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Old 03-11-2011, 05:05 PM   #31
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Certain members of MR have been projecting the demise of the Sony Reader on an annual basis for at least three years. I somehow doubt they're getting out of the e-reader game.
It's a little silly to single out the Sony reader anyway, since now virtually ALL popular readers support Adobe Adept EPUBs, even the quite inexpensive ones, with only ONE notable exception.

If you had to single out a single reader it would have to be the Kindle which is the only one that is unique, in that it DOES NOT.

So the question really should be, something like -

"When congress intervenes to protect 'fair use' rights for libraries, and spanks Harper-Collins like a red-haired stepchild, and Overdrive services increase by a factor of 100 times as libraries become incredibly popular again, WILL THAT BE THE END OF THE KINDLE?"

My guess is that the Kindle would survive this, thanks to the high one-a-minute birth rate for a certain type of individual that PT Barnum spoke so eloquently about.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:13 PM   #32
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I came across a site in which librarians are boycotting Harper Collins and its smaller branches. This is the only publishing house I thought was trying to licence the ebooks 26 times. I bought my Sony PRS650 for the option of borrowing books from the library and I think is a ripoff from the publishers to licence ebooks only so many times. A physical book can be loaned out more than 26 times and may last hundreds of years.
I hope the libraries limit the purchase of Harper Collins books period.

In this age of economic downturns and libraries dealing already with budget cuts, it is a
low blow to readers and libraries coming from greedy publishers.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:59 PM   #33
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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; 03-12-2011 at 11:01 PM. Reason: To correct a typo.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:33 AM   #34
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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.
No, I'm sorry, but I think you are being too reasonable. Appeasing Hitler turned out to be a bad idea, and giving in to this Harper Collins bid to try to unilaterally rewrite the fair-use right-of-first-sale rules here in the U.S. would be an equally HUGE MISTAKE.

What Harper Collins is trying to do is a violation of current copyright law, which gives everyone here in the U.S. the right to re-sell or lend out their own copies of copyrighted works that they have legitimately purchased.

Bowing to the pressure from a computer software industry that had millions of dollars in bribes to spread around, our wonderful 'best government money can buy' legislators did enact an exception to rights-of-first-sale rules for some kinds of software content, but ebooks were NOT listed, and in any case libraries were given an 'exemption to the exemption' that preserves their rights to lend out even these exempted computer software and CDs and DVDs.

Some of our greatest leaders in this country grew up in families of modest means reading books from public libraries, and it's VERY VERY VERY clear from the way that this law was written, that looking out for Libraries was an important component of the law. If Harper Collins thinks that they can turn this around and take on the libraries of America, THEY WILL LOOSE.

I think the real reason that Harper Collins is doing this is because their current business model is rapidly becoming about as viable as a buggy-whip maker's, and they are hemorrhaging cash as authors have started take their show on the road and sell their ebooks directly. (notice that out of a total of FIVE bestselling authors listed as bypassing their publishers and opting for direct-release THREE were previously published by Harper Collins)

Last edited by delphin; 03-13-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:05 PM   #35
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uh-oh, someone mentioned Hitler....


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Old 03-13-2011, 11:00 PM   #36
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I chose my e-reader based on a number of things. The fact that I can borrow from the library is just a part of it. It's a nice function to have, but not one that I use frequently.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:12 AM   #37
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Neocons and radical libertarians would have us believe that Harper Collins can set any damn rules they want, because they OWN the rights to the books they publish.

Actually that's not quite accurate. Under our U.S. Constitution at least, copyright protection is a privilege granted by the government NOT a sacred god given property right.

The ability of buyers to make 'fair use' of copyrighted materials is part of the bargain that publishers agree to in exchange for their grant of copyright protection, and the ability of libraries to lend out copyrighted books in perpetuity has been long held to come under these 'fair use' rules.

Since Harper Collins apparently doesn't want to play by these long established rules governing copyrights, perhaps the government needs to step in and inform Harper Collins that they are jeopardizing their eligibility for copyright protection on Harper Collins titles until they rethink their position.

