its way onto the web some way or another. For some things like law and medical libraries people have been able to cash in on information services of course but for most things that isn't the case.

It's really a lot like music. For a few artists, the web results in the theft of their work and they lose lots of money. For most artists, the web is a really good way to market their work and make more money. So, for most books, restricting access won't make them more profitable just more obscure.

mod u4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035307)

channel #gNAA on [goat.cx]

What about copyrights within copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035308)

Many books cite copyrighted passages within them and obtain some limited right to do so from the publisher of that work. That right probably doesn't extend to Amazon reproducing the page so if a publisher wants their book to be searchable they need a way to block access to portions they don't have the full rights to.

I beg to differ (3, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035391)

Kahle makes the following statement:

"We live in an open society in which the concept of widespread knowledge is embraced as a goal of governance,"

Maybe in the overall big picture that is true but in the current political environment that statement is most certainly not true.

The current administration has done and continues to do everything in its power to suppress the flow of knowledge and information. Witness the recent suppression of an EPA-funded study conducted by Harvard which found that the recent changes to rules regarding mercury emissions from U.S. power plants would have health benefits 100 times as great [boston.com] as the EPA said it would .

Why the difference? Because according to the EPA and the Bush administration, more stringent controls would cost too much to industry compared to the public health benefit. Thus the analysis was stripped from the final report even though the findings of the analysis were used in a briefing by the EPA to the Washington Post on February 2nd.

Even outside the administration the flow of knowledge is under attack. Witness the current effort by the Florida legislature to pass legislation which would allow students to sue professors [alligator.org] who the students claim were punishing the students for their beliefs. Included would be a situation when a professor challenges a student to explain their theories by using the Socratic method. In other words, simply state you have a belief but you don't have to provide any evidence or rationale to support this belief.

Let us not forget the fiasco in my home state where Intelligent Design is being taught alongside Darwinian Evolution as a valid scientfic theory [aclu.org] .

Along those same lines, this very site posted a story yesterday [slashdot.org] about some IMAX theaters not showing a film because it contained references to evolution [nytimes.com] .

While Kahles overall sentiment is correct the current political environment is not conducive to the flow of knowledge and won't be for a fairly substantial time.

I could say the same thing about Clinton & AlQ (-1, Flamebait)

HBI (604924) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035636)

He ignored the threat and his instruments of policy reassured us that lobbing missiles at aspirin factories would solve the problem. He minimized the 1993 WTC bombing, the Cole bombing and the Khobar Towers bombings and failed to link the embassy bombings in E. Africa with the true culprit. Arguably, this negligence cost 2500 lives on 9/11.

Then, his National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, starts shoving classified documents down his pants at the National Archives and stealing them [cnn.com] , with a clear intent to alter the historical record in this regard.

Stop it with your political axe-grinding. Freaking leftists think they are the arbiters of truth and justice. Your side is at least as full of shit as the Republicans, and probably more.

Re:I could say the same thing about Clinton & (3, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035911)

Funny, I'm not a leftist. More a centrist with right-wing leanings.

Maybe its because I expect more of people and am simply fed up with all the lies this particular administration throws about and then tries to justify that it seems like I'm a leftist.

For example, five days into his first term, Bush was told by Richard Clarke that an immediate meeting was needed to discuss the Al Qaeda threat. Clarke told both Bush and Rice about this meeting and gave them memos stating the urgency of the meeting.

Both Bush and Rice denied ever having been informed of such a meeting. Too bad the memo was released on February 10th of this year [gwu.edu] proving that Clarke was correct when he said during Congressional hearing that Bush was warned about the threat.

Am I giving Clinton a pass? No way. The dingbat had his own issues. I am merely harping on the current officeholder because he's the one doing the stupidity. When the next person comes into office, I'll rail against them as well.

Don't automatically assume that because I or anyone rails against Bush that they are leftists. You'd be surprised how many Republicans are just as disgusted by his antics as the Democrats are.

As a side note, your final comments echo almost exactly what the morons in the Florida legislature were saying about leftists. I guess when people can't back up their arguments it's easier to shoot the messenger than disprove the message.

9/11 was personal (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035981)

Sept 11 was a personal attack against the Bush family because of their dealings with the Saudi Government.

Re:I beg to differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035706)

Reference the recent slate article on government suppresion of public knowledge:
http://slate.msn.com/id/2114963/ [msn.com]

Re:I beg to differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12035905)

Even outside the administration the flow of knowledge is under attack. Witness the current effort by the Florida legislature to pass legislation which would allow students to sue professors who the students claim were punishing the students for their beliefs. Included would be a situation when a professor challenges a student to explain their theories by using the Socratic method. In other words, simply state you have a belief but you don't have to provide any evidence or rationale to support this belief.


How is this surpressing the free flow of information? Any professor who presents only information that conforms to their biases is not educating their students, they are indoctrinating them.


Let us not forget the fiasco in my home state where Intelligent Design is being taught alongside Darwinian Evolution as a valid scientfic theory.


