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Old 02-07-2013, 03:51 AM   #1
NightBird
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ZDNet: Amazon Lands Patent on Marketplace for Selling on Used Digital Content

Quote:
The patent describes a marketplace where digital goods such as "e-books, audio, video, computer games, etc" that are purchased from an original vendor are stored in a personalised data store. Amazon's idea is that users can sacrifice their right to access "the now-used digital content" and move it to another person's data store.
http://www.zdnet.com/amazon-lands-pa...nt-7000010917/
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
usuallee
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Sounds good to me. I've purchased many, many Kindle books, most of which I have little or no desire to read again. To be able to not only get credit for those unwanted ebooks, but also to potentially then be able to get "used" copies of other ebooks at a lower price, sounds very appealing.

We'll see what happens. I'm sure the publishing houses will start squawking.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:49 AM   #3
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Sounds really great.

I bought a used paper book 2 days ago. I was published maybe 10 years ago.
I paid 1 cent +$3.99=$4.00 total everything included.

As eBooks catch on more and more, there will be far fewer used paper books. We need a way to utilize those eBooks that have been read and sit idle in someone's account.

The publishers don't like the used paper book market now so they will be certain to resist the used eBook market.

A Ford 150 truck is sold once by Ford Motor Company, and then perhaps as many as 5 or more times by successive owners. I think that books should be considered in that light also.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:27 AM   #4
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Check out John Scalzi's opinion here:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/02/0...e-used-ebooks/

It's hilarious!
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:06 AM   #5
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Sounds damm stupid and horrible...

I'm not against the idea, but is it realy patentable? Not that idea is anything new or original...
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:03 PM   #6
teh603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekaros View Post
Sounds damm stupid and horrible...

I'm not against the idea, but is it realy patentable? Not that idea is anything new or original...
Right now the belief is to patent everything, no matter how ridiculous, in hope that some day you can troll with it.

Anyone know if there's a patent on four-dimensional clown cars?
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Right now the belief is to patent everything, no matter how ridiculous, in hope that some day you can troll with it.

Anyone know if there's a patent on four-dimensional clown cars?
I think Dr Who has the patent on anything that is bigger on the inside than the outside. And if not, he'll just go back in time and file for it...


Last edited by 5thWiggle; 02-08-2013 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Right now the belief is to patent everything, no matter how ridiculous, in hope that some day you can troll with it.

Anyone know if there's a patent on four-dimensional clown cars?
Sounds about right.

And I'm sure that PT Barnum has some patent on those cars...
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhempel24 View Post
Check out John Scalzi's opinion here:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/02/0...e-used-ebooks/

It's hilarious!
What I found funny was that he totally missed libraries until a commenter mentioned it. I'm a little put off by the (paraphrase) "I'd rather you go the illegal route than give Amazon money that I won't see part of" thing. Especially since his brain skipped over libraries. I understand his perspective, more or less, but I can't imagine a situation in which I would prefer people break the law to obtain my work rather than take any available legal route to get it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:45 PM   #10
Andrew H.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekaros View Post
Sounds damm stupid and horrible...

I'm not against the idea, but is it realy patentable? Not that idea is anything new or original...
Ideas can't be patented. Only specific implementations can be patented.

I.e., you can't patent the idea of a device to pick the seeds out of cotton. You can patent a specific way to do so.

But I have no idea whether the specific implementation that has been patented is patentable or not...
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:09 PM   #11
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After reading the wailing and teeth gnashing on Scalzi's site, I actually read the patent in question. Such a comedown - I was expecting Armageddon, she-devils, and a return of the Spanish Inquisition from the overall reaction people were displaying. Turns out they were reacting more to the headline than the patent itself, as I tried to explain/babbled/basked in the internet pleasure of hearing my own voice:

Quote:
Interesting read and fascinating comments, but did anyone bother to actually read the patent in questions? Aside from the two folks who posted links to it?

The patent addresses setting up a user-to-user marketplace for the legal transfer of digital licenses for ebooks, music, videos, etc. It includes provisions for an optional nominal transfer fee by the marketplace operator, and the optional configuration of both maximum number of downloads per license and/or maximum number of transfers per license. It's more akin to the way Amazon sells used paper books now where the individual seller sets the price, pays Amazon a small percentage, and the buyer chooses which seller to buy from.

The used ebook licenses are not unlimited - they are based on previous legally purchased licenses. They do depreciate in value with each transfer - the number of subsequent permitted transfers is decremented by one with each sale, moving towards total depletion, likewise the total number of allowed downloads might also decrease with each download to a device.

The legality of this will be interesting to see - there are precedents with respect to the resale of software licenses, though I'm not sure if there are cases decided contrary to the EULA or not. From the language in the patent, Amazon appears to be possible intent on working with the rights owners regarding the resale permissions allowed. Unless, of course, some legal decision concretely settles the first-sale doctrine vis-a-vis digital media in the purchasers favor.

I think the "threat" to authors and traditional publishing from this are not the risk that dishonest folks will keep a non-drm'ed backup and sell their original - to be blunt, most of the folks capable of or intent on doing that are quite able to harvest their books from the dark net anyway.

The "threat" is that your everyday average user will be satisfied with reading a book once, and then reselling to someone looking for a bargain. Why this should be a problem when the original ebook price is on par with a hardcover, I have no idea.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
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How can you say that an ebook is used when the book itself doesn't leave the server but a copy of it is sent to your reader? I mean you are never in physical possession of the original in the first place.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
What I found funny was that he totally missed libraries until a commenter mentioned it. I'm a little put off by the (paraphrase) "I'd rather you go the illegal route than give Amazon money that I won't see part of" thing. Especially since his brain skipped over libraries. I understand his perspective, more or less, but I can't imagine a situation in which I would prefer people break the law to obtain my work rather than take any available legal route to get it.
But neither the person who posted the library comment or Scalzi realizes that Tor does not allow library eBook borrowing. So that idea is a fail.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:35 AM   #14
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How can you say that an ebook is used when the book itself doesn't leave the server but a copy of it is sent to your reader? I mean you are never in physical possession of the original in the first place.
A lot of fiction and non fiction becomed dated. They aren't published again because frankly no one wants to buy them anymore. Some books might retain use/interest but many do not. I can see making them available at a lower price to reflect lower interest. Look at the rapid decline in prices of a lot of last year's best sellers from hardback price to sitting unwanted in the bargain bin.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:30 AM   #15
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I don't see the fuss. The only way it could work would be through DRM. So if you don't want to be part of it don't use DRM.
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