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Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints 288

Posted by samzenpus
from the never-share dept.
Ian Lamont writes "LendInk, a community for people interesting in using the lending features of the Kindle and Nook, has been shut down after some authors mistakenly thought the site was hosting pirated ebooks. The site brought together people who wanted to loan or borrow specific titles that are eligible for lending, and then sent them to Amazon or BarnesAndNoble.com to make the loans. Authors and publishers who were unaware of this feature of the Kindle and Nook, and/or mistakenly assumed the site was handing out pirated copies, were infuriated. LendInk's hosting company received hundreds of complaints and shut the site down. LendInk's owner says: 'The hosting company has offered to reinstate Lendink.com on the condition that I personally respond to all of the complaints individually. I have to say, I really do not know if it is worth the effort at this point. I have read the comments many of these people have posted and I don't think any form of communication will resolve the issues in their eyes. Most are only interested in getting money from me and others are only in it for the kill. They have no intentions of talking to me or working this out. So much for trying to start a business and live the American Dream.'"
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Legitimate eBook Lending Community Closed After Copyright Complaints

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  • Easy.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:07PM (#40926163)
    Make a EULA that states you can charge for responding to errant take down notices.
    Respond to every take down notice with a bill for hourly services rendered.
    Profit??
    • Re:Easy.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh (602064) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:34PM (#40926389)
      And remember all those "Under penalty or perjury" parts. Sue for libel on each and every one.
    • Re:Easy.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:45PM (#40926499)
      The DMCA (which I assume the takedown requests are filed under) already includes a provision that states the claimant is liable for all costs associated with false takedown requests. People just haven't bothered to push them on it.
      • Re:Easy.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pepty (1976012) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:01PM (#40926639)
        do "all costs associated" include lost revenue or just direct expenses like hiring lawyers? Somehow I don't think the lobbyists who wrote the DMCA would have wanted the former.
        • Re:Easy.... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:37PM (#40926959)

          17 U.S.C. 512(f) Misrepresentations. – Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section —

          (1) that material or activity is infringing, or

          (2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,

          shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner’s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

          Take that as you will, I imagine it depends on a case by case basis but lost revenue should be included, in at least some cases (IANAL, of course).

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            The problem is that it only applies to complainants who "knowingly materially misrepresent". In order for that to be the case, the complainant would need to properly understand that the lending system in question is legitimate. Based on the summary text, I'd say that this understanding is decidedly lacking. It's possible that some folks are issuing complaints cynically, with the understanding that the lending is legitimate, but it seems far more likely to me that most of the complaints are knee-jerk reactio

            • Re:Easy.... (Score:5, Informative)

              by galaad2 (847861) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:57PM (#40927539) Homepage Journal

              in this case it's simple to prove the "knowingly materially misrepresent". The contract that those authors SIGNED with Amazon explicitly says in very BOLD LETTERS:
              https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=APILE934L348N [amazon.com]

              5.2 Marketing and Promotion; Kindle Book Lending Program.
              [...]
              5.2.2 Kindle Book Lending Program. The Kindle Book Lending program enables customers who purchase a Digital Book to lend it subject to limitations we establish from time to time. All Digital Books made available through the Program are automatically included in the Kindle Book Lending program. However, for Digital Books that are in the 35% Royalty Option (as described in the Pricing Page), you may choose to opt out of the Kindle Book Lending program. This will disable lending of the Digital Book by customers who purchase it after you have opted it out, but this will not affect the right of customers who purchased it when lending was enabled to continue to lend it. You may not choose to opt out a Digital Book if it is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel. If we become aware that a Digital Book you have opted out is included in the lending program of another sales or distribution channel, we may enable it for lending. Digital Books that are in the 70% Royalty Option (as described in the Pricing Page) cannot be opted out of the lending feature.
              [.... and a bit below...]
              KDP Select Option Terms and Conditions.
              [...]
              2.2 Inclusion in Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Program. Digital Books included in KDP Select will be automatically included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Program described in more detail here. ( https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=200798990#KOLL [amazon.com] )

              Q.E.D.

