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Amazon Tells Customer She Doesn’t Own Her e-Books

 8:19 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

If all the books on your shelf suddenly disappeared, you’d probably say you’d been robbed.

But when a Norwegian woman lost access to her Kindle books without warning, she learned she had never owned them in the first place.

Linn Jordet Nygaard, 30, an IT consultant from Oslo, said the debacle began two weeks ago when her Kindle stopped working; she later discovered she was locked out of her Kindle account, and could not access her library. [thestar.com...]

I would imagine there are a few e-book authors here at Webmaster World. It's probably a silly question but are you aware of the policy of e-books only being licensed as opposed to being owned? I myself read a lot of books, very few have been e-books yet except for the ones I borrow from my local library electronically. They expire and get deleted from my HDD after 21 days. And just like their traditional cousins, nobody else can take it out electronically while I have it checked out. But now knowing this I think I will continue to invest in dead tree books (as lucy24 would say) despite the extra cost.



 8:38 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Geo DRM..again..


 10:08 pm on Oct 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Disclaimer: I didn't make up the phrase "dead tree book" ;) though I use it.

I guess it's the same copyright principle as letters: The recipient owns the physical letter, but in most circumstances the writer retains copyright in the content. So you're allowed to burn old love letters, but not publish them.

In any case there ought to be a difference between books that are currently in copyright, and public-domain books. If a text from Amazon contains the phrase "a community of volunteers" it means it was scraped from Project Gutenberg (though not necessarily produced by Distributed Proofreaders as implied by the "community of volunteers") and is almost by definition in the public domain in the US. So they've got a ### of a nerve putting limitations on it.

I do not believe Amazon checks the individual countries' copyright status on every e-book they sell. Er, license. Can't remember if Norway uses the Rule of the Shorter Term (US doesn't), but I can easily find out.


 7:05 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Can't remember if Norway uses the Rule of the Shorter Term (US doesn't), but I can easily find out.

That's ok lucy, I'm just more interested in it in general terms right now.


 7:27 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

there was a story in the paper a while ago about bruce willis, who is trying to take apple to court to get ownership of all the songs he's bought from itunes. apparently he's got thousands and thoiusands of songs and wants to pass them onto his kids when he dies. it turns out that you dont really own any of those either.


 10:06 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bruce Willis can't afford to buy physical CDs? Who knew?

There have got to be existing court rulings about the inheritance or transfer of licensing. If your business owns a software license and you sell the business, you'd expect the license to be included as part of the sale wouldn't you? Matter of fact I think the fine print says you can. You just have to delete all your own copies.

By weird coincidence I have just come from a discussion in another forum concerning a product anti-review-- with accompanying recommendations of two other named products-- linked from Project Gutenberg's front page. People are Not Happy.


 10:18 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

That's an interesting review the Gutenberg Project is giving concerning the fire Amazon is playing with.

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