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Old 08-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
Not quite understanding why a vendor would sign the contract unless the vendor only sold watermarked books, or made a heck of a lot of money from the watermarked books.
Because as far as I know, there is only one Dutch book distributor left. There's no other way to get books written in Dutch. If they'd not sign the contract and take this to court first, then they'd not have any books to sell. Therefore I think the vendors are doing it the other way around: signing the contract and then see if they can get at least that clause invalidated.

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If it was me, I would be looking at legal options and if possible suing the publisher that has this clause for trying to breach the customers trust or something along these lines, and I would have to be selling a heck of a lot of books annually from this publisher to even consider dealing with them again.

Helen
This 3rd party forcing the contract onto vendors is not a publisher. It's a distributor. This party distributes (almost) ALL books written in Dutch, published by ALL publishers, and in all probability, they also take care of the watermarking. (They could also be forcing publishers to put the watermarks into the book, obviously.)

Please note:

On the blog, this is stated: "We work with a 3rd party to deliver the e-books to our consumers."

Normally a large online store has "JIT ordering" (Just In Time ordering). They ALWAYS have books in stock, because when you order one, they forward the order to the distributor, and the paper book is sent to you directly by the distributor. With regard to ebooks, this would even be easier of course; the download could come from the distributor's servers, independent from the company where you bought the book.

As far as I know, the only two distributors doing JIT ordering for ALL stores in the Netherlands were Libridis and Centraal Boekhuis, and the first one is defunct now.

Therefore, in my posts I am assuming that this mentioned 3rd party is Centraal Boekhuis, but I do not know this for sure. It is, however, the only party that I can think of that would be powerful enough to force all vendors into a contract they would normally not be willing accept. (No acceptance = no books.)

(BTW: The same is true for Flanders / Vlaanderen: they get their Dutch books at the same source(s) as the Dutch stores.)

Last edited by Katsunami; 08-15-2013 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:47 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
BREIN functions like a charity. They DON'T want piracy to stop, just as charities don't REALLY want their problem solved for which the charity organization was created. BREIN is doing enough to look like as if they are making a difference. The reason is simple: If you solve ALL piracy and ALL problems for which there are charities, then all of those organizations become redundant... and quite a lot of CEO's and other highly paid people will be out of work.
Um, I really hope this is hyperbole. I can think of a number of charities that would love to have their problem solved. 'Course I'm thinking of relatively small ones, but I could take that to the next step for some of the larger ones.

Those "highly paid people" could always start another charity for some other project, if they really wanted to.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:01 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Because as far as I know, there is only one Dutch book distributor left. There's no other way to get books written in Dutch. If they'd not sign the contract and take this to court first, then they'd not have any books to sell. Therefore I think the vendors are doing it the other way around: signing the contract and then see if they can get at least that clause invalidated.



This is not a publisher. It's a distributor. Centraal Boekhuis distributes (almost) ALL books written in Dutch, published by ALL publishers.

Please note:

On the blog, this is stated: "We work with a 3rd party to deliver the e-books to our consumers."

Normally a large online store has "JIT ordering" (Just In Time ordering). They ALWAYS have books in stock, because when you order one, they forward the order to the distributor, and the paper book is sent to you directly from the distributor to you. With regard to ebooks, this would even be easier of course; the download could come from the distributors servers, independent from the company where you bought the book.

As far as I know, the only two distributors doing JIT ordering for ALL stores in the Netherlands were Libridis and Centraal Boekhuis, and the first one is defunct now.

Therefore, in my posts I am assuming that this mentioned 3rd party is Centraal Boekhuis, but I do not know this for sure. It is, however, the only party that I can think of that would be powerful enough to force all vendors into a contract they would normally not be willing accept. (No acceptance = no books.)

(BTW: The same is true for Flanders / Vlaanderen: they get their Dutch books at the same source(s) as the Dutch stores.)

Obviously I know nothing about Dutch publishing or about Dutch antitrustlaws or even if they apply.