      • Re:Easy.... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:39PM (#40926983)

        The DMCA (which I assume the takedown requests are filed under) already includes a provision that states the claimant is liable for all costs associated with false takedown requests. People just haven't bothered to push them on it.

        Ahem. (cough, cough).

        Ah, attention legal staff of the EFF. This is what we like to call a "golden moment"...

    • Re:Easy.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:59PM (#40927117)

      And now they are engaging in book-burning..... I mean topic erasing. The topic where the authors complained has been deleted. They are trying to cover-up their actions.

      I created a new topic here: http://www.kindleboards.com/index.php/topic,122736.0.html [kindleboards.com]

  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:12PM (#40926205)
    Surely this falls under harassment, or something equally court-worthy. The American dream isn't to start your own business, it's to sue some rich asshole and get showered with money.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      According to the DMCA process, the hosting company must take-down "claimed" infringing content. Then the victim has the right to respond and say "This does not infringe copyright. We are following the lending rules laid-down by Amazon, B&N, and the Authors Guild. This ie perfectly legal."

      The next step under DMCA is for the complaining authors to sue the web owners/users. Of course I doubt that they will. The authors have better things to do then spend money they don't have fighting a court case the

      • by Tuoqui (1091447)

        More than likely the 'Authors' arent involved but the 'Publishers' are the ones with complaints. That said what they can do is just keep bogging you down in DMCA complaints.

        It almost looks like it was an orchistrated effort on the part of the copyright lobby to mass-complain on a single site to get it shut down.

        What he should do is just redirect everyone to tuebl.com :)

        • by Shagg (99693)

          It's basically a DDOS attack, in this case "DMCA Denial Of Service".

      • DMCA irrelevant (Score:5, Informative)

        by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:40PM (#40926453)

        I did not see DMCA mentioned, only "cease and desist". The "were infuriated" link contains equal parts infuration and people reminded the infuriated that lending was part of their agreement, if they checked the box to allow it.

        You invented DMCA because you associate it with copyright protection. What seems to have happened, based on the information presented, is that the hosting company was inundated with C&D notices instead of DMCA. These are legally backed threats which can lead to lawsuits directly, outside of the control of the DMCA process.

        In other words, the hosting company most likely had a choice between shutting down the service and responding to multiple court summons, if not full blown cases. Were I the hosting company, I would have folded, and I would have laid the responsibility of responding to the customer, just as this company did.

        C&D is a lose-lose proposition unless you have deep enough pockets to defend yourself. DMCA covers the host well enough if tey do what they are supposed to do. Which is most likely why the authors went with C&D instead of DMCA. One is quicker, one is more effective. If you're going for the kill, as the summary says, C&D is the way to go.

        • Re:DMCA irrelevant (Score:4, Insightful)

          by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:01PM (#40926643)

          Then the hosting company can be sued. They are not supposed to remove material (or suspend accounts) unless they FIRST receive a DMCA-compliant takedown request. Plus give the owner a chance to respond to the request. That is the current federal law and the ISP violated it.

          Also I doubt there was a single lawyer involved; just a bunch of angry authors sending nasty messages. Those have ZERO legal standing, unless they were specifically formatted as a DMCA takedown notice.

          • by nedlohs (1335013)

            That would depend on the agreement between the hosting provider and the hostee. Most likely it says "we can take down your stuff whenever we feel like it".

            • Re:DMCA irrelevant (Score:5, Interesting)

              by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:20PM (#40927279)

              Yes and my housing association contract says, "No antennas or dishes allowed on roofs." That clause was nullified by the 1996 Telecommunications Act and so too is any ISP clause that is nullfied by the DMC Act.

              They are not allowed to suspend a user simply because of an email from a complaining author or lawyer. They MUST follow the DMCA process and give the user a chance to respond, "No this does not infringe anybody's copyright or ownership."

          • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

            DMCA and cease and desist are two completely different things. If a DMCA notice comes in, they have to remove the content until they get a counter-notice. Cease and desist is a warning of future legal action, and you can decide whether to comply or fight. This host decided to comply.

