Originally Posted by l_macd
It is simply not clear enough that an ebook purchase is only a licence.
It doesn't need to be any clearer. Buying a paperback book is a license, too, and no one seems confused about it. (You 'buy' the pulp and glue, but the content, the part that matters, is licensed to you under the terms on the copyright page as as defined in law.)
What does need to be clearer--what needs to be changed, actually, IMO--the specific terms of the license and your rights under fair use.
I can certainly see how people can be surprised they can't transfer ownership, and I think people SHOULD be allowed to transfer ownership.
But, heck, if there is a term that is causing confusion, it's not 'buy.' It's 'book.'
An ebook is not a book. It's nothing tangible at all. It's only the right to access the content. It's a different thing entirely, just like buying a pay-per-view rental is a different thing from buying a movie ticket. There is nothing deceptive about different things having different properties and different rules.
But, as I said, there is legitimate confusion about how the rules of fairly new thing are different from the rules of a different (but related) thing that people have been used to for generations.