Now look at who wants to surpress information: you. Intelligent Design is scientific, and proveably so. But because you do not agree with it, you think it should be surpressed. The problem is evolution is taught as fact when there is no scientific evidence to support it. Never has been. The teaching of evolution as fact has in fact done more then any other cause to stiffle scientific research in this country.


Along those same lines, this very site posted a story yesterday about some IMAX theaters not showing a film because it contained references to evolution.


How is this surpressing the free flow of information? Evolution is a bankrupt theory without basis in science and reality. So why should consumers entertain such fantasies being put forward as fact?

The thing about Alexandria . . . (4, Insightful)

spisska (796395) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035534)

The library of Alexandria was so extensive (and so important) precisely because they didn't do anything like this.

Back in the day, any ship entering port at Alexandria had to declare any books, maps, written works, etc they were carrying as part the customs process. Anything that wasn't already held by the library was taken over and copied by hand, then returned.

The library also allowed others to copy works that they held.

The idea was that ships would create and add to star charts and other navigation tools that could be quickly (for the day) shared with other ships, who would then add their own observations. Everybody benefited, and the Mediterranian became a whole lot safer.

The hoarding and guarding of knowledge didn't become popular in Europe until the Age of Discovery, when nautical charts and chronometer designs were the most closely guarded state secrets.

Having all the books in one place (virtual or otherwise) certainly does make the knowledge more accessible for purchase, but locking down the contents is not quite what Alexandria was about.

Re:The thing about Alexandria . . . (2, Interesting)

gninnor (792931) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035972)

First a comment, I thought that the copies were given to the people and that the originals were kept by the library.
And a question, I thought that a PUBLIC library was a more modern idea and that the older libraries were more like modern private libraries. Did the library of Alexandria have any restrictions on who could use it?

Re:taken over and copied by hand (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036626)

Wow! that must have been inefficient. You sail into port with the latest issue of 'Saucy Sailors' magazine, the library wants to copy it so they have to send another bozo off to find the intellectual copyright holders and open negotiations for the right to copy the work.... There must have been boatloads of lawyers sailing back and forth all the time. I am suprised they had any room or time for cargo.

Re:The thing about Alexandria . . . (2, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036715)

Back in the day, any ship entering port at Alexandria had to declare any books, maps, written works, etc they were carrying as part the customs process
yeah, but that was before they got a Cease and Desist scroll from the "Maps & Papyrus Association of Assyria".

Finally... (1)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035552)

A technology where the chilling effect of software patents is a GOOD thing. Let's hope this is another area that goes stagnant due to patents.

IMAGES of text??? (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035605)

Other comments have the DRM implications covered, but one aspect that particularly worries me is the implication that an image of text is as good as the text itself. Which is crap.

As I said in another recent comment [slashdot.org] , an image might work well if you're reading on a large screen, with a large window, reasonable resolution, a fast processor, reasonable storage or bandwidth, and so on. But there are umpteen other circumstances in which images would be inconvenient or impossible, yet text would work fine.

And that's not to mention the malleability of plain text. If you have an image, you're stuck not only with the font, rendering, layout, colours, resolution &c they give you, but you're also stuck with the formatting, spelling, &c. You can't convert between British English and American English spellings, or do other automated translations. You can't cut'n'paste quotes. You can't read the text out loud. You can't easily split a work into chapters, or join stories into collections. You can't search, index, or compare. You can't do so many other useful things.

(And of course, there's the obvious fact that plain text takes an order or two of magnitude less storage or bandwidth.)

Plain text is so incredibly versatile. I'm surprised they expect people to be so willing to give up those freedoms.

Not even concepts (1)

northcat (827059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12035728)

Last time there was a Amazon patent article on /. I posted saying they are patenting concepts. But this one is even worse. In fact I don't even know the appropriate word. What are they patenting, common sense? The very concept of (or conclusions you can make from) business?

Bigger Concerns (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036004)

Lets say for a moment they can create another Alexandria, this time digital.

Then most print books go out of style..

Who is to stop someone from changing the text, to fit their needs/views/beliefs and claiming its 'always been that way'.. With no hard paper evidence to prove them wrong it gets accepted as fact.

This already happens with book 'revisions' over time.. Subsequent generations get different 'facts', all twisted to fit the views of who is currently in control.

Or even ought ban of information. "sorry, you don't need to know this" and poof it no longer exists. This is harder to do if people still own the hardcopy..

Ok, so I'm paranoid, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. And I'm old enough to have seen it happen in the schools.

Nice try here, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12036585)

I think I like it better that Egypt is attempting to do it again the old-fasioned way:

http://www.sis.gov.eg/alex-lib/html/front.htm

Free Library (2, Informative)

Turbofish (585771) | more than 8 years ago | (#12036752)

At least not all publishers are adverse to the idea of open access to electronic versions of their publications. Check out the Baen Free Library at http://www.baen.com/library/ Baen is a publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy literature.
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