This would NOT be unprecedented. For example, when a company decides to get a patent on a new technology, they have to agree to very stringent rules in exchange for being granted patent protection. If they don't want to do this, they do have the option of opting out of the patent process and simply trying to keep the technical details of their discovery as a 'trade secret', in which case they could theoretically retain that secret forever.

However this grants them NO PROTECTION under the law.

Since Harper Collins clearly doesn't want to play the Copyright game by the long established rules, I guess we have to assume that they wish to waive their copyright protections.
I'm not sure how ebooks/libraries fit intio the whole copyright issue. Aren't there some publishers that don't allow their ebooks at libraries? Why has this been allowed?
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:02 AM   #38
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I'm not sure how ebooks/libraries fit intio the whole copyright issue. Aren't there some publishers that don't allow their ebooks at libraries? Why has this been allowed?

The situation involving ebooks is a mess.

For regular books printed on paper, it's very clear.

This varies in other countries around the world, but in the United States, libraries have the right to buy books anywhere and lend them out under any terms they please.

A librarian could literally stock up on some bargain basement books at a local K-Mart and have the books on the shelves the same day.

Traditionally though, they have tried to maintain a better relationship with publishers by dealing with them directly.

But they are not required to do so, because here in the U.S. we have a general legal principle called the first sale doctrine that says that, with few exceptions, if you OWN a legal copy of a copyrighted work you are free to, sell it or give it away, or lend it out freely or for payment (thus the mom-and-pop DVD video rental industry)

For E-Books it gets a little complicated, because of DRM issues and the fact that publishers and book sellers like Amazon are trying to assert that you can't 'buy' an ebook at all, you have to 'license' it.

Never mind that Amazon uses advertising like "buy it once, read it anywhere" which clearly implies and outright sale.

This could get Amazon in trouble, because in 2008, in Timothy S. Vernor v. Autodesk Inc. the judge ruled that because the software company sold the product an a way where the transaction resembled a sale and not a temporary licensing arrangement, first sale doctrine applied, and the user was free to re-sell the software.

Right now, this is a REAL MESS, and if the Publishers and Authors persist in this type of marketing model, I think the appropriate way to deal with it is to have our U.S. legislators revisit the copyright laws in their entirety.

The copyright clause in our constitution, the one that allows the federal government to restrict your right to copy a book any time you want once you buy it, reads like this -

Quote:
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
If the publishers and authors want to market their works under these new 'license only' terms, it clearly effects the public good, and the "Progress of Science and useful Arts" so it's time to revisit the issue of just what kind of rights the government will grant them.

I think it's time for congressional hearings. Call in the heads of Harper Collins, Doubleday, Amazon, B&N, plus any authors who are interested, since they have a big stake in this, then ask them some tough questions like -

"Since you not do not seem to want to sell copies of your works outright as in the past, but rather expect to 'license' them, we are reconsidering a reduced copyright period for any work initially marketed in this manor. How would you feel about 5 years?"

One of the publishers leans forward and asks, "So we could only use restrictive licenses for 5 years after publication, and then we would have to start selling works under an outright sale contract for the remainder of the normal author's copyright term?"

One of the Senators leans forward and says ominously, "No, I'm afraid you misunderstood. What we are proposing is that any electronic publications marketed in this fashion would only remain protected by copyright for 5 years THEN REVERT TO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN."

This is not as crazy as it sounds, for time-sensitive material like newspaper and magazine subscriptions, the publisher might prefer a shorter protection term in exchange for greater licensing control.

But for traditional books, if given the alternative of only a 5 year copyright term, or keeping the current life+70 term, and introducing an enhanced DRM technology that let's ebooks be traded and sold like normal books, and purchased and added to library collections like normal books, I'm guessing that the authors and publishers will reconsider their current practices.

