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Old 09-11-2013, 10:39 AM   #136
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No. Books have the low tariff, ebooks the high.
I'm not sure if you read my post at all. I wasn't comparing the VAT on ebooks to the one on books, I was comparing the VAT on ebooks to the one on other digital media like music and films.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:03 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by doctorow View Post
BREIN has a long history of questionable tactics. I personally wouldn't want to have any business with them, and I also wouldn't want them to get my private information for whatever reason. If there is a problem, the proper local authorities should get involved - not some private, industry-backed group who seems to fancy itself as some sort of law enforcement adjunct.
You can say that again.

And again, and again....
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:02 PM   #138
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I'm not sure if you read my post at all. I wasn't comparing the VAT on ebooks to the one on books, I was comparing the VAT on ebooks to the one on other digital media like music and films.
You are right, the VAT on cd's and dvd's is also the high tarif. However, e-books are considered software. That remains, so it is still not allowed to download unless offered freely by the publisher/writer.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #139
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You are right, the VAT on cd's and dvd's is also the high tarif. However, e-books are considered software. That remains, so it is still not allowed to download unless offered freely by the publisher/writer.
But the VAT was your justification for ebooks being considered software.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:53 AM   #140
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But the VAT was your justification for ebooks being considered software.
No, it was added justification. There were several items about this some time ago. The difference in VAT between books and e-books is there because e-books are not considered books, but software.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:57 AM   #141
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Mivo's original point was that many of those who may make unauthorized copies of e-books would not have purchased the e-book. There is no financial harm to the author or publisher because each received exactly the same amount of money they would have had the user not copied the book: zero dollars/pounds/euros/ etc.
That's a fair restatement of Mivo's point. But wouldn't that also be true for the information that BREIN is seeking. BREIN wouldn't be taking a tangible object, just a copy. I'm sure that BREIN could truthfully claim "We never would have paid you for it."
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:31 AM   #142
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No, it was added justification. There were several items about this some time ago. The difference in VAT between books and e-books is there because e-books are not considered books, but software.
Can you point me to one of these items?

I was looking around and according to this (in Dutch) and this (in English) ebooks don't benefit from the lower VAT because they are considered services at a European level.

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The provision of ebooks is an electronically provided service and as such cannot benefit from a reduced rate.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #143
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There is no denying that e-book piracy on the Internet is rampant; yet the question remains: Should private organizations such as BREIN, who have no legal or investigative authority, be allowed to access private customer information in their attempt to identify the people alleged to be offering pirated content?

[image: Ruben Holthuijsen /Flickr]
My question is "Is it legal for the supplier to demand this and/or enforce it?"
Seems suspiciously like discrimination to me as well as invasion of privacy.

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Old 09-13-2013, 01:38 PM   #144
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My question is "Is it legal for the supplier to demand this and/or enforce it?"
At this point in time, it isn't. If BREIN would knock on my front door, and ask something like this:

"A person called Mr. X on MobileRead is spreading books on the internet. We have determined that it is likely that you are a good friend of his. What is his name and where does he live?"

Then I could just give them the finger and slam the door shut and they couldn't do anything about that.

If they'd have a judge's warrant to come ask for this information, and have some police officers with them, then that would change the situation.

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Seems suspiciously like discrimination to me as well as invasion of privacy.

Helen
It's blackmail.

The problem is that stores have to acquire all Dutch books through Centraal Boekhuis. If BREIN persuades them (CB) to put something like "Buying books from CB makes it obligatory to provide a customer's personal data to BREIN if they want it. If you don't, then you can't sell our books", then the stores are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can't give CB (and thereore, BREIN) "the finger", because for a vendor, there is no other place to acquire Dutch books. Not as far as I know; there were, but they are either bankrupt, or bought by CB.

One of the questions asked in parliament addresses this exact issue.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:59 PM   #145
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At this point in time, it isn't. If BREIN would knock on my front door, and ask something like this:

"A person called Mr. X on MobileRead is spreading books on the internet. We have determined that it is likely that you are a good friend of his. What is his name and where does he live?"

Then I could just give them the finger and slam the door shut and they couldn't do anything about that.

If they'd have a judge's warrant to come ask for this information, and have some police officers with them, then that would change the situation.



It's blackmail.

The problem is that stores have to acquire all Dutch books through Centraal Boekhuis. If BREIN persuades them (CB) to put something like "Buying books from CB makes it obligatory to provide a customer's personal data to BREIN if they want it. If you don't, then you can't sell our books", then the stores are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can't give CB (and thereore, BREIN) "the finger", because for a vendor, there is no other place to acquire Dutch books. Not as far as I know; there were, but they are either bankrupt, or bought by CB.

One of the questions asked in parliament addresses this exact issue.
I was going to say blackmail as well, but not too sure.

I understand that a small company cannot survive without it's main supplier even if they win eventually. This equates to bullying IMO.

I do not think that a vender can legally share actual credit card information unless the credit card holder agrees, but I may be wrong on this.

If I was buying books for the purpose of uploading them ( always seemed a bit of a peculiar thing to do) I would use a prepaid credit card and remove the watermark etc.

