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Why Your e-Books Are No Longer Yours

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-am-not-a-lawyer-but-they-are-or-at-least-will-be dept.

Books 295

Predictions Market sends us to Gizmodo for an interesting take on the question: when you "buy" "content" for Amazon's Kindle or the Sony Reader, are you buying a crippled license to intellectual property when you download, or are you buying a book? If the latter, then the first sale doctrine, which lets you hawk your old Harry Potter hardcovers on eBay, would apply. Some law students at Columbia took a swing at the question and Gizmodo reprints the "surprisingly readable" legal summary. Short answer: those restrictive licenses may very well be legal, and even if you had rights under the first sale doctrine, you might only be able to resell or give away your Kindle — not a copy of the work.

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I got a better lawyer (5, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833300)

I think I'll stick with Lessig's opinions and the surprisingly readable US Constitution.

How to sell your copy of Hary Potter only touches on the madness of paper based copyright applied to digital files. If these books are no longer mine, they are no longer the library's either. Do we really want a future where anyone and everyone can be cut off of knowledge at the flip of a switch? Where "owners" must be trusted with the raw material of history? No.

The answer to all this is very simple. The lower cost of publishing should bring lower protections and fewer created rights because fewer incentives are required. Advertising costs have not declined, so it is easier to recoup publishing investments now than ever. Worse for high cost, established publishers technology makes old laws contradictory and insane. Publishers want to make "unwet water" and outlaw the normal stuff by dominating the channels of distribution - the no real library future. We should allow people to make exact copies of almost all works and distribute them freely. It's really that easy and companies that can't live with that kind of freedom should look for a new line of honest work.

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833344)

Embed advertising in ebooks, the same as in magazines and newspapers, and give the ebooks away.

Advantages

  1. "Content is king" - it'll be seen
  2. Targeted market
  3. Reflects the lower cost of production/distribution
  4. Easier to disintermediate - greater portion of the revenue ends up in the authors' pocket/purse/wallet/bank account

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (-1, Redundant)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833374)

For the love of good, someone mod parent up.

Uh-oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833424)

I better get coding on a "AdBook" extension for Magazinilla, then.

Mod Parent Up and REJECT BOOK ADVERTIZING!!! (4, Insightful)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834516)

Actually, don't mod parent up because he was an Anonymous Coward, but as an aspiring author I would say that anybody seeking to use their writing to shill for advertisers does not deserve to be read.

I am in support of the business model where readers can experience an author's work from a free digital download... and then vote with their pocketbook by making a "donation" if they think what they "experienced" was worth it.

That is --- "read now, pay later". I think the days of "pay now, read later" are numbered.

Then again, I am continually refining my manuscript so that it will be readable for a mass audience. As is, the compliments I get are that the "story" is awesome but the actually story-telling is lacking (which I am, of course, working on).

Fine idea. (3, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833456)

That sounds like a great way to do things and I'm sure there are many, many others.

What I'm interested in is preserving our rights. Publishers can think of ways to make money without robbing us of the ability to help our neighbor and without assuming draconian control of information. For them to violate our rights, we must agree to be threatened and prosecuted for doing things that are not crimes. It is better to keep them from making laws that threaten us than it is to try to do their job for them.

Publishers already know how things will work in a free society. They are not stupid and this is why they fight so hard. They understand that the broadcast era is over and with it their ability to control opinion and profit from every aspect of popular culture. There will be profits but they will be distributed and much closer to the artist than they are now. The big record companies, movie companies and paper publishers are out of luck and the damage done to public institutions will follow. With freedom comes truth and from truth we can expect justice. Without freedom, expect great injustice.

Re:Fine idea. (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833590)

It's all very well to speak of "publishers" in a derogatory sense, but totally ignore the fact that we're also talking about "authors". You know, the people who spend a year or so up front WRITING those books.

What I'm interested in is preserving EVERYONE'S rights.

Re:Fine idea. (4, Interesting)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833660)

Oh, please.

the **AA always use that point, but everybody knows that theyare the only one who are going to lose in the new system (or in this case, the publishers are).

They only sell a centralised organisation to distribute content. And there is nothing they could invent to preserve the same insane margins that they had in the old system (well, publishers may not do as much money as Universal, but still).

On the contray, authors can find inventive new ways to reach the public and leverage the increased audiance and ease of use to get as much or more revenues.

Maybe some authors won't do as much money anymore; maybe some won't even make a living and will have to find an other job. But I don't think that there will be that many of them; and by definition, they won't be missed very much.

And if you don't beleive that the new system can reward authors, look at blogs: millions of authors getting advertising money, which is based directly on their success, and will either make them some extra cash or push them to make blogging their day job.

Re:Fine idea. (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833764)

You do not get to determine how someone else distributes their work. You have no authority to do so That desire is only driven by the cheapness of not wanting to pay for something you desire. Nice of you to determine how an author should execute his business.

Re:Fine idea. (3, Insightful)

The Spoonman (634311) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833924)

And they have no authority to determine how I execute mine. I want my books in a digital format so I can read them on my laptop, my PDA, my computer at work, my e-book reader...whatever. If you want to reduce my rights just to read your book, well, sorry I ain't going to buy it and you lose a sale. Only a fool would continue to release their art using "the old ways". I've purchased quite a bit of music and literature that I started out by downloading copies the author published for free on their site. I've then either donated or purchased a print copy, if it was good. If it wasn't, I didn't waste my money. These authors typically sell more copies of their books than those who go through traditional channels, indicating the marketplace is heading in that direction. It's the marketplace that decides how products are sold, not the content producers. We just want to pay them to share in their ideas, why is that a bad thing? Yes, some people are going to take advantage of the situation and never pay for everything. Boo-hooo. When I was a waiter I learned early: some people are never going to tip, but at the end of the night, my average per table was what was most important. With a little bit of work, you can download pretty much any book on the market today, yet books are still being sold everyday. Wonder why that is?

