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DRM Books Media Entertainment Your Rights Online

E-Book Lending Stands Up To Corporate Mongering 259

phmadore writes "Publishing Perspectives is talking today about the rise of e-book lending, which, one would hope, will lead to a rise in questioning exactly how far one's digital rights extend. Although the articles are mostly talking about the authorized lending programs through Kindle and Nook ('The mechanics are simple: ebook owners sign up and list books that they want to allow others to borrow. When someone borrows one of the ebooks you have listed, you earn a credit. Credits can also be purchased for as little as $1.99 from eBook Fling'), we have to ask ourselves why we are suddenly paying publishers more for less. In the case of iBooks, you can't even transfer your books to another device, let alone another user, but then at least the prices are somewhat controlled. In the case of sites like BooksOnBoard, you've got ridiculously out-of-control prices with a greatly decreased cost of delivery. It's not all bad, don't get me wrong; Kobo offers competitive prices that never leave me feeling ripped off or stuck with an inferior product. Still, I can't help but think: digital rights management, sure! Where are my rights, as a consumer, and who is managing them? I wouldn't mind selling the rights back to the publisher or store for in-store credit; I also wouldn't be terribly bothered if they got a reasonable cut off the resale of the product to someone else. What I won't like is if they never allow it or continue to make it impossible for me to sell what's rightfully mine."
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E-Book Lending Stands Up To Corporate Mongering

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  • by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @03:52PM (#35202272)

    Barnes & Noble is using .epub for all their stuff.

    Of course, the .epub spec allows for optional encryption... And I'm sure B&N is doing something to lock down their books.

    But, you should be able to open any .epub document on any device that supports .epub, even with the encryption in-place. Or, at least, that's my understanding.

  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @03:52PM (#35202274)

    You aren't buying a book.

    What you're buying is the temporary allowance to read that collection of words in that order, as the authour, or perhaps later editors, intended. You aren't buying a hardcover book or a mass-market paperback. What you're buying is your share of the time it took for the authour to write that book. It's not comparable to the older, dead-tree style of stenography and printing.

    You could never photocopy a dead-tree book and loan that out. Likewise, why would you be allowed to make a digital copy of a book and send that out to your friends?

    Look, it's Valentine's Day and I'm just getting a quick troll in before lunch.

  • Re:Hardware Solution (Score:3, Informative)

    by NEDHead ( 1651195 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @03:55PM (#35202316)

    It is called Google.

  • by lordDallan ( 685707 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @03:58PM (#35202366)
    From Apple's iBooks FAQ []:

    Can I copy my books onto other computers or devices?

    Books downloaded from the iBookstore can be placed on up to five computers you own that you’ve authorized with your iTunes Store account. You can sync your books to all iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches you own.1 Audiobooks, PDF files, and ePub files you've added to iTunes will appear in Books under Library. To sync Books to your device, connect it to your computer using the cable it came with. In iTunes, select your device then click the Books tab. Choose the books you would like to read on your device then press Sync. Books will sync to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch even if iBooks is not installed; to read synced books, download iBooks from the App Store.

    Note: Samples downloaded from the iBookstore will not sync to your computer. They remain on your device and can be removed using iBooks. []
  • The Right to Read (Score:5, Informative)

    by rafial ( 4671 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @04:11PM (#35202518) Homepage

    While mentioning the FSF, it's also worth pointing out Richard Stallman's old "science fiction" story, _The Right to Read_

    It's worth checking in with it every few years to see how close we've gotten to that particular dystopia.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.