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Posts tagged used e-books

The digital resale controversy, in the New York Times
March 10, 2013 | 3:34 pm

digital resale The New York Times ran an interesting and fairly informative feature story on March 7; it covers the digital publishing industry's current digital resale controversy, which was sparked largely by the work of John Ossenmacher, the founder and CEO of ReDigi — a company that refers to itself as 'The World's First Pre-Owned Digital Marketplace.' The story includes a brief quote from Free Ride author Robert Levine; the quote probably does a better job than anything I've read before of explaining why digital resales will almost certainly lead to a fair amount of market insanity. As the article's author, David Streitfeld, writes: [caption id="attachment_81113" align="alignright"...

The Digital Reselling Issue: What about the customer’s rights?
February 20, 2013 | 10:00 am

Yesterday, TeleRead published two thoughtful essays on the digital reselling issue (here, and here) from author Marilynn Byerly. I appreciate her desire to ensure that any used digital market is fair to authors. I don't, however, think Amazon is—as she asserts—about to 'break the law.' Why not? Because while many have tried to interpret the current law to the best of their ability, it hasn't been definitely established by a precedent-establishing case whether or not digital goods are subject to the first sale doctrine. But this is not a bad thing—it means a healthy discussion and debate can still occur, and...

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...

Morning Links — Used e-books are getting closer
February 19, 2013 | 9:25 am

The Moviegoer by Walker PercyProject Gutenberg Adds Dropbox Support (Lifehacker) Sales of Used eBooks Getting Closer (Publisher's Weekly) eBook Challenges in Japan (Good e-Reader) Amazon's Digital Metamorphosis: eBooks Up 70% (The Verge) Kindle Daily Deals: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy (and 3 others) ...

Amazon scores broad patent on reselling ‘used’ digital content
February 7, 2013 | 8:32 pm

I’ve written quite a few pieces here about the various attempts to try to create a workable digital resale market—most recently with digital music resale firm ReDigi, which is currently engaged in a legal dispute with music label EMI over its activities. Now it looks as if, as with a lot of its digital media sales, Amazon may have achieved yet another leg up on the competition. On paidContent, Laura Hazard Owen reports that Amazon has been awarded a patent on the idea of a marketplace for “used” digital content. Amazon applied for it back in 2009, and it...

Would used e-books work, redux
January 10, 2012 | 12:15 pm

Since the ReDigi lawsuit surfaced a few days ago, some of the e-book blogs have been taking notice. EbookNewser simply asks “Could selling used e-books work?” (The answer is, probably about as well as ReDigi’s idea of selling used e-music. In the unlikely event courts bless it, then yes, we might very well see a used e-splosion. Wouldn’t hold my breath, though.) TeleRead has already looked at these issues a couple of times, with a reprint of a post on first sale by Marilynn Byerly and my own look at digital resale efforts that didn’t get off the...

Ninth Circuit rules EULA licensing restrictions on digital content enforceable
September 11, 2010 | 11:15 am

padlock[1] The matter of first sale and imports I mentioned yesterday is not the only recent Ninth Circuit decision with unpleasant first-sale implications. Ars Technica reported yesterday that the Ninth Circuit ruled in a long-standing case concerning End-User Licensing Agreements on computer software—and from a consumer rights standpoint (and that includes e-book consumers), the ruling was not a good one. The case is Vernor vs. Autodesk, and until yesterday a lower court ruling had been cited as a potential precedent in favor of users being able to resell computer software they had purchased. The case involved a man, Timothy...

Are ‘second-hand e-books’ possible?
July 25, 2010 | 12:17 pm

usedbooks Nick Harkaway has posted on the Bookseller’s “FuturEBooks” blog wondering about the possibility of selling “second-hand e-books”. He points out (as I did in this TeleRead post on the idea) that, since there is no physical artifact to depreciate, an e-book couldn’t really be considered “used”, so either people would pass on the e-book for exactly the same price as they paid for it or else they’d drive down the value of the book by selling it at a discount. Harkaway then proposes the ideas of “returning” an e-book to the seller in return for store credit...