Re:Fine idea. (2, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834280)

I'd say the customer is the one who gets to say how the transaction goes, or rather if it does. And if I can't read the ebook, I'm not going to buy it.

Re:Fine idea. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22834284)

Sorry, but you're completely wrong.

First of all, the only reason there is a market for the author to distribute his works is because of the artificial construct we have created in copyright. Without copyright, an author has basically two choices: sell it once or hide it. With copyright the author has two different choices: sell it lots of times according to the collective rules of society or hide it. That's basically it. Anything else (e.g. giving it away) is just a variation of those two choices.

Second, while the author is completely free within this system to do whatever the hell he or she wants, the reality is that if what he or she wants is to make money, then the market, not the artist, ultimately decides how the work is to be distributed. The only reason the market is not having its say right now is due to oligarchies such as the RIAA or because the market is relatively new (i.e. the ebooks market).

That desire is only driven by the cheapness of not wanting to pay for something you desire.

Your ad hominem argument is driven by your inability to think about and discuss the issue rationally.

Re:Fine idea. (3, Insightful)

peterarm (95041) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833896)

I call bullshit: I have self-published a PDF-only book on Lulu, and I made $16 per copy. This book is currently for sale with a real publisher, and I would miss the PDF royalties *very* much if they evaporated. (My book is copied on BitTorrent, and there's nothing I can do about it.)

Authors are real people with families and mortgages; this isn't just some juvenile "you vs. the **AA" thing -- that may be true to a degree for records or movies where the **AA is evil, but it's not true for books. Many publishers are decent individuals, and authors aren't exactly millionaires...

Re:Fine idea. (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834600)

I would miss the PDF royalties *very* much if they evaporated [...] Authors are real people with families and mortgages
The folks who made a living selling buggy whips were real people too, with their own families and mortgages to worry about. Some of them, the ones who wouldn't or couldn't adapt to a changing world, lost their ability to provide for their families.

That's sad.

But you know what? Our society is better off now, because we were willing to bite the bullet and tell those people, "You're going to have to find another way to earn a living." If we had used the force of law to protect their incomes, those few people would've been better off -- at everyone else's expense.

We're in the same situation now. Some people won't or can't adapt to a world where they can't make a living selling copies of information: a world where their talent as artists and authors is still valuable, but only when it's applied directly, not indirectly via copyright.

Some of those people will be left behind, and that'll be sad too, but it's necessary. And just like the era of the automobile brought in a whole new set of jobs to replace the ones that were lost, so will this era.

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (3, Insightful)

Fael (939668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833726)

What a stup

(PLEASE WAIT FOR AD TO LOAD ...)
(ENLARGE YOUR PEN1S NOW ASK ME HOW)

endously great idea.

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833766)

No thanks to the advertising in my books.

The last time I was prompted to write on eReaders and eBooks I put this up:

http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/2007/11/ereaders-and-ebooks.html [blogspot.com]

I sure hope these nasty plans don't end up having a place in my life. I hope others manage to stay away too. We can do better.

all the best,

drew
http://packet-in.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page [packet-in.org]
Packet In - net band making libre music. You can get some gratis.

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833916)

Content isn't king in any advertise-subsidized medium, it's the advertiser's revenue streams. They'll censor what they fear will alienate their viewers, they won't subsidize what they think won't sell. Advertising is horrible for content, unless the power that the sponsorship dollar holds over creators and audiences can be limited.

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834190)

Embed advertising in ebooks, the same as in magazines and newspapers, and give the ebooks away.

Oh no, don't lend credence to pay per click ads [news.com] in PDFs.

Re:I got a better lawyer^Widea (2, Funny)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834440)

Until someone develops an AdBlock for eBooks.

I just removed AdBlock from my system for exactly this reason. One can't bitch about draconian efforts to extract money from consumers, and then circumvent the one last option left to content producers: ad revenue.

.

Re:I got a better lawyer (2, Interesting)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833364)

That's all very well and good, but legal protections do you little good when technological measures in the market are present to prevent you from exercising whatever rights may be in question. Even if the supreme court says sometime next year "Ok, you can totally resell digital files you paid for!" the downloads in your Kindle are still trapped there, bound either by arcane cryptographic systems, the DMCA, or, as it stands now, both.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833528)

Then we need to create a segregated community: their content and Our content.

Copyright is on their side, as it is on ours. The GPL is one answer, in terms of software and documents. Other viral-like licenses also spread that openness of the gated community. "If you accept our free work, you must do the same."

The other half is thus copyright statements: Sue the corporate bastards when they do violate the GPL (and thus, copyright). What is it again... 750$-35000$ per violation? Up to 150000$ per for intentional misuse?

If the corporate copyrighters want to play, let us play too. When they distribute our (collective) works on CD's or DVD's, we need to strike at them as hard as we can.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833600)

"Then we need to create a segregated community: their content and Our content."

Cool. I eagerly wait your next book.

You know, the one you're going to spend the next year writing, and that you're going to donate to the world, free of charge?

Odd, isn't it, that it's easy to advocate that eveyone else give away their work for free?

Re:I got a better lawyer (2, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833648)

I don't know about entertainment authors, but many scientific writers already do this. Certainly we give our publications away freely, if not our books, and most of us are perfectly OK with that. (The publishers tend to lock the works up for profit which we don't receive any of, which isn't OK, but that's a whole different issue).

