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Other posts by Marilynn Byerly

More on Amazon’s used e-books controversy
February 19, 2013 | 3:00 pm

Digital products like e-books are licensed—not sold—to a buyer, so they can’t be legally resold, shared, or loaned. (See my article on e-books and the first sale doctrine for more information.) A group called the Owners' Rights Initiative wants to change that. The ORI believes that the owner of a digital book should be allowed to sell it used.  Members of this group include some library trade groups, used resellers of paper books, and eBay. Some readers consider this a good thing, because they can get cash back on books they've read, in the very same way many readers do with paper books. But...

Is Amazon About to Break the Law?
February 19, 2013 | 10:04 am

Amazon has patented a means to sell used e-books within the Kindle system. A book will be branded within the system when it is bought, and when the buyer puts it up for resale at the Kindle store, it will be removed from his account and transferred to the buyer’s account. Amazon will receive a small fee for each sale. A limited number of sales of each book may or may not be included in the system. According to copyright law, specifically the first sale doctrine, this is illegal because digital goods aren’t physical things so they can’t be resold. (See...