            You are correct that a cease and desist notice has zero legal standing, except that they are warnings of impending legal action if not complied with, or adequately responded to. And your last phrase kinda makes my point. Th

        • Re:DMCA irrelevant (Score:5, Informative)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:29PM (#40926889) Journal

          A Cease and Desist Notice is an entirely different animal than a Cease and Desist Order, signed by a judge.
          It's far more likely that random authors sent out copypasta C&D threats^w notices and the hosting company folded as a result of ignorance.

          • by Plekto (1018050)

            Correct. They are basically spamming because they are pissed at the way things work and likely didn't read the contract they signed. And because it's Amazon and other huge companies that the ebooks are managed under, they are boned when it comes to re-working their contracts with them. If the Kindle allows sharing, until it doesn't any more, you have a legitimate right to use the function if they allowed it when they signed up.

            The person in question needs to get his own server and net connection set up (

      • Actualy the hosting provider is only required to take down properly formatted DMCA requests. With few exceptions this can never be a whole site. So in this case they would need to have lined to books they have control over the copyright. Now it sounds like he screwed up and did not file counter claim for each and every inbound take down notice. He should be suing everybody that sent these DMCA notices. His provider probably has it covered in his tos the DMCA is weak in allowing you to get out of liabil

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Here's a perfect example. I would not accept this bitch's apology if it were me. She probably saw the site and 30 seconds later was sending a takedown notice w/o ever bothering to do any research. And she ruijhne d an's website because of ti. I hate bitches (and bastards) like her....... mshe should be fined $1000 for filing a false DMCA request

      DEBBY WRITE:

      Owner of Website - if you are reading this. It might be worth getting a list of those who complained, you know? I was one of them. I overreacted, did

  • Crowdsource (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ktappe (747125) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:15PM (#40926235)
    Crowdsource the job of responding to them all. I'm sure enough of us are infuriated at this turn of events that we could all lend a hand. I think the first thing you'd need is a lawyer-type to draft a boilerplate response. Nothing too long, but substantial enough to explain in, say, 3 paragraphs that you are 1) your site is 100% legal, 2) this is a standard feature of the readers, and 3) no money will be paid out to anyone under any circumstances. Then let us volunteers each "adopt" a complaint to handle. If a sufficient percentage can be done away with, perhaps your venture can survive.
    • Re:Crowdsource (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:31PM (#40926365)

      There is another option.

      Go with a provider that has some backbone and won't just shut someone down on some specious and dubious copyright claims.

      He is a business already paying fees, why not just give those fees to a place like Free Speech hosting?

    • Re:Crowdsource (Score:5, Insightful)

      by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:53PM (#40926581)

      Crowdsourcing is only a viable option when you only need "good enough", and you can get an informed crowd together. In this case, not only is it inadvisable, it is dangerous. I would not trust volunteers to respond. An inadequate response could very well led to an undesirable situation.

      If no reply is sent, the author's representation will almost certainly file suit, so you want to ensure no response is overlooked. If you do not sufficiently address each point of a C&D, your response will be considered evidence against the person you are trying to help. If in any way the volunteer gives the impression of disdain or dismissiveness, intentional infringement will be claimed.

      Keep in mind, you will win any lawsuit, because they agreed to lending as part of the publishing agreement. But paying for the defense could be expensive, especially if multiple suits are filed. One volunteer screwing up and you are probably financially ruined.

      And no need to bring up the "have to be rich to get justice" garbage, it's been beaten to death. Yes, it's not fair, and yes in most cases it is true. We have discussed it to death, just leave it be.

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        If you know you're going to win why pay for a defense? Just represent yourself. The facts in the case are self-evident.
        • Re:Crowdsource (Score:5, Informative)

          by number11 (129686) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:17PM (#40926795)

          If you know you're going to win why pay for a defense? Just represent yourself. The facts in the case are self-evident.

          You never know you're going to win. It's always a crapshoot. Sure, sometimes the dice are loaded in your favor, but even loaded dice fall wrong sometimes. You didn't know the proper legal procedure? And no, it's not intuitively obvious. You're screwed. Even if you did everything legal right, dotted all the "i"s and crossed all the "t"s, it's still a crapshoot. Especially if an opinionated judge, or a jury, is involved.

          "A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client." It's unfortunate, but true. Sometimes, if you have a sympathetic judge, you can get away with it. But don't count on it.