Give your works away for free if you want the greatest exposure to your ideas. Sell them if you want to monetize them. But at least have the decency to allow fair use.

Re:I got a better lawyer (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833724)

How sad you must be..

So, only books count as content in your world? I see many a ways to make content that builds upon others, expanding all. Cooperation is almost always better than competition, except in cases that all sides gain from ones work. Consider it, if you will, a challenge of ideologies: a Vi vs Emacs, or KDE vs Gnome, or KOffice vs OppenOffice.. Advancements in one lead to advancements in all, at the detriment of none.

And, I guess we can't count on creators to make content freely available, can we? Something about Trent Reznor rings a bell.. or that sci-fi publisher that gives books out online.. or a multitude of short story writers that freely write because they enjoy telling a story... These people most assuredly do not exist.

True, we do enjoy eating, but people who have that need to create will do so, monetarily or not. It is our best interest that they continue to do so, without the parasites that live upon them currently.

Re:I got a better lawyer (2, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833904)

You don't read much fan fiction do you? There's a lot of written work out there that is written by individuals and put out there free of charge; small stuff and large stuff alike. Some people just want to be read and some people write because they enjoy it. Not every 'artist' does it for money and it could be argued that it's not art if it's done for money in the first place. (Kind of like prostitution isn't making love...)

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833944)

As pretentious as he may seem sometimes, Cory Doctorow [wikipedia.org] seems to do pretty well. Most of his work is available on the Project Gutenberg.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834362)

Well, I'm spending three years writing several books, and they're appearing right here. [ofteninspired.com]

You can even watch me (and other authors) write in this forum. [ofteninspired.com]

When they're done, they will still be available. Added content will be in the paper version on Lulu.

Is that a fair example?

Of course, I love writing, and choose this method freely.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833562)

Go one better: require publishers to enable the general public to exercise their rights.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833806)

Even if the supreme court says sometime next year "Ok, you can totally resell digital files you paid for!" the downloads in your Kindle are still trapped there, bound either by arcane cryptographic systems, the DMCA, or, as it stands now, both.
I don't know how nonsense like this got modded up.

You don't have to be a lawyer to know that the Supreme Court would never make such a useless ruling. First, someone would bring up the DMCA as an issue, if not the individual(s) bringing the suit, then through an amicus brief [wikipedia.org] . Second, since the Supreme Court is... Supreme, they get to decide which is greater, the DMCA or the doctrine of 1st sale and then they are free to strike out or create exceptions to whatever portions of the DMCA they feel is necessary, assuming they decide the DMCA needs more exceptions.

Some Judges are stupid, but not the ones on the Supreme Court.

Re:I got a better lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833434)

Wow, not two hour ago you were shilling [slashdot.org] your own sockpuppets. People who moderate you should know about that, regardless of whether or not what you happen to be writing makes sense. It only encourages your dishonest behavior.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

jg1708 (1246046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833558)

I found you comment, or at least the first line of it, t be unnecessarily rude, and the rest of your comment to not really be on point. Whether you choose to purchase these e-books or not does not change the fact that this product exists, and because it exists, someone needs to analyze the nitty-gritty legal details of e-books going. Instead of flippantly dismissing these student's work for no better reason than they are not Lessig, why don't you comment on the content of their work?

And "The People" too... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833610)

Quote: "While the restrictions on e-books may initially seem inconsistent with the rights granted for hard-copy books, these differences are the consequence of new digital products outgrowing traditional copyright doctrines. Such issues are currently being examined by legal scholars and industry insiders, but only time will tell whether this degree of control over digital media is acceptable to society."

First off, I disagree that "digital products" have "outgrown" anything. On the contrary, I fail to see any new issues that digital text brings to the table. These very same issues were debated hundreds of years ago, and the circumstances are not substantially different at all. The solutions were the body of copyright laws we have enjoyed for the last couple of hundred years (until recently, that is). And those laws cover the issues just fine!

Second, in response to the final sentence of the quote above: I don't think we have to wait to see what society thinks of "this degree of control over digital media". The people are pissed. They are staying away from copy-protected music in droves, and have been straining hard to crack DRM where it is found.

The people HAVE spoken and are speaking. And they are clearly saying "NO!" Loudly and repeatedly.

Re:I got a better lawyer (3, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833740)

"I think I'll stick with Lessig's opinions and the surprisingly readable US Constitution."

The surprisingly readable clause:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

"The lower cost of publishing should bring lower protections and fewer created rights because fewer incentives are required."
"We should allow people to make exact copies of almost all works and distribute them freely."

It doesn't at all sound like the copyright clause of the Constitution. You might reread that clause and notice the word exclusive.

Limited times. (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834492)

I'm pretty sure that the "limited times" were intended to be well inside the lifespan of the author/inventor. I wouldn't care so much about reselling my copy if I knew it would be public domain in 10 years anyway.

Re:Limited times. (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834620)

Exactly - from the creator's perspective, current copyright terms are not of a "limited time" at all.

Re:I got a better lawyer (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833928)

Advertising costs have not declined, so it is easier to recoup publishing investments now than ever
You seem to be under the impression that copyright is intended to protect the publisher. It isn't.

Quite the opposite, actually.

Not only that... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833346)

But Yahoo! News [yahoo.com] has been reporting a whole load more reasons for this movement. It's worth a look.

WARNING:PARENT IS LINK TO FINAL MEASURE - NIMP.ORG (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833356)

Last part of url: http%3A//members.on.nimp.org/

Link also INSTALL VIRUS (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833996)

Thank god Nod32 blocked it. Or part of it??

Running a full virus scan right now.

Anyone who clicks on it I would advise you to remove the exploit.dialogArg.A virus. Hopefully firefox 2.0.12 patched teh javascript vulnerability it uses to install itself.

