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Why Your e-Books Are No Longer Yours

pickens (49171) writes | more than 6 years ago

The Courts 1

Predictions Market writes "Gizmodo has an interesting analysis of the issue of reselling and copying e-books downloaded to Amazon's Kindle or the Sony Reader and an answer to the fundamental question: Are you buying a crippled license to intellectual property when you download, or are you buying an honest-to-God book? In the fine print that you "agree" to, Amazon and Sony say you just get a license to the e-books — you're not paying to own 'em, in spite of the use of the term "buy." Digital retailers say that the first sale doctrine — which would let you hawk your old Harry Potter hardcovers on eBay — no longer applies. It's a license that you can't sell. But is this claim legal? Just because Sony or Amazon call it a license, that doesn't make it so. "That's a factual question determined by courts," says one lawyer. "Even if a publisher calls it a license, if the transaction actually looks more like a sale, users will retain their right to resell the copy.""

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Art and Remuneration and Common Sense (1)

robertmc (620899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22833654)

To my mind, the promise of the digital age is universal access to ideas. In a perfect world, there would be no expensive middlemen between the artist/creator/discoverer and his audience. And it is just these middlemen who champion the status quo in the face of technological changes. Lord knows, even if the art is our personal property, changes in the means of transfer and method of rendering has in the past forced us to repurchase (e.g.: Jaron Lanier's observation about MP3's, "You mean I'll have to buy the Beatles' "White Album" all over again?") Dan Bricklin has documented now-defunct word processing files ... few files prior to 1990 will even open on today's personal computers. But wouldn't an obvious goal be to have more versus fewer artists make a living at their art? The Internet should make that "long tail" possible. Two views of that scenario are here: one from Bricklin http://www.bricklin.com/artistspaid.htm [bricklin.com] and one from Kevin Kelly http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php [kk.org] ... but for that to happen, editing and marketing, two crucial activities of the "middlemen," will have to be recognized and performed. How else would we know when said artwork is "ready-for-prime-time"?
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