I would not fault a vendor for signing the contract if it meant going out of business if they did not. Families to feed etc.

I would kind of expect them to stick by it if they signed it unless it was declared null and void in the same way I expect myself to stick by a contract I sign whether I like it or not.

Buit I don't see how this can work out well for the vender. They stay in business by signing the contract. Then they get a demand for information. If they comply, history implies that they will keep complying. The case will go to court and they will lose customers. If they don't comply, they will now not be able to sell the watermarked ebooks.

I think it is best to attempt to fight it out now, but it is easy for me to say not having the problem.

Helen
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:05 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
Um, I really hope this is hyperbole.
Of course it's a bit of a hyperbole, but you cannot deny that many charities seem to be run as if they are a company. They are run as if they want to insure their own continuity, while they should be run to solve the problem as quickly as possible, and then disappear. Of course, it's not only the fault of the charities. Very often, the bigger ones don't have enough money to do that, not even if they'd pay every employee including the CEO only minimum wage.

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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
I would kind of expect them to stick by it if they signed it unless it was declared null and void in the same way I expect myself to stick by a contract I sign whether I like it or not.

Buit I don't see how this can work out well for the vender. They stay in business by signing the contract. Then they get a demand for information. If they comply, history implies that they will keep complying. The case will go to court and they will lose customers. If they don't comply, they will now not be able to sell the watermarked ebooks.

I think it is best to attempt to fight it out now, but it is easy for me to say not having the problem.
I do not know how it is going to be resolved exactly, but it is possible to ask for a "Kort Geding". This means that the case will be dealt with very fast, and that there will be a very quick ruling.

Effectively it would come down to the vendors complaining to a court, telling it that the distributor forced them to sign a contract (forced, because if they didn't sign, they'd be out of books instantly, as there's only one distributor). The vendors state that they think the contract is unlawful. It is possible for the judge to declare the contract void, and re-instate the previous contract, at least until the matter can be researched and properly resolved.

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Old 08-14-2013, 09:32 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Of course it's a bit of a hyperbole, but you cannot deny that many charities seem to be run as if they are a company. They are run as if they want to insure their own continuity, while they should be run to solve the problem as quickly as possible, and then disappear. If course, it's not only the fault of the charities. Very often, the bigger ones don't have enough money to do that, not even if they'd pay every employee including the CEO only minimum wage.



I do not know how it is going to be resolved exactly, but it is possible to ask for a "Kort Geding". This means that the case will be dealt with very fast, and that there will be a very quick ruling.

Effectively it would come down to the vendors complaining to a court, telling it that the distributor forced them to sign a contract (forced, because if they didn't sign, they'd be out of books instantly, as there's only one distributor). The vendors state that they think the contract is unlawful. It is possible for the judge to declare the contract void, and re-instate the previous contract, at least until the matter can be researched and properly resolved.
I can't deny that at all.

Even the venerable Salvation Army now charges the government where I live $14 for every meal they serve, and the meals are simple, inexpensive and pretty small portions. And you have to be clean and sober and appear to be in your right mind to get through the doors. They seem to cater to an upper class of poor, many of whom have well paying jobs

Not saying they do not spend this money on good works, but not sure that they do either.

Agencies that defend the big corporations against anti-piracy are more often than not bullies and attention seekers IMO same with debunking agencies.

And I agree that there is not enough money available to combat world poverty, put an end to exploitation of children or women or even men in western society, even if the CEO's were paid minimum wage. But what percentage of CEOs are paid anything approaching minimum wage? I read a defense to a government demand that charitable organizations disclose what proportion of the donations they received actually went to helping the poor. It was that no one would send them any money if they did that.

My admiration is for the 1,000s of ordinary citizens who do something to help on an individual level. 100% of their time and effort goes towards at least trying to help, and not to command a better salary in their next job.

Helen
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:12 AM   #36
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The *** has hit the fan.