Re:Not only that... (2, Informative)

Adradis (1160201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833360)

Nimp.org link, yet again.

nimp.org (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833788)

I've written this up here [slashdot.org] . Classic GNAA troll turns virus link spammer. Avoid.

Re:Not only that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833880)

But Yahoo! News [yahoo.com] has been reporting a whole load more reasons for this movement. It's worth a look.
You've got fail.

Total crap (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833348)

Worked wonders for the music industry, right? How long do you think it would take to hack a "kindle code"?

Re:Total crap (1)

zdude255 (1013257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833576)

Probably at least 10 years, by which I mean 5 months tops.

Re:Total crap (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833894)

Yeah, but you should be get your hands on a kindle first.
With amazon devoting the entire first page to Kindle, it seem it is a big failure for amazon.
So don;t expect to see one soon.

Give it time (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833350)

"Surprisingly readable" because the authors ain't actually lawyers yet.

Piracy is a fucking pandemic (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833372)

Piracy is a fucking pandemic. It's true.

The Madness Continues (5, Interesting)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833382)

Copyright was intended to provide a compromise between the needs of those creating works, and the needs of the public. The deal was that we'd give the authors a monopoly for a limited time in exchange for them releasing their works to the public domain.

What's happened since is that the creators sold out to corporations and the corporations have been throwing their weight around with our lawmakers. The term of copyright has been extended and re-extended to the point where virtually nothing is entering the public domain anymore. They've even filed (and received) copyrights on things that were previously in the public domain.

Not satisfied with their greedy taking of the public domain, they decided to move on to getting paid multiple times for the same thing. Enter "digital rights management" and such travesties as the DMCA. That effectively puts an end to the first sale doctrine and completes the process of locking up all "intellectual property" (interesting phrase, isn't it?) and completely eliminates any possibility of anything entering the public domain.

The deal was that we'd give them a exclusive right over the works for a limited time in exchange for them releasing the works to the public domain. Our corporate government has eliminated the need for the rights holders to release their works to the public domain, so the deal is broken. They don't deserve their exclusive right over the work either; the deal is broken, remember?

This will all work out in the long term, our corporate masters will do their utmost to spin this into something that's supposedly good for us. But we're not fooled, are we?

Re:The Madness Continues (4, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833488)

I like the idea of making them pay property tax on it if they continue to insist on calling it property.

not only that but make it law that they can declare what ever value they like for their IP, BUT anyone can purchase it from them for that price.

so they can give a true value for their IP, get all the protections of regular property in exchange for paying tax on it.

the current setup is a total free fucking ride for so called IP companys.

Re:The Madness Continues (2, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833552)

I don't pay taxes on my Playstation 2, or on my couch.

Do you want to try and estimate what the value, and tax, associated with any given open source project is? Who would pay it?

Do you want Microsoft to be able to forcibly buy out the Linux kernel? How about the Apache Project?

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833834)

I don't pay taxes on my Playstation 2, or on my couch.
You are not making money off of your PS2 or you couch.

Do you want Microsoft to be able to forcibly buy out the Linux kernel? How about the Apache Project?
If Linux and Apache go public domain beforehand, there is not much MS could do but plagiarize it. And that would only be necessary if you had to forfeit all rights to it when it was sold. I think of it more as an unrestricted license: you still "own" it, but whomever pays your price gets to do whatever they want with it (including give it away for free).

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833902)

You are not making money off of your PS2 or [your] couch.

I'm not making money off of the copyrights I hold to free software I've written. Does that mean I don't get to keep the copyright?

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833920)

You are not making money off your software because you chose not to. Making money off of your furniture (besides selling once) is more difficult.

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833772)

Why? the problem here isn't copyright which, besides having a duration about 10x longer than the optimal, works just fine. The problem here is DRM and the way it's being used to deprive us of our rights, so what you have to attack is *that*, not copyright itself.

I, personally, propose mandating by law that all non-military use of cryptography has to disclose the algorithms for it, (presumably) making DRM useless while avoiding damaging saner uses of said technology, though being neither a lawyer nor a cryptoanalyst I'm not sure about how such a law would work. Still better than copyright taxes, though.

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834208)

Making cryptographic algorithms public will not eliminate encryption-based DRM. Encryption isn't secure because the algorithm is unavailable it is secure because it relies on the inherent difficulty of inverting the functions used to transform the data. With any worthwhile encryption system all the source code would give you is assurance that you wouldn't be able to break it in any reasonable span of time.

You're right to say copyright isn't the issue but you're wrong to say DRM is the issue. DRM is also not the problem. What is broken is the infrastructure of the whole system. Copyright gives a temporary monopoly to the creator of some artistic work. That original creator then signs over those rights to a corporation and then they are recognized as the creator of the work. Because corporations can outlive individuals restrictions like "life of creator + 50 years" are meaningless. Said corporations also have enough money to fund legislation that locks public access to their copyrights and guarantees permanent monopoly over their copyrighted holdings. Laws like the DMCA and Berne Convention weren't bought and paid for by individual artists interested in protecting their copyrights but instead by incredibly wealthy corporations ensuring their control over their holdings. Vast amounts of our modern culture is locked in the vaults of corporations and will never fall into the public domain as long as those corporations have any say in the matter. They will never give up what is effectively free money.

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

sheepofblue (1106227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833644)

This is largely due to the fact that few who benefit the most actually created the product. Mickey Mouse is a prime example. In the past the actual creator of the character benefitted and prospered because of his creativity. Now a conglomerate run by people who focus on money more than entertainment or families are the chief beneficiaries. The copyright has been extended to a time far beyond the life of the creator to benefit parasites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Bono_Copyright_Term_Extension_Act). Further the new characters created enrich stock holders and board members but seldom authors. Sadly Mickey is not an exception but rather the norm.