    • by mark_elf (2009518)

      There are lots of easy ways forward for him, but he seems to be even more butthurt than the people complaining to his host. All he was asked to do was respond to them. Fine. We don't need to crowdsource that. Don't handle any complaints, just send them all the same three paragraphs and be done. Add some text to the site somewhere to discourage this in the future. We don't need to hold this guy's weiner for him, if he wants to be in business he knows what to do.

      The fact is, the site owner has a reasonably

      • Re:Crowdsource (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:30PM (#40926913)

        That..... and he lives in California, which Amazon is in dispute with. They suspended all affiliates in that state, so the guy's "business" has not made any money in 9 months. I can understand why he has no motivation to restore a website from which he gets no income.

  • by Elgonn (921934) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:16PM (#40926255)
    Every time the world's underlying assumptions shift there's some backlash and attempt to prevent the future from inevitably coming. But honestly either I'm just too knowledgeable about current events or everything I've read about other historical similarities seems tame in comparison. Yeah it was more violent but the world was just more violent then. Easier to club some heads or burn some equipment than employ lawyers. The breadth and scale of the backlash across everything in the digital space is just depressing.

    Copyright, first sale, fair use, etc.

    This was just the equivalent of a book club (slightly monetized). A twist on a library. This is getting ridiculous.
  • (knock)(knock)(knock)

    Hi yes. I received this email that you are complaining because I (and others) are loaning out books with our Kindles and Nooks. This is perfectly legal under the terms of Amazon and Barnes & Noble's contracts with the Authors' Guild.

    "I don't care. I will porsecute you and rape you for all your money!!!!" - typical author at the door

    Oh okay. (BAM). From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants (and any others who would seek to limit

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:26PM (#40926325)

    for Complainer in Complainers:
              print("Dear " + Complainer + ", \n");
              print("No.");

  • Crap. I wish I knew this existed before. Is there any alternative sites out there? Maybe I should start one myself.
    • Re:Alternative? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:39PM (#40926435)

      >Is there any alternative sites out there?

      Yes, it's called bittorrent, because clearly the publishers are not interested in playing by the rules anyway. If it was up to them, brick and mortar libraries would disappear too.

      --
      BMO

      • Re:Alternative? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by canajin56 (660655) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:03PM (#40927149)
        It's not the publishers doing it in this case, it was the authors. And most authors don't want libraries gone completely. Oh no, they want them to pay the author 10 cents each time the book is loaned out. That's what they managed to get in England, and they are furious at how small it is (the fee, not England). They say that since each loan is a loss of a 5-10 pound sale, they are reasonably owed at LEAST one pound each time somebody borrows a book from the library, absolute minimum. The lesson is the oft repeated "give an inch and they'll take a mile." You extend copyright a year, they'll keep demanding it again and again until, oh look, it lasts 150 years. You give them a cent and they will demand a million dollars because they have come to rely on your government handouts but find they are insufficient. In this case the list of anti-sharing, anti-reading, authors needs to be published so they can be boycotted.
    • by Githaron (2462596)
      I haven't used it yet but I just found Lendle [lendle.me] for Kindle users.
  • by beernutz (16190) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:31PM (#40926361) Homepage Journal

    This would let a LOT of these kind of sites flourish.

    I say, turn it around on them. Let them all spaz out when they see 100 more sites offering this service pop up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scsirob (246572)

      I have mod points and I could have modded you down. Having 100+ similar sites isn't going to work. The strength of the concept is to have all owners join one, or perhaps a few, of these sites. 100 sites with 1.000 members is a lot less effective than 1 site with 100.000 members.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:32PM (#40926377)

    He should publish the name of the authors who complained. Authors are definitely vulnerable to negative press. And certainly legal threats can't be thought to be private.

  • Don't quit now, you just got the media attention that you need! You've worked hard on this project and owe it to your self to see of your new found publicity is the tipping point. Good luck.
  • by Synchis (191050) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:52PM (#40926563) Homepage Journal

    This really disappoints me. :(

    I saw this coming when the site started circulating the facebook groups I'm involved in. In each case I explained how the site worked, and defended LendInk.com for what they were doing.