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De PvdA heeft kamervragen gesteld naar aanleiding van de berichtgeving van Ereaders.nl.
"The PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid, basically the Labor Party) has asked questions in parliament because of the news posted on EReaders.nl."

One of the questions was:

Quote:
Is het waar dat webwinkels die aangesloten zijn op het distributieplatform eBoekhuis verplicht kunnen worden om klantinformatie door te geven aan Stichting BREIN? Zo ja, hoe verhoudt het doorgeven van dergelijke informatie aan derden zich tot de wet- en regelgeving ten aanzien van de bescherming van de persoonlijke levenssfeer? Zo nee, wat is er dan niet waar aan het gestelde?
"Is it true that web stores connected to the distribution platform eBoekhuis can be compelled to submit customer information to Foundation BREIN? If yes, how does submitting this sort of information to third parties relate to the laws and regulations with regard to to the protections of personal data? If no, then what is not true in the above statement?"

Summarized, the situation is this: eBoekhuis (the biggest, maybe even only distributor o Dutch ebooks in the Netherlands), in cooperation with BREIN, has created a contract for ebook stores, that says that these stores must provide personal data of customers to BREIN upon BREIN's request. However, at least one politician is of the opinion that this contact is not legally valid, as eBoekhuis does not have (or at least, does not seem to have, at this moment) any legal powers to back up this contract, and BREIN does not have (or does not seem to have, at this moment) any legal right to demand or request this personal data.

I wonder what the result of these queries is going to be.

(PS: eBoekhuis is part of, or owned by, Centraal Boekhuis.)

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Old 08-25-2013, 05:16 PM   #37
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This situation in the Netherlands does nothing to change my opinion that anti-piracy measures are more harmful to society as a whole than some unauthorized downloaders could ever be. I don't download for free from non-legitimate sites, and I don't condone the activity.

But if someone put a gun to my head and said "piracy or anti-piracy. You must choose a side now." then I would choose piracy - because of shit like this. I don't condone personal privacy and due process being trampled just to catch a few freeloaders.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:29 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by usuallee View Post
I don't condone personal privacy and due process being trampled just to catch a few freeloaders.
Some people seem to think that because everyone does it, it is unreasonable to crack down. You suggest above that there aren't enough freeloaders to merit a crackdown. I don't see how we could ever know that there are just the right number of scofflaws to merit protecting the rights of creators.

As for due process, I would leave that up to the legal system of the Netherlands. If this violates Dutch due process of law, then it seems likely to be struck down. But BREIN may win, because they seem to cooperate with law enforcement:

http://www.anti-piracy.nl/english.php

Quote:
BREIN investigates, takes civil action and supplies information and expertise for criminal, administrative and fiscal action. Criminal investigations are carried out by the anti-piracy team of the FIOD-ECD (Fiscal and Economic Crime Service), which operates under the supervision of a special unit of the Public Prosecution Service.
Going by Google translate, here's how it works:

http://www.ereaders.nl/09081301_inze...ibutiecontract

Quote:
Online stores are required to point to the fact that customer information is stored and may be passed on to third parties, with a suspicion of abuse.
A US paper book store with a big shoplifting problem likely keeps video of its patrons. When they notice shinkage, they use the video. When they don't, the video goes unused. I have no idea if storing bookstore customer video is consistent with due process of law in the Netherlands, but, if it is, this is no different.

I can understand that a bookstore wouldn't want its customers to know they were being recorded, by video or otherwise. That would, although an example of honesty and openness, hurt sales. When you give them your credit card name and number, it should be pretty obvious that you are being recorded, but stating that fact may alienate customers.

Due process can't begin unless there is a way for authorities to collect evidence and find suspects. There always is a tradeoff between effective law enforcement and people having complete privacy in their actions. 100 percent privacy would mean zero law enforcement. I don't see this as more intrusive than means that might be used to stop people from taking paper books without paying.

