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Books DRM EU The Courts Your Rights Online

Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast 72

Posted by timothy
from the semantic-boundaries dept.
Nate the greatest (2261802) writes "Here in the US it is legal to resell your MP3s on Redigi, and thanks to the UsedSoft decision you can resell downloaded software in Europe. But if you want to resell your ebooks you had better act fast. Tom Kabinet launched last week in the Netherlands to offer a marketplace for used ebooks, and it is already getting legal threats. The Dutch Trade Publishers Association (GAU) says that the site is committing piracy and if it doesn't shut down the GAU plans to take it to court. Citing a ruling from a German court, secretary general of the GAU Martijn David said that the question of legality had already been settled. Would anyone care to place a bet on whether the site is still in operation in 6 months?"
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Want To Resell Your Ebooks? You'd Better Act Fast

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  • The right to read. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scum-e-bag (211846) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @07:02AM (#47343931) Homepage Journal

    https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html [gnu.org]

    For Dan Halbert, the road to Tycho began in college—when Lissa Lenz asked to borrow his computer. Hers had broken down, and unless she could borrow another, she would fail her midterm project. There was no one she dared ask, except Dan.

    This put Dan in a dilemma. He had to help her—but if he lent her his computer, she might read his books. Aside from the fact that you could go to prison for many years for letting someone else read your books, the very idea shocked him at first. Like everyone, he had been taught since elementary school that sharing books was nasty and wrong—something that only pirates would do.

    And there wasn't much chance that the SPA—the Software Protection Authority—would fail to catch him. In his software class, Dan had learned that each book had a copyright monitor that reported when and where it was read, and by whom, to Central Licensing. (They used this information to catch reading pirates, but also to sell personal interest profiles to retailers.) The next time his computer was networked, Central Licensing would find out. He, as computer owner, would receive the harshest punishment—for not taking pains to prevent the crime.

    Of course, Lissa did not necessarily intend to read his books. She might want the computer only to write her midterm. But Dan knew she came from a middle-class family and could hardly afford the tuition, let alone her reading fees. Reading his books might be the only way she could graduate. He understood this situation; he himself had had to borrow to pay for all the research papers he read. (Ten percent of those fees went to the researchers who wrote the papers; since Dan aimed for an academic career, he could hope that his own research papers, if frequently referenced, would bring in enough to repay this loan.)

    Later on, Dan would learn there was a time when anyone could go to the library and read journal articles, and even books, without having to pay. There were independent scholars who read thousands of pages without government library grants. But in the 1990s, both commercial and nonprofit journal publishers had begun charging fees for access. By 2047, libraries offering free public access to scholarly literature were a dim memory.

    There were ways, of course, to get around the SPA and Central Licensing. They were themselves illegal. Dan had had a classmate in software, Frank Martucci, who had obtained an illicit debugging tool, and used it to skip over the copyright monitor code when reading books. But he had told too many friends about it, and one of them turned him in to the SPA for a reward (students deep in debt were easily tempted into betrayal). In 2047, Frank was in prison, not for pirate reading, but for possessing a debugger.

    Dan would later learn that there was a time when anyone could have debugging tools. There were even free debugging tools available on CD or downloadable over the net. But ordinary users started using them to bypass copyright monitors, and eventually a judge ruled that this had become their principal use in actual practice. This meant they were illegal; the debuggers' developers were sent to prison.

    Programmers still needed debugging tools, of course, but debugger vendors in 2047 distributed numbered copies only, and only to officially licensed and bonded programmers. The debugger Dan used in software class was kept behind a special firewall so that it could be used only for class exercises.

    It was also possible to bypass the copyright monitors by installing a modified system kernel. Dan would eventually find out about the free kernels, even entire free operating systems, that had existed around the turn of the century. But not only were they illegal, like debuggers—you could not install one if you had one, without knowing your computer's root password. And neither the FBI nor Microsoft Support would tell you that.

    Dan conclud

  • Resell them? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @07:05AM (#47343935) Homepage Journal

    I get most of my books from qbittorrent. I didn't realize they might have a resell value. A lot of my other books come from Kindle Cloud. I knew that I could loan a book out, but I had no idea that I could "resell" it.

    This is why I like dead tree books. I can do with it what I want. Hell, I can even shred it, roll it, and smoke it if I want.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Funny how commercial entities (which the GAU obviously is, even if they do not sell anything themselves) seem to think that when the carrier material changes -- in this case from wood to ... nothing? -- the rights for that what actually has the value, the "message" if you will, suddenly also changes.

      Is this maybe another of those "if its 'with a computer' than all bets are off" thingies patents seem to float so well on ?

    • by flyneye (84093)

      Without my glasses, I thought the headline was "Want to resell your body?", no kiddin. It did make me think though, about perceived ownership and rights. What do we really own and what are we licensed to "borrow/operate"?