    The knee-jerking that resulted in this sites shut down is a perfect exampled of what happens when a bunch of frustrated indie authors don't take the time to read or research a site before crying foul.

    • by Pembers (250842) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @04:10AM (#40928859) Homepage

      Another indie author here. I saw the hysteria in one of my Facebook groups last week and decided to see for myself. I searched lendink for my name and saw my three books listed. One of my titles is available only for the Kindle at the moment, so I thought I'd ask to borrow it for the Nook. That should determine whether they really were just matching up people to borrow books, or were pirating them.

      Before they'd let me borrow a book, they wanted me to offer one for someone else to borrow. I pretended to have one of my own titles to offer. They asked me for the author and title so they could do a search on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but then seemed to ignore the author and just bring up the first match for a search on the title. One of my books has the same title as about ten other books. The others have "and" in the title, which most search functions ignore. So the site wouldn't let me offer my own books to be borrowed. Meaning that regardless of whether they were pirating or lending, they weren't very good at it.

      I suppose for some indie authors, it's easy to believe that the reason they're not making megabucks is because everyone's pirating their book. Easier than believing it's because of Sturgeon's Law...

  • by SilverJets (131916) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @09:53PM (#40926577) Homepage

    I own them. Neither Amazon nor the author can take them away from me.

    I can loan them to whomever I wish for however long I wish and the author can go pound sand.

    • Yeah, but Chronus, bookworms and the Catholic Church can still destroy your books...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:20PM (#40926825)

    No, it's not home ownership, it's vigilante justice.

    Yes folks, if you are an American you can shutdown -k a the website of your choosing simply by complaining. There's not waiting for some crusty old judge or lawyers saddled by common law or the rules of evidence. Just pick a site and complain to their hosting service that something on the site violates the Mickey Mouse/Sonny Bono law Copyright or the DMCA and wait for 5 minutes.

  • by medv4380 (1604309) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:22PM (#40926851)
    Let the crowd have their Names and Contacts. If they're lucky 4chan stays out of it.
  • by SealBeater (143912) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:26PM (#40926867) Homepage

    I bet this didn't make the slightest dent in book piracy either.

    • by Synchis (191050)

      Book piracy is very much like Music Piracy.

      You can't stop it, no matter how hard you try.

      I don't enable DRM on my books. Why? Because DRM doesn't stop piracy. I don't *want* people to pirate my book, but I don't honestly believe there is a damn thing I could do about it if my book *did* get pirated.

      The hope is that the exposure I gain from any kind of piracy will offset the piracy itself. Right? :)

    • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @11:16PM (#40927243)

      Quite the opposite. I wonder how many ex LendInkers, frustrated that their legitimate channel for sharing books was denied, threw their hands up in frustration, said "screw playing by their rules then", and took themselves away to the Pirate Bay.

  • by Trogre (513942) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @10:37PM (#40926955) Homepage

    Once again, thank you copyright.

    With a capital F.

  • The 'business owner' needs to grow a pair. "Ohhhhh! Woe is me, I have to sit in my easy chair and answer E-mails! THE AMERICAN DREAM IS DEAD!" A little dramatic, are we?

  • What got to me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Havenwar (867124) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @12:42AM (#40927819)

    What got to me was that on the complaining authors blog - which someone linked to - there was a part of a post saying that the reason they complained was because lendlnk was not an authorized lender, and only loans through authorized lenders cause the author to get their commission from the loan. Now, from what I've gathered lendlnk didn't loan the books themselves, they sent people to amazon - an authorized lender. However that's really not the big news here.

    The big news is that authors are getting paid when we loan an e-book to someone else. If this is true it's horrendous.

    Seriously, what's next, will they want to get paid if we read it in a new room? If we remove it from the kindle and then re-download it? If we read it in the dark? I mean, clearly it's amazon that pays out, but of course the cost ends up with the end consumer eventually... and even if it didn't, we really don't want to create another class of content producers that are fully expecting to write a book or three and then sit on their fat asses and ride the royalty checks for the rest of their lives. That's how the music and film industry got to be the giant douche-nozzles they are today - keep getting paid over and over again for the same work they already did and moved on from.

