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Old 09-29-2012, 11:52 AM   #106
Elfwreck
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No they are not. No one is deceived, everyone seems to get it just fine, as they do with every other distinction of between tangible and intangible goods and services they encounter everyday.
The only times people seem more than slightly uncertain about it, because of the genuine novelty of new media and legitimate new issues, is when they argue about it here.
I disagree. We get regular questions from newbies about "I want to give my ebook to my cousin now;" they obviously thought that they bought a book, which they could give away when they were done with it.

Many of them seem accepting when they're told (or sometimes almost yelled at) that they bought a license, not a book--but that doesn't mean they weren't deceived in the first place. Amazon and most other ebook stores go out of their way to imply that an epub purchase is the same kind of purchase as an MMPB. They put them in the same listings, use the same phrasing to describe them, and the actual terms-of-license aren't anywhere near the purchase pages.

*NONE* of them state, clearly and directly, "This is not the purchase of a book; it's the purchase of a license to read the contents of a book. This content is licensed to one person--you. It cannot legally be shared or given away."

They bury those concepts in 3000-word TOS statements. If it's so obvious that it's a license, why isn't a statement like that on the front page of most ebook stores? "We don't sell books; we sell licenses to read." That'd nicely clear up the confused people who think they're buying something they can share or give away, and it'd make the pirate sites more obvious. If the legit sites all said, "YOU CANNOT BUY THESE EBOOKS; YOU CAN ONLY LICENSE THEM," the pirate sites offering to sell them would stand out.

Somehow, though, the legit sites don't seem to want to distinguish themselves as "the places where you can't actually buy ebooks."
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #107
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They're using the same language for pbooks and ebooks. There's nothing on the page to indicate "you can buy the *actual* physical book for [price], or a *license to use* the ebook for [other price]."
And there's nothing to say otherwise.

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They don't deliver the license. They don't even deliver text that says, "the details of your license can be found at [url]." They are trying to deceive the customers--to convince them that they're buying a book, while claiming to the courts that they're selling a license.
You cannot sign up for an account without agreeing to the terms. Those terms are quite specific.
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #108
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I disagree. We get regular questions from newbies about "I want to give my ebook to my cousin now;" they obviously thought that they bought a book, which they could give away when they were done with it.
Then they should have read what they were agreeing to before they agreed to it.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:30 AM   #109
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You can argue until you are blue in the face about the legalities of it, but there is no denying Elfwreck's point about Amazon (or anyone else) not making it very clear what you are actually buying.

It is simply not clear enough that an ebook purchase is only a licence. If it was, there wouldn't be so many people wondering why they can let their friend read the great ebook they bought once they've finished with it.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #110
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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.

ApK

Last edited by ApK; 09-30-2012 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #111
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You can argue until you are blue in the face about the legalities of it, but there is no denying Elfwreck's point about
people not reading what they're agreeing to, which says very, very explicitly that you are buying a license, not a copy. Which is hardly Amazon's fault.

Glad we cleared that up.

Amazon (or anyone else) not making it very clear what you are actually buying.

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It is simply not clear enough that an ebook purchase is only a licence.
Cuz, you know. "Kindle Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider." is *so* complicated and confusing that no adult could possibly be expected to understand it. Unless, of course, they actually read it before agreeing to it.


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If it was, there wouldn't be so many people wondering why they can let their friend read the great ebook they bought once they've finished with it.
If it wasn't obvious that putting a knife between somebody's ribs and taking their wallet was illegal we wouldn't have so many muggings, either. Is that somehow the victim's fault? It's in the damned license, in very plain english. If you don't read what you agree to before you agree to it, that's not Amazon's fault, that's your fault.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
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.

ApK
Yes it's interesting, tell me, does an ebook become tangible if it is printed? What then is tangibility?
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:29 PM   #113
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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.)
In fact, there are some very fundamental legal differences between a paper book and an ebook as sold by Amazon. Whether or not the first sale doctrine will apply to ebooks at all is a bit hazy so far, but if it needs to be more clear than the buyer agreeing to terms that say "you are buying a license," then the buyer needs to be appointed a keeper by the court because they're not capable of running their own lives.

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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.
Arguable, certainly, but I suspect that in the long run, not enough people will actually care for that to happen.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:03 AM   #114
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I agree with that to an extent ApK, the rights needing to be clearer. Maybe it's just because the ebook market is still relatively new, but until it matures and it's widely understood, I do think sellers need to be more up front about what you are actually buying.

Also, I do think that if you asked the average bloke in the street about a paperback book, they'd probably look at you funny if you asked them if they are aware they are buying a licence and not a book.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:42 AM   #115
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Also, I do think that if you asked the average bloke in the street about a paperback book, they'd probably look at you funny if you asked them if they are aware they are buying a licence and not a book.
Absolutely, but that's my point.
Ask the same average guy if he's allowed to makes copies of the book and sell them, or make a movie based on the story, with out getting 'the rights' and I bet he'll know the answer is 'no.'

My point is, that people have no problem understanding that they 'buy' things with restricted terms regardless of the term 'buy.'

My sense is that many people in this day and age notice the 'e' in 'ebook' and think intuitively 'Oh this is something new...I'd better check the new terms of this new thing.'
Others just see the 'book' and assume 'oh, this must work exactly the same as what I'm used to.'

Those people are wrong, and are apparently oblivious to the realities of the information age.

But they are not being deceived or misled.

Still it is reasonable (and good business in the long run, I think) to clarify things for them. ("So you see, Tommy, since there is no actual 'book' here, the rules of a 'book' don't all automatically apply the same way.")

ApK
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #116
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Still it is reasonable (and good business in the long run, I think) to clarify things for them. ("So you see, Tommy, since there is no actual 'book' here, the rules of a 'book' don't all automatically apply the same way.")

ApK
I'll have to agree, one of the new rules for ebooks should be free access to every book uploaded. perhaps in an excerpted fashion or perhaps in a timelimited fashion. I like the time limited setup, it would work for skimming through non-fiction.
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