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

wwrafter (906101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833746)

How about this as a solution:
If the company can prove that they receive > 50% of their income from a specific copyright, they can keep it forever.
Otherwise, it expires in 10 years, period.

Re:The Madness Continues (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833868)

they can keep it forever
Heck no. Just because >50% of their income comes from it now, that doesn't guarantee that it always will. It needs to be re-evaluated every 2-3 years.

Re:The Madness Continues (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833946)

What's happened since is that the creators sold out to corporations and the corporations have been throwing their weight around with our lawmakers.


No, that's not what happened. What did happen is that the US became a party to The Berne Convention, [wikipedia.org] which specifies a minimum term for a copyright of the life of the creator plus 50 years. I won't say that various corporations aren't happy with this, but the idea has been part of copyright law in Europe for over a century.

Other Side of the Spectrum... (1)

WarpedCore (1255156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833384)

Alright, I know "super book" sounds kind of stupid. I can kind of agree with the argument that the Kindle itself acts as one book versus the content within it being individual pieces of work. It's almost the same for the Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console. Technically, you can download different pieces of video game software that originally came from different cartridges (which you see on e-bay) but when it comes down to licenses and what you own, you can't take out bits and pieces of it from your Wii. The entire collection you download is tied to that individual console. It sort of makes each console it's own "super rom". It's an interesting legal argument because... all these works were once sold on their own, individually. It could spark the argument that these books through either my Wii example or Kindle are derivative works and not original publications instead of digitalized reprints... if that makes sense.

Caveat Emptor (5, Insightful)

justsomecomputerguy (545196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833398)

It bears repeating: The RIAA, The MPAA and all the other sue-the-customer organizations really really do want to make so that eventually you the consumer have NO RIGHTS, zip, zero, nadda to own anything.

Making everyone pay a fee each and every time they want to listen to or read or view something is their eventual goal.

You will own NOTHING.

You will have NO RIGHTS to view ANYTHING unless you pay their fees.

That IS the eventual goal.

Figure out how to tell this to non-librarians, non-techies

Re:Caveat Emptor (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833650)

Actually, I do not mind that.

Look at all the work of human creation. It's either new and perishable, or old, uncopywritable and eternal.

I do not really think that people would want to keep their Spears CDs or their Windows 95 CDs forever...

Same goes for "Fortran 66 for VAX" textbook. Same goes for Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

Information should be processed, learned and discarded. It's timed material, like anything else.

I will be happy to pay less for the most recent O'Reilly of the most recent fashionable programming language with the condition that my license to read it will expire in 4 years.

The current ownership crisis is imaginary anyway. We do not own anything. Franklin's character from his timeless almanac said that you can consider yours only what you have eaten.

Everything we own will be gone after we die anyway. :-)

Re:Caveat Emptor (4, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833844)

What I find most interesting about the argument over copyright is how it boils down to two groups justifying why their greed is more meaningful and important.

Re:Caveat Emptor (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834100)

Thank you, sir. That is what I have thinking all the time.

Re:Caveat Emptor (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833912)

I will be happy to pay less for the most recent O'Reilly of the most recent fashionable programming language with the condition that my license to read it will expire in 4 years.

This might be a poor example; O'Reilly uses the Founders' Copyright [creativecommons.org] system.

Re:Caveat Emptor (1)

pentalive (449155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834558)

So you want to be able to read it for 4 years.. The market forces want you only to be able to read it ONCE, then pay the fee again.

Re:Caveat Emptor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833974)

You will have NO RIGHTS to view ANYTHING *even if* you pay their fees.

There. Fixed that for you.

This is 100% consistent with current copyright law (5, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833426)

Courts have expressly not extended doctrine of first sale to electronic files like mp3's and it would make perfect sense to extend that to ebooks. The thing to remember about first sale doctrine is that you do NOT own the "content" of a book you purchase. If I go out and buy The DaVinci Code I have 0 ownership interest in the story. What I DO have an ownership interest in is the actual physical book and the ink printed in that book. I can go out and resell the book or give it away and there is nothing the copyright owner can do about it (famous early case from 1909 about a publisher that sued Macy's for selling its books below the price the publisher wanted. Copyright had nothing to do with the eventual sale price because first sale doctrine meant the publisher lost control of the physical books after it had made the initial sale, Macy's was not bound by further contractual obligations either).
      However, looking at statute there are exceptions to first sale. One is rental of music: Ever notice how you can get a movie from Netflix but not a CD? The same applies to software (with a narrow exception for videogames so places like Gamestop can stay open). This rule goes way back to the '70's & 80's when it was pretty obvious that music "rental" places were just fronts for mass copying of music. You'd go in, rent a record, and there would be blank tapes by the checkout and a wink & a nudge. See Section 109 [copyright.gov] of the copyright act for more on this.
      In the digital age, the same reasoning that applies to the exceptions to first sale doctrine has been extended to digital downloads. Here the actual instantiation of the copy is merely a set of bits sitting on a drive. It is too difficult to be able to make an actual "sale" of the instance when transferring it over the Internet. Before you say "but I delete the file after I send it!", the courts considered that and do not buy the argument. That's why the article notes that selling your entire eBook would count: you are transferring a physical manifestation of the copyrighted material instead of trying to play games with moving bits around.

    Where CAN there be limitations on sales of actual physical items: Well, most of the limits in the article have nothing to do with copyright. Instead, they are contractual limitations which you agree to when you purchase the eBook. Copyright gets confused with many other kinds of law, but don't forget once you are in privity (aka you make a deal to buy a book from Amazon) then the contract will likely be much more relevant than generic Copyright law.