    Man, I wish I could go to work at say a supermarket, work for a day, or hell work for a year... and then get paid a .01% royalty every time someone goes through the checkout for the rest of my life.

    Now I'm not one of those people who devalue abstract goods... Ideas, books, poetry, whatever... these are valuable things. People should get paid to bring these to the world... However they should get paid for the work they do. Paid per book, per work, or per hour - whatever business model the REAL WORLD can handle... but they shouldn't be paid for future use of work they've already done. If they write a book in three months, they should write another one six months later, or a year, if they want to keep making a living as an author. Or if they do it for fun, because they WANT to write... well then they can just as well do it while working in wallmart to put food on the table. A lot of us - me included - could probably live off things we do for fun... But only if we made it our fulltime job. Of course eventually the market for professional gameplayers and buckyball artists would be saturated, but you get the idea. If it's a fulltime job, you should get paid while you work it.

    So stop going the other way by bending to give these lazy fucks more money for things they shouldn't be able to even know. If I lend my hardcopy to someone, the author doesn't get paid again. Nothing has changed in what happens, so nothing should change in the payscheme.

    • The big news is that authors are getting paid when we loan an e-book to someone else. If this is true it's horrendous.

      It's not true. At least not with Amazon. People are getting KDP Select "Units Borrowed" confused with units lent p2p. Authors and publishers don't even see that a book has been lent P2P, and it only happens once. Apparently a lot of people sign up for KDP select and don't know that there's a difference between p2p and KDP Library lending. They see a small royalty from the "units borrowed" column because everyone in KDP select splits a pot based on the total number of borrows for the month. KDP Select

  • by devent (1627873) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @03:40AM (#40928707) Homepage

    It really saddens me that we have invented that machine that can make copies for effective 0 costs and distribute them around the world with light speed for effective 0 costs again, but we pass legislation to cripple the new technology as best as we can.

    It's like we invent the warp engine and pass legislation to limit the maximum speed to 100km/sec to prevent the old space rockets to go out of business. Or we invent the replicator and pass legislation to throw out at least as much food as we produce out of energy to save farming.

    We need finally wake up and stop destroying new emerging markets. No wonder entrepreneurs have trouble come up with business models in the internet. It's not that people don't pay or the piracy or any other straw-man. It's the simple fact that any business on the internet is dealing with information and we try our best to destroy information sharing via politics.

    Put the copyright back in the way it was (with registration, only 14 years and 14 years extension) and then successive lower the copyright terms as the distribution becomes easier and easier.

    How much lost revenue we have because of the draconian copyright laws? How many new jobs can we create in the new markets?

    • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @07:02AM (#40929671)
      Here's an example of how truly insane it is.
      In 1932 an Australian music teacher wrote a song: "Kookaburra."
      In 1934 she entered it into a competition run by the Girl Guides Association of Victoria and won, giving over the rights to the Girl Guides in exchange for a prize (I don't know what, but the budget would have been low so most likely something donated by a local business). The rights for the song were sold in 1934 and the proceeds used to buy a camping ground far from the city where land was cheap. After some years Australian copyright expired and the song would have gone into the public domain.
      Fast forward to around 1980 and the flute player with the band "Men at Work" put a riff from "Kookaburra", at that time public domain, into the song "Down Under", and that version was recorded by the band in 1981.
      Move ahead to near the present day and Australia adopting copyright extensions on the insistence of some shady characters in the USA as part of one of the many one sided conditions of a "free trade" deal. Then one recording company wanted to take over another but they were not selling. The lawyers were called in, the archives searched, and it turns out the company doing the takeover had previously owned the rights to "Kookaburra" before it entered the public domain and thanks to new laws it was out of the public domain and theirs again, and even better the company they wanted to take over had recorded the song "Down Under" with that "Kookaburra" riff. It all went to court, the law had changed to retrospectively make it an offence to use part of a song that had been in the public domain. Substantial damages were paid, of course none went to the heirs of the composer or the Girl Guides, and the flautist that included the riff suffered months of depression before being found dead in his home.
      All that messing about just so one company could find a blunt instrument to use on another.

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