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Old 08-26-2013, 06:16 AM   #39
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Some people seem to think that because everyone does it, it is unreasonable to crack down.
First: At this point in time, it is still legal in the Netherlands, to download media (movies, music, books, but not software) for your own use, even if the source is not legal. This is because we're allowed to make copies of media, for our own use, and downloading is, at this time, seen as making a copy, even if you do not own the original. It's the distribution (uploading) that is illegal. So, if you copy a music CD from your neighbor, you're not violating any laws, but your neighbor is.

Second: It isn't unreasonable to try to catch uploaders or illegal distributors, but the way BREIN is trying to do it is. They are trying to give themselves the right to obtain data at their own whim, data that they shouldn't be able to get without approval of a judge.

I can set up a foundataion called "Kat's Epic Foundation of Copyright Protection", and then writers or publishers can pay me to protect their copyright. This is what BREIN is. I can create my own "BREIN" within minutes, if I have at least one writer/publisher that is willing to fund me.

How is the copyright protection done? Like this: the foundation (BREIN, or mine) scours the internet, searching for the media owned by the artists or publishers that are part of the foundation. If they find any media of one of their connected publishers online, and they determine that it should not be there, a case needs to be made with a judge, stating that there are suspicions of illegal distribution. If the judge agrees, the foundation can ask for the permission to obtain personal data of the uploader so they can take him or her to court on behalf of the publisher.

What BREIN is doing now, is trying to skip the step of filing a case with a court and having to ask permission to obtain personal data. As BREIN is *NOT* a law enforcement organisation, this is (probably) not legal under current Dutch law.

Quote:
A US paper book store with a big shoplifting problem likely keeps video of its patrons. When they notice shinkage, they use the video. When they don't, the video goes unused. I have no idea if storing bookstore customer video is consistent with due process of law in the Netherlands, but, if it is, this is no different.
You're correct, it's not different. However, in the Netherlands, there first has to be a suspicion of some criminal activity, before the video is watched. If the criminal activity is confirmed, a court will be asked to give permission to investigate and track the suspected persons.

It's not allowed for a shopkeeper (or foundation) to say: "Damn, I'm missing item X", and then to just start identifying people and gathering personal data at will. That is what BREIN is trying to do.

Quote:
When you give them your credit card name and number, it should be pretty obvious that you are being recorded, but stating that fact may alienate customers.
Being recorded is not the problem. Stores are protected by video camera's, as you said. The problem is that a private organisation is trying to obtain the records without intervention of a judge. "Hey, we found some stuff online. All your data are belong to us. Give it here!" That's not allowed at this time.

Quote:
Due process can't begin unless there is a way for authorities to collect evidence and find suspects.
Indeed, and that's the entire point: BREIN is not an authority. They are not a law enforcement organisation.

If they want to do anything, search a house for example, they'll have to go through the police and get a warrant (based on a plausible case), just as I would need to, if I suspect that you stole my laptop and I want your house searched.

Last edited by Katsunami; 08-26-2013 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:30 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
Some people seem to think that because everyone does it, it is unreasonable to crack down. You suggest above that there aren't enough freeloaders to merit a crackdown. I don't see how we could ever know that there are just the right number of scofflaws to merit protecting the rights of creators.
I'm suggesting no such thing. What I am suggesting is that this sounds like yet another draconian, heavy-handed, privacy-violating crackdown attempt that, to me at least, is a clear case of the cure being worse than the disease.

If unauthorized downloaders are caught, by the proper authorities, fine. But this Brien organization is not a governmental entity, and is using strong-arm bullying tactics to further its agenda of accessing personal information it has no business accessing. That is what I have the problem with. And there are probably many ways for their scheme to lead to false positives & innocent people being punished.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
A US paper book store with a big shoplifting problem likely keeps video of its patrons. When they notice shinkage, they use the video. When they don't, the video goes unused. I have no idea if storing bookstore customer video is consistent with due process of law in the Netherlands, but, if it is, this is no different.