      From a standpoint of laws designed to protect you from yourself and even recent forced healthcare ; the government has an interest in YOU as a commodity that adds to the Gross National Output thereby increasing the amount of $credit$ available to i

      • Under current law you can't "Sell" your body, or parts. Otherwise people would be getting offers for kidneys and such. It also stops slavery, though indentured servitude still exists.
  • Banning has already eradicated many other invisible activities, such as growing and smoking marijuana. I'm waiting for another smashing success here!
    • by kurkosdr (2378710)
      "Banning has already eradicated many other invisible activities..." They 'll just sell you a computer with Secure Boots on steroids (always enabled, allowing only fully "certified" images to run) which also is glued-shut and has glued-on components, so you can't open it without destroying it. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardow... [ifixit.com] Good luck with installing a custom OS on that. I hope I am wrong, but soon some Hollywood Legislator will ban devices with unlocked bootloaders like Nexus devices and man
      • Damn! If only it were possible to build a computer on your own using generic circuitry...
        • Oh, by the way...I'd like to take this opportunity to coin and spread a new term for this: "guerilla computing". To my knowledge, nobody has ever used that in this meaning. So I'd like to claim priority. :-)
          • I have copyrighted the term "gorilla computing". Your "geurilla computing" is much too close auditorily to my copyrighted term that I forbid you to use it in any commercial or non-commercial way, without paying me for the use of it of course. Anything for a dollar, or any other recognized form of payment, including but not limited to bitcoin, Galactic Credit Standard and gold-pressed latinum.
  • it is just a market place. ''the site operates on an honor basis.'' it expects that once you have sold your e-book that you delete it from your machines. If you do not then it is you who commits piracy. It is an issue of trust: the book publisher/author knows that it is all too easy for someone to sell a book once they have read it but still keep the copy. But just because it is easy does not mean that everyone will keep a copy. I do have to admit that many will sell and keep.

    I do not know what the answer it, shutting down a market place or wrapping the book in DRM are not the answers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you're making money off the deal, it's not piracy, it's bootlegging.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      The content industry (music, video, books, games) considers that reselling the works is an evil act and they'll do what they can do prevent it regardless of whether or not the law allows it. Thus DRM, which is promoted to the naive as merely copy protection is really designed to shut out the market for used items.

  • Assuming no other copy of 'your' book exists, its not piracy, any more than the library is.

    Now, perhaps if you cant guarantee there are no other copies, i suppose they could say something, but that should be on the seller to be complaint, not this company.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why is it that when prosecuting file sharers, the IP firms of the world are adamant that "digital property" is no different than tangible property (that "stealing" a movie or song is the same as stealing a car), but when that interpretation favors the customer they're suddenly all about digital property isn't the same as tangible property? Yeah, fuck you guys. That's why I pirate everything I can.

  • Happy I never wasted my money nor time on ebook technology:

    IMDB quote:
    "Star Trek: Court Martial (#1.20)" (1967)
    Cogley: Books, young man, books. Thousands of them. If time wasn't so important, I'd show you something. My library. Thousands of books.
    Captain James T. Kirk: And what would be the point?
    Cogley: This is where the law is. Not in that homogenized, pasteurized synthesizer. Do you want to know the law? The ancient concepts in their own language? Learn the intent of the men who wrote them, from Moses to

    • There is nothing wrong with plaintext ebooks. They are as useful and powerful as their physical counterparts.
      • by HiThere (15173)

        No. Sometimes e-books are better, and sometimes they are worse, but I've never found a time when they were the same. E.g., it's much easier to search a plaintext ebook. But it's less pleasant to read one in the bathtub.

  • I write books for a living (see sig). I've published 7 novels and 20-ish short stories/novellas, whatever.

    My gut feeling is that if you paid for anything I wrote, you can resell it, as long as you do it once and delete the original. Yes, I know there is no way I can enforce this, but I also don't really give a shit.

    Most authors do not feel this way and I'm not really sure why. I suspect it's because there's a feeling that most people won't do this and will just be reselling books en-masse for their own prof

    • by Quirkz (1206400)

      Yeah, I don't get the opposition, either. Considering nearly every writer I know loves books stores of all kinds, including used book stores, it seems absurd to object to reselling a digital one in exactly the same way physical ones have been resold in the past. I tend to assume most of it boils down to the fear if someone can resell once they'll resell a bunch of times.

  • Having switched completely to all kinds of unixes and FirefoxOS on the phone i'm unable to read that DRM-bullshit amazon is selling. Will never buy an ebook that has DRM again. And it's even more outrageous that the Sellers claim i can't resell it, so i will probably not buy an ebook again, DRM or not.
    • by rhyous (1727822)

      I believe in DRM free ebooks, too. My book, Fire Light (Trinity of Mind book 1), is DRM free. I also know a few other authors that sell DRM free books. However, I haven't even taking time to see if I can actually transfer them. I just click the box, DRM free when I publish.

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