Disclaimer: IANAL but I am a 2L in copyright class right now.

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833604)

Ok ... so, sticking with the I'm selling the physical media, not the content, line of reasoning, here's my argument; I purchase the eBook, then a) print a hard copy -then- b) burn the file to a CD. According to the "physical manifestation rule", I could sell either the pile of paper, the CDROM, or my eBook reader without violating any laws?

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (2, Insightful)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833636)

Wouldn't that run into some problems with reproduction? This is why photocopying and book and then selling the photocopy isn't allowed, or why the DVDs on sale in Chinatown for 3 bucks are illegal.

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833696)

That's exactly right. Doctrine of first sale is independent of making unauthorized copies.

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833818)

Sorry, but while the case law may be clear on the issues, that is irrelevant. The judgements are bad law, in the same style as the doctrine of "Separate but Equal."

Sorry, but technology has developed, and as a result, some things are less valuable than they used to be. Shockingly, the buggy whip makers want to maintain the value of their product, but that's just not in society's best interest.

Also, Privity doesn't matter. For a number of reasons. Arguably, these are contracts made in bad faith on the part of the sellers. Hell, the provisions often made for denial of liability by sellers make them so on their face. Whether the legal system chooses to acknowledge this or not, it certainly provides the moral backing for Civil Disobedience. Other grounds include the highly questionable benefit of these corporations at serving society's interest in the promotion of art.

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833950)

However, looking at statute there are exceptions to first sale. One is rental of music: Ever notice how you can get a movie from Netflix but not a CD?

I don't think this has anything to do with the 'first sale doctrine.' Rather, Netflix is in the business of renting movies, not renting music. There's no law stopping them from renting music CDs if they wanted to. That's just not the market they are going after. If they were after that market, then they'd probably be called "Netmusic" instead of "Netflix." Does anybody really want the CD rental market,anyway?

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834104)

"There's no law stopping them from renting music CDs if they wanted to."

Apparently, there is. Ditto for computer software except for limited purpose machines like video game consoles. You can read it for yourself -- or maybe you can't.

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834576)

OK, so what is this law you speak of?

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833970)

But if I do, in fact, delete the file after sending it then it's not a copy.

Since the deleting part is not verifiable and violates human nature, the courts give the copyright owner the benefit of the doubt at the expense of the buyer's first sale rights.

DRM could be used to verify that the deletion happened, but the copyright owners have no incentive to set up such a system.

Perhaps the courts will eventually figure this out and shift the benefit of the doubt in the consumer's favor.

If the copyright owner is not willing to set up a civilized DRM system, then the buyer should be trusted to perform the deletion.

Re:This is 100% consistent with current copyright (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834582)

Ever notice how you can get a movie from Netflix but not a CD?


Yes. It's because people hear a single CD far far more times that they would watch
a single movie.

The Right to Read (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833438)

Just thought this was an opportune time to reference The Right to Read [gnu.org]

Pirating software you own for your own use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833476)

I have a pattern I follow with digital media. As soon as I pay money for something, I back it up, then crack the working copy. (no matter what the file format, enough digging on the internet will eventually turn up a crack.) As soon as the DRM is rendered moot, that motherfucker is MINE.

Where to buy (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833498)

irc.nullus.net

Contribute please.

so.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833514)

All your E-book are belong to us?

reduced rights for reduced price (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833536)

When I bough a record I had the 'right' to copy that record onto tape and other medium, and, normally, I kept the record as a backup. I could in fact sell the original item, under the assumption, not always true, that I did not keep the copies The same is true for CDs. I do not think anything in the constitution or copyright law gives me the right to sell the copies and keep the original or vis versa, though I know many people did. Likewise giving copies to friends was not protected behavior, but it happened.

With the VHS tape, we are not so lucky. Though VHS was relatively easy to copy, people want to put you in jail for ripping a DVD. Madness. Waste of police enforcement resources. But people are happy because frankly, in inflation adjusted terms, movies are comparatively cheap now, unless you pay the early adopter fee. In addition, studios add original content to DVDs so it not just the same old stale product.

What I can't understand is how they expect to move towards downloaded movies, that cost more than a DVD and has less content, or ebooks that have nothing but restrictions. It is not that first sale doctrine should necessarily apply. We are not buying a physical product, at least not in most cases. But If I the lowly consumer must give up some flexibility, then so should the publisher

And herein, I believe is the problem. We see overall that publishers are not making equal sacrifices. We here that studios are still charging packaging and return product percentages when there are not packaging or physical product. Likewise newspaper prices have been going up, allegedly, because of the increasing price of paper, ink, and transportation, yet many publishers refuse to leave those expensive relics behind. Evidently those items are not so expensive when compared to the loss of physical ad revenue. The NYT Times want $15 a month for the electronic edition.

So here is the issue we are going to see with E-Books. Cost of a paperback, $8. Cost of an E-Book, $10. Fine, there is a connivence fee, but if I can't resell it, if I can't put it on whatever device I want to use a the moment, I can;t return it the next day, then why the hell am I a paying the same amount for a book? To maintain the luxury corporate offices in New York, Paris, and London. I don't think so. Just like iTMS, Just like the DVD, if you are going to restrict use, give me something in return. For books the logical thing is price. No paper costs, no overstock costs, no shipping costs. I know the publishers are saying, well, a hardback is $30, so we are giving you a 60% discount. But you are not. I could wait a month or two and buy that hardback second hand for $10. Now I can't. The publisher will be getting all the money for every sales. So compromise and don't be the greedy bastards that never learn and put this country on the brink of financial crisis every 40 years of so. Sell the ebooks for $5-8 and I bet that all this will go away. If you are going to create a market where you control everything, be a compassionate fascist and give your peasants a break.