I can understand that a bookstore wouldn't want its customers to know they were being recorded, by video or otherwise. That would, although an example of honesty and openness, hurt sales. When you give them your credit card name and number, it should be pretty obvious that you are being recorded, but stating that fact may alienate customers.

Due process can't begin unless there is a way for authorities to collect evidence and find suspects. There always is a tradeoff between effective law enforcement and people having complete privacy in their actions. 100 percent privacy would mean zero law enforcement. I don't see this as more intrusive than means that might be used to stop people from taking paper books without paying.
This isn't the same situation. You are talking here about evidence of a crime being committed. The situation with BREIN is different. Imagine for example that printed textbooks would come with watermarks specific to the person who bought it. Then someone finds photocopies of a textbook. Should a private group be allowed to request information on the person who purchased the book directly from the bookshop that sold it without presenting the case to a judge first?
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:01 AM   #42
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If unauthorized downloaders are caught, by the proper authorities, fine.
No not fine. In most countries downloading ist not illegal.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:19 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
A US paper book store with a big shoplifting problem likely keeps video of its patrons. When they notice shinkage, they use the video. When they don't, the video goes unused. I have no idea if storing bookstore customer video is consistent with due process of law in the Netherlands, but, if it is, this is no different.
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
You're correct, it's not different. However, in the Netherlands, there first has to be a suspicion of some criminal activity, before the video is watched. If the criminal activity is confirmed, a court will be asked to give permission to investigate and track the suspected persons.
I think it's different--it's not a matter of "watching the video," but turning it over to a third party, along with the sales receipts of all the shoppers shown in the video.

I don't know the relevant laws; possibly all that's legally necessary is for the store to change its privacy policy from "we will protect your privacy" to "we will hand over your personally-identifying data to anyone who says your account might be associated with illegal behavior, regardless of whether they have any legal enforcement abilities."

Somehow, I think a formal policy like that would be problematic for the store. I don't know if it'd break laws, but it would probably convince people to shop elsewhere--or just be more careful with their bootlegging. I expect BREIN doesn't want the store to announce, "if ebooks with your identifying data in them are found available for download on the internet, we will hand over your data to BREIN on request, and may suspend your account; legal action may be pursued by copyright holders as they deem appropriate."
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #44
ApK
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Originally Posted by samy2 View Post
No not fine. In most countries downloading ist not illegal.
If whatever you are doing is OK, then there would be no 'proper authority' to catch you, so it would be fine.
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Old 08-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #45
Katsunami
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I think it's different--it's not a matter of "watching the video," but turning it over to a third party, along with the sales receipts of all the shoppers shown in the video.

I don't know the relevant laws; possibly all that's legally necessary is for the store to change its privacy policy from "we will protect your privacy" to "we will hand over your personally-identifying data to anyone who says your account might be associated with illegal behavior, regardless of whether they have any legal enforcement abilities."

Somehow, I think a formal policy like that would be problematic for the store. I don't know if it'd break laws, but it would probably convince people to shop elsewhere--or just be more careful with their bootlegging. I expect BREIN doesn't want the store to announce, "if ebooks with your identifying data in them are found available for download on the internet, we will hand over your data to BREIN on request, and may suspend your account; legal action may be pursued by copyright holders as they deem appropriate."
There are some situations in which giving personal data to third parties is allowed; a store can indeed state something like this: "If you fill out this form, you'll receive a bonus card that gives you a 3% discount. Note that we can use, or provide your personal data to third parties, for marketing purposes."

I do not know if something like that can be done with regard to purchasing goods: "If you purchase this ebook, please note that we will store your information and provide it to BREIN, if they suspect you from illegaly distributing this book in any form."

Parliament, judges, and others have to figure that out.

It would be ridiculous if BREIN can request personal data, because effectively, they cannot do anything with it. They do not have any investigative authority, at least as far as I know, so even IF they have the data, they'll STILL need to go through the law enforcement system to do anything with it.
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