Some years ago there was a company that wanted to publish e-books on a memory card type of arrangement and sell them through the bookstores. You would actually be buying a copy of the book. You could read it, lend it, and/or resell it. Just like any physical book.
They were never able to get it off the ground because the publishers wouldn't go for it. In fact, publishers stated at the time that their aim was to eventually do away with the lending and reselling of used books.
When music companies first came out with CDs they said that even though the CDs were much higher in price than vinyl and cassettes at first, eventually the price of CDs would come down. Unfortunately, that did not happen until Napster and mass piracy began in earnest. The same thing happened when movies came out on DVD until the movie producers brought the price down to a reasonable level.
When the average person feels that the price is reasonable, he or she will buy. If the belief is that the price is unreasonable, piracy will be rampant. This is what happens when an industry thinks they have the public in a "gotcha".
Piracy won't go completely away, but in the case of CDs and DVDs, when the prices came down a whole lot of piracy did go away. Guess what - the music publishers and movie companies are still all in business and still making lots of money.
There are programs now that will strip the DRM from any kind of e-book you have. It isn't easy to duplicate a VCR tape, a cassette tape, a physical book or a vinyl LP. It is easy to duplicate a DRM-removed CD, DVD or e-book.
If the book publishers don't learn from the previous experiences of the music and movie industries, very soon e-book piracy will be out of hand. I am very sorry to see this happening as it's apt to get very ugly way before it gets better.
I can agree in theory to a limit on a license to the libraries for e-books. But a limit of 26 downloads is unreasonable. That's just one more step up in greed. I would agree that a license for the length of time that a hard-copy book is likely to last, perhaps five years for a popular fiction book and ten years for non-fiction books, would be reasonable.
I also find it unfair that libraries cannot issue library cards to out-of-state customers to check out e-books. Libraries need the money -- library patrons need the access. Why should you not be able to "buy" something if it cannot be obtained in your area?
I don't yet own a reader. I've been looking at them and had pretty well settled on a 505 because I can get a library card from the next county for $50/yr. My local library doesn't have ANY e-books, very few audio-books, and their catalog of paper books is pretty sad, too. The neighboring county library has a lot of audio-books and e-books. I thought I could pay the $50 and download books.
My instincts tell me that my best option now is to wait on buying a reader and send for the books I want via Inter-library Loan until the dust settles.
Last edited by glendalekid; 03-13-2011 at 12:01 AM.
Reason: To correct a typo.