The simple solution is ... (1)

celtic_hackr (579828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833948)

to always download your e-books onto a blank memory stick. Then you should be able to use the first sale principle. However you'd have to be able to prove that the stick you sold was the original download. Selling a copy of one's book could never be legal without throwing out the Constitution and copyright law around the world. One can't legally sell a copy of one's Harry Potter book that one xeroxed off on that fancy color copier at work either. So people stop whining about not be about to sell copies that they morally and legally shouldn't be doing anyway. Of course, IANAL, and there is that contractual thing that you agree to when you buy a book from these leaches, so that has to be considered too. Or you can get your e-books free from the Gutenberg project. Or you can get a REAL book and not be bothered with this crap. Then you are free to cut it apart and scan it in yourself, you lazy pucks. ;')

Garage Sales (4, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833546)

Garage sales sell lots of books for oft near a dime.

I have at least a years backlog built up to read.

If people turn their backs on the cash grab, then the folks trying to grab cash will painfully learn the lesson.

Hypothetically... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833578)

Does this mean if I purchase DRM'ed videos, I can sell my hard drive that contains them?

Re:Hypothetically... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833942)

Along with any personal data you might have left on there. Sure.
As long as you didn't get the video from an optical disc.

Um, duh ? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833586)

So you buy a weirdly-licensed 'electronic' book, and then somehow later, when you go to sell it, its either electronically or legally crippled? Hello, cash is king, its either a book or it ain't. Don't be too proud of the technological terror you've spawned.

Okay then (1)

warrior_s (881715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833602)

as I understand... they are saying that we do not own the physical copy of the book so that is why we can not sell it..

Then using this same logic .. how can *they* sell the electronic copy in the first place?

we do not own the physical copy... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833882)

...and they do not have our physical money. Hence they can't "spend" the money we pay them for the book except under conditions we specify.
I faced the same issue with a now-defunct ebook retailer: www.paperbackdigital.com
I had bought about 8 mobi format ebooks from them and when i needed to visit their website to reset PIDs for my PocketPC, they were closed.
I felt like a dork.
Fortunately my credit card was just billed, so i disputed all the payments i made to them.
If i can't get their product, they can't get my money.

Fixed ideas. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833606)

"Short answer: those restrictive licenses may very well be legal, and even if you had rights under the first sale doctrine, you might only be able to resell or give away your Kindle -- not a copy of the work."

The price of quick convienence is issues like this arise. This is why the part in copyright law about being in a "fixed medium" should have been the norm. Buy your digital books fixed onto a memory chip. Loaning, selling, etc would have been the same as a physical book. The only difference is that your reader allows only limited copies (like a library would) and not retain any backups (like a dead tree book).

---
Heh! My captcha is "deterred".

Easy solution: hard copy (4, Informative)

MasterC (70492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833658)

The Kindle is $399. The books listed on the Kindle page [amazon.com] are $9.99 each. Picking a random book: Sue Grafton's T is for Trespass. Kind price: $9.99 [amazon.com] . Hardcover price: $17.79 [amazon.com] .

(Something I find extremely interesting is Amazon compares the kindle price to the hard cover list price ($26.95) AND does not link to any other versions of the book, but the hard cover sure does. It seems they are intentionally wanting to give the false sense of "what a deal!" and making it harder to jump to a non-kindle version.)

$7.80 may look like a lot (Amazon will tell you $26.95-$9.99=$16.96 ...more than double the market price difference) but is having the ebook worth the difference? Grafton's previous book -- S for Silence -- is $7.99 for paperback ($4.24 if you buy 3rd party to Amazon) and $6.39 for Kindle (again, Kindle page doesn't list other editions). A whopping $1.60 difference. $1.60 to [legally] be permanently locked to that copy with your Kindle with no rights to sell that copy to any one, nor transfer to other devices, etc. (I don't think I need to list them).

Is $1.60 (or -$2.15 if 3rd party) or $7.80 worth it to switch to Kindle? Not to me, so I'll stick to being a tree-killer. I won't ever switch to ebooks that trap my money and ability to do as I please.

(I also don't own HD DVD (hah!) nor Blu-Ray and never will until I can play them under my OS of choice, but I digress.)

Honestly, if it comes down to DRM books and DRM movies where I can't read/play on the device of my choice then I'll happily give them up. But it won't be for long because the time will come when good creators of books and film will not be hamstrung by those who demand DRM. That is if the recent digital "experiments" by known musicians are of any indication.

Easy solution: hard TO copy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22833758)

"But it won't be for long because the time will come when good creators of books and film will not be hamstrung by those who demand DRM. That is if the recent digital "experiments" by known musicians are of any indication."

Ahem! [acm.org] I suggest you read the section on DRM. The issue isn't black and white.

Re:Easy solution: hard TO copy (1)

MasterC (70492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834474)

Ahem! I suggest you read the section on DRM. The issue isn't black and white.
I propose that it is black & white. DRM exists to allow a producer to dictate what the consumer can and cannot do. Anyone who desires to dictate what a consumer can and cannot do, I contend, will not provide more freedom than the law allows and so will always remain on my black-list.

If I can't do more with an ebook than I can with a paper book then I don't want it. Ever.

If I can't buy an iTune and put it on a portable player of my choice then I don't want it. Ever.

If I can't buy a movie and watch it on my platform of choice then I don't want it. Ever.

It's very black & white for me, but I'm a liberty-toting libertarian: what do you expect?