Last edited by delphin; 03-14-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:47 PM   #39
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Big publishers are a dying breed and at this point just clinging on to dear life...
Unless you have some hard facts to back up that statement, I would say it is just your opinion, and not an accurate one. I suspect that large publishing houses own the rights to so many books, and will so for so many decades to come, that they will not be going anywhere anytime soon. I do expect the market to slowly change over time to where more and more independent authors publish their own books via electronic means and thus circumvent the large publishing houses. I certainly hope they do.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #40
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As I stated before, the first e-book proposals involved buying a copy of a book that you OWNED and could sell, trade or lend it. Because these books on a memory chip were to be packaged and sold through bookstores, it would have preserved bookstore sales as well as your ownership rights to your purchase.

Publishers turned this down completely, and have repeatedly stated for years that they want to do away with used books and that the "licensing" of e-books is how they expect to achieve it. They believe that this will force everyone to license their own copy. Since apparently they have been doing just fine financially with used books floating around, this is can only be viewed as another form of greed.

Regardless of what a publisher says, the fact is that there is a much larger profit margin in the sale of an e-book than in the sale of a physical book and there is no excuse for the current high price of e-books.

Personally I cannot afford $8-10 and up per book. I am one of many millions who are in this situation. I use the library and I buy used books. Unfortunately, the library here is totally inadequate, which is the basis for my desire to be able to check out an e-book from any library that has it.

I can order any physical book from another library via Inter-library Loan. Why is checking out an e-book different? Gee, did I just hear someone say, "Because publishers want to force every library to get its own "licensed copy", thereby "licensing" more copies under whatever rules the publishing industry chooses to make.

Go to any online bookstore, not just Amazon, and you will see that you are told you are "buying a book". The books are listed as: $ to buy, put it in your shopping cart, etc. If the word "license" is being used in reference to "buying" an e-book it's hidden somewhere in the fine print. I believe this is not unintentional.

I applaud the stand from Overdrive to put the Harper Collins books in a separate category. I also applaud the librarians who are outraged and have stated they will not be ordering any more Harper Collins books. However, the next step in this war will be for all the large publishing houses to join HC in this stand. Then what?

Either Congress makes the publishing industry conform to copyright law or there will be widespread piracy. I've checked out the torrent sites, and as yet piracy is not a big issue for e-books. This could rapidly change if the book-reading public feels it is being cheated.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:17 PM   #41
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I'm not sure how ebooks/libraries fit intio the whole copyright issue. Aren't there some publishers that don't allow their ebooks at libraries? Why has this been allowed?

This may be more of a rights issue than a copyright issue.

Generally speaking, 99.999% of the time an author owns the copyright. The publisher licenses specific rights from the author for a specific length of time. Many publishers don't have the e-publishing rights to every book in their print catalog.

Publishers also have the right not to exercise some of the rights they've negotiated for. A good example is film or audio rights. A publisher may retain those rights for a length of time, even though they elect not to make a movie. they might have the e-pub rights, but elect not to release a book in electronic format.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:34 AM   #42
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This may be more of a rights issue than a copyright issue.

Generally speaking, 99.999% of the time an author owns the copyright. The publisher licenses specific rights from the author for a specific length of time. Many publishers don't have the e-publishing rights to every book in their print catalog.

Publishers also have the right not to exercise some of the rights they've negotiated for. A good example is film or audio rights. A publisher may retain those rights for a length of time, even though they elect not to make a movie. they might have the e-pub rights, but elect not to release a book in electronic format.
I'm not sure how this explains that some publishers do not have any of their ebooks in libraries, other then they decided not to make them available.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:28 PM   #43
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I'm not sure how this explains that some publishers do not have any of their ebooks in libraries, other then they decided not to make them available.
I think it's right here:
Quote:
Publishers also have the right not to exercise some of the rights they've negotiated for.
Publishers can have e-rights and e-lending rights and choose not to exercise them.

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Old 03-16-2011, 08:16 AM   #44
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...

Publishers can have e-rights and e-lending rights and choose not to exercise them.
So e-lending rights is something that is in a contract?
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #45
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So e-lending rights is something that is in a contract?
It can be separate, but often lending is included as one of the basic distribution rights that a publisher negotiates to have.
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