Originally Posted by HarryT
It's certainly true that, when you buy a paper book, you are simply buying the "medium" - the paper, ink, glue, etc. You are not buying any rights to the content. You can re-sell the physical book, but you cannot re-publish the content yourself.
Harry, you should become a lawyer, serious!
I am sure from a legal standpoint, you are absolutely correct. But let's forget the legal aspects for a moment and let's consider the consumer and his needs and wants. When I purchase a p-book, I purchase the right to read what's inside the book - at any time I wish - and I purchase the right to sell the book again.
Following what's been said about e-books here, you must agree that what you get as the prospective consumer of e-books is considerably less. Amazon has chosen (obviously at random) to have your e-books expire one year after purchase in your Amazon Digital Library. Again, while this may be legally OK under the given licensing terms, it certainly can not be in the interest of the consumer. If vendors want e-books to succeed, they must create incentives. P-books have been around for centuries, and people feel comfortable with purchasing them (because they know exactly what they get - there ain't no legal smallprint). E-books are so new that most people are overwhelmed with the different formats and with the different hardware technologies. As if this was not enough, e-book vendors now come up with their own licensing terms putting them all under the umbrella of DRM - which, if taken all together, hardly sounds like a great selling point over traditional p-books.