Re:Easy solution: hard TO copy (1)

leabre (304234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834590)

I agree. Back in 2002/2003 I purchased a great deal many ebooks. When my system crashed and I had to get a whole new PC there was no way to recover my ebook at read them on my PC.

I purchased a very expensive ebook for a technical database theory book that wasn't easy to find printed ($300 if wanted it in hardcover) but when I went to unlock it (I pad half as much for the e-copy) the publisher had recently gone belly up (versatext I believe it was) so I wasn't every able to unlock to ebook and the middle-man who sold me the ebook actually knew they went belly up but wouldn't refund me or credit me. Not that maybe I couldn't have sued, it wouldn't have been worth the expense of the trouble.

Since then, I've actively refused to purchase anything that will lock me to a device without recourse and this includes certain types of software activation schemes that lock to the hardware configuration, also.

BluRay and HD-DVD and DVD are okay with me because they can be backed up with the right software. But I'm not in the mood to even attempt to rip an EBook, I simply won't stop purchasing the printed copies. I have a personally programming book library of over 900 books collected over the past 10 years or so, too. Nothing beats being able to take a 5 lbs. book with me to read wherever I choose. But I'll admit, it would be much better to put them on a memory chip and take them all with me or have them in case of a fire or something, so it won't be so difficult ot replace.

In the end, though, ebooks are not always cheaper than printed. Many of the printed books I've purhcased in the last year on Ebay or used on Amazon I've picked up for as much as 80-90% discount from the new price and some even for $2.00 where they were listed as $74.88 new. I e-copy will never be discounted with age. If anything, the older that locked format the less likely I'll be able to use it with new devices as there will always be a new DRM scheme or ebook format for the devices of tomorrow. Old copies will become useless and financial losses.

Thanks,
Leabre

Re:Easy solution: hard copy (1)

DetpackJump (1219130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834540)

(Something I find extremely interesting is Amazon compares the kindle price to the hard cover list price ($26.95) AND does not link to any other versions of the book, but the hard cover sure does. It seems they are intentionally wanting to give the false sense of "what a deal!" and making it harder to jump to a non-kindle version.) That's simply not true. Look at The God Delusion, for example, and they compare against the list price of the paperback, not the hardcover. The book you picked is only available in hardcover, except on the secondary market (and if you look, one of the ones they list is actually the hardcover). Also, the page for the book you mentioned links to all the other version of the book which are available.
# Also Available in: Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD (Audiobook,Unabridged) | Audio CD (Abridged,Audiobook) | Hardcover (Large Print) | Audio Cassette (Audiobook,Unabridged) | All Editions http://www.amazon.com/T-is-for-Trespass/dp/B000W915M6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1206253865&sr=1-1 [amazon.com]

Dosnt Matter (1)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833730)

In the end its all free and public anyways. Ebooks, software, music. Dosn't make it right, but I wouldn't worry about any ebook restrictions becuase people will always find a way to distribute if they have the will. I'm not supporting copyright infrindgment, I'm just saying the licensing will have little effect on what's available in the public domain (legitimate or not).

Truth in advertising (4, Insightful)

LihTox (754597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833748)

What lets companies get away with this is that consumers don't know about it, and stores toss around words like "buy" and "sell" when the more appropriate term might be "(indefinite) lease". Let's pass a law forbidding e-book sellers from saying in their advertising "Buy this e-book!" or "We have e-books for sale!"; if they are forced to say "Buy a license for this e-book!" or "Lease this e-book!" and consumers will get the idea that something is up, and become informed.

Ditto for DVDs, music, software, or anything else where the manufacturer claims to be selling licenses.

Takes an hour to OCR a book (1)

slaingod (1076625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833982)

It only takes an hour to OCR a normal 3-400 page book. Problem solved. It takes even less to simply scan it in and use a 15MB PDF to read. If you are really desperate you could set up a kindle with decent lighting and a high megapixel digital camera and snap away to your hearts delight. 2-3 seconds per page * 300 (if you do single side, 150 if you do both at once) is 10 minutes to 'scan' a book. You could probably even automate it, if Kindle has an auto page turn feature, or you have something that can press a button every once in a while.

E-books comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22834320)

These are the exact reasons that e-books have never held much interest for me, at least regarding content that I would have to pay for. The hard copy of most every book can be bought at an extremely cheap price if you're willing to wait until some schmuck lists the book on Amazon for a penny.

Also, our library system has a complicated and convoluted process so that library card holders can download audio books as well as e-books, but the format is so restrictive that it wasn't worth the bother. I can't copy the sound files to my MP3 player and I can't move an e-book to the portable device of my choice. If I'm going to sit there connected to the Internet using my desktop or laptop, then I'll just buy the real book used or check it out from the library. At least if I buy a real book, I can do what I want with it when I'm done.

Then make it a liscense... (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22834536)

Personally, if I were interested in buying an e-book, I would be intending to read the book once, and be done with it. If I want to read a book again later,I may as well buy a paper copy of it. Assuming people generally agree on this consumer model, why not make e-books 1 year rentals, or something along those lines?

Since I assume most e-book consumers intend to be one-time users (this is my general perception), reselling would be high, and the digital nature means copies aren't readily destroyed, so basically books would rapidly stop selling new copies. Book sellers would not like this, so if they rent the book, there would be no way to have resell rights (lending rights may be a question, but that is a smaller issue), and prices could drop a little since publishers can get money from the paper edition still if the e-book customer decides to get a permanent copy. While those who want to keep their digital books would be unhappy, there needs to be enough room for companies to be profitable and not be under bombardment from everyone.

Maybe it isn't the most efficient solution, but it's an idea to consider.
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