‘Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader locked up: Why your books are no longer yours’

image I've said it before. When you buy a DRMed book, you're really just renting---say good-bye to the traditional first sale doctrine, like it or not. And it isn't just the DRM. It's also the terms of use. Check out Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader locked up: Why your books are no longer yours, in Gizmodo---picking up observations from the Columbia University Law School's Science and Technology Review.

So, as folks are wondering, what happens when all your books exist only as bits inside a $20-a-month Google locker? Meanwhile is it misleading and perhaps even legally unenforceable for e-stores to say they’re “selling” you a DRMed file? Scholars are debating such issues, although in the end, I suspect, corporate executives’ political donations will settle all—unless, of course, Larry Lessig can somehow turn things around.

4 Comments on ‘Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader locked up: Why your books are no longer yours’

  1. The first sale doctrine going away doesn’t bother me at all. Used books don’t benefit the sellers in any noticable way, they benefit mostly used bookstores. Now, I love bookstores as much as the next guy but let them make their money selling coffee or something, not passing along zero-copyright versions of my books.

    When I started BooksForABuck.com, I had an idea in mind–that eBooks could be offered at a price affordable enough that you’d want to keep them, rather than feel compelled to sell them in order to recoup some small fraction of your original purchase price.

    For me, the issue with DRM is more about being able to re-read your books in the future–when you switch, say, from a Palm to a Kindle–and less to do with some virtually meaningless ability to sell your book to someone else.

    Rob Preece
    Publisher, http://www.BooksForABuck.com

  2. Rob, that is exactly my issue too—-being able to keep them if I switch devices. The DRM on protected ebookwise titles is so restrictive that it can only be read on the device you purchase it on—meaning that even if in the future I buy another device FROM THEM, I would not be able to read the books I had already purchased FROM THEM. That just boggles my mind. It is totally unreasonable. It would be like saying that any p-book I own right now in my current house would not be readable if I packed it up in a box and took it to another house should I move. People would think that was crazy. Yet that is exactly what ebook DRM is suggesting, and that is why I do not buy books with that sort of system.

  3. Now, I love bookstores as much as the next guy but let them make their money selling coffee or something, not passing along zero-copyright versions of my books.

    So now you know how I feel about publishers.

  4. >>>I’ve said it before. When you buy a DRMed book, you’re really just renting—say good-bye to the traditional first sale doctrine, like it or not.

    Ummmm… weren’t YOU saying it FIRST?

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