The chances of someone getting your reader and saying aha this is my big chance to get into the piracy game seem pretty slim, unless it is a young naïve family member. Could happen. Worse things do happen accidentally every day. In my condo building a neighbour accidentally caused pretty severe water damage to several units below her with no insurance Looking at a hazmat bill for about $60K and one person is talking about suing to get the actual walls replaced). No way she can even fight the $60K.

I guess we will wait and see what develops, but I personally vote on a good dismantling of Brein.

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Old 09-13-2013, 02:11 PM   #146
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I understand that a small company cannot survive without it's main supplier even if they win eventually. This equates to bullying IMO.

I do not think that a vender can legally share actual credit card information unless the credit card holder agrees, but I may be wrong on this.
Yes, it's bullying, and no, it's not legal to share information like that; not as far as I know. I wonder how BREIN and CB are thinking to get away with it. Maybe they hope that they can at least get *some* information, from vendors who primarily live on Dutch (e)books, before this contract is shot down?

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In my condo building a neighbour accidentally caused pretty severe water damage to several units below her with no insurance Looking at a hazmat bill for about $60K and one person is talking about suing to get the actual walls replaced). No way she can even fight the $60K.
Wow. That'll basically bankrupt you.

I'm glad that in the Netherlands, it's obligatory to have an assurance against situations like this. It's called "Persoonlijke Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering"; a liberal translation would be "Insurance against being personally accountable". It protects you against having to pay for heavy damage you may cause accidentally. (As long as you don't do it every week.)

However, if the insurance needs to cover you, then your monthly fee will go up for several years. Therefore, if the damage is not too big (smaller than the total of the extra fee over these several years), people may opt to just leave the insurance out of it and just pay straight away if they have the money.

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I guess we will wait and see what develops, but I personally vote on a good dismantling of Brein.
There are more people who want to see them dead and gone. As Doctorow said, they have a history of employing questionable practices.

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Old 09-13-2013, 02:36 PM   #147
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Yes, it's bullying, and no, it's not legal to share information like that; not as far as I know. I wonder how BREIN and CB are thinking to get away with it. Maybe they hope that they can at least get *some* information, from vendors who primarily live on Dutch (e)books, before this contract is shot down?



Wow. That'll basically bankrupt you.

I'm glad that in the Netherlands, it's obligatory to have an assurance against situations like this. It's called "Persoonlijke Aansprakelijkheidsverzekering"; a liberal translation would be "Insurance against being personally accountable". It protects you against having to pay for heavy damage you may cause accidentally. (As long as you don't do it every week.)

However, if the insurance needs to cover you, then your monthly fee will go up for several years. Therefore, if the damage is not too big (smaller than the total of the extra fee over these several years), people may opt to just leave the insurance out of it and just pay straight away if they have the money.



There are more people who want to see them dead and gone. As Doctorow said, they have a history of employing questionable practices.
In Canada we have mandatory car insurance, and people do pay of small claims. My condo insurance is around $100 annually, and a $5000 damage claim will raise it $10, but it is not mandatory. Many people in my building are uninsured. One small claim can cost more than 50 years of insurance or 500 years of paying the extra. My insurance also covers the cost of my share of equipment breakdown repairs plus the usual theft and fire. I would only pay privately if it was very close to the deductible. Might even stretch to ereader related damages.

I wonder what Brein would do if someone in China pirated the books, watermark and all. My guess is nothing. Plus I am pretty sure this is a case of closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

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Old 09-13-2013, 02:55 PM   #148
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The translation in American English is "a personal liability" policy. Not legally required here, but many do have them. (Mine costs about $200 a year).

The term for BREIN's tactics are not bullying, but extortion...
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:12 PM   #149
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The translation in American English is "a personal liability" policy. Not legally required here, but many do have them. (Mine costs about $200 a year).

The term for BREIN's tactics are not bullying, but extortion...

I looked up personal liability insurance and am still unclear. I gather it is extended coverage of existing insurance and of no use separately?

How useful is it to you (what additional coverage do you have)?

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Old 09-13-2013, 09:21 PM   #150
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The downloader has taken something they have no right to take --- they have enriched themselves with the fruit of other people's work. That is the moral violation. Just as if an employer doesn't pay a worker --- "I have taken nothing from them, just their time". And if the downloader actually reads the book then they have done actual harm equal to the lost purchase price.
Gaining a benefit from something somebody else did without paying them, is no necessarily immoral or harmful. If Joe, owner of Joe's Coffee Shop, puts some tables and chairs out on the street in front of his shop so that his customers can sit and drink coffee, he expects to see some return on those tables and, understandably, doesn't want people who are not patronizing his shop to sit there. If I work such hours that Joe's is always closed when I walk by, but Joe leaves the tables and chairs out and I sit down at a table and drink the coffee I bought from an all-night doughnut shop while sitting at Joe's table, what harm have I done to Joe? He didn't lose any business from me depriving paying customers of a seat [because a copy of an e-book does not deprive a vendor of a saleable copy], I haven't deprived him of any money from by not making a purchase because he wasn't open. If I had walked on by without sitting the effect on Joe's revenue would be exactly the same: zero [just as a copy of an e-book that someone was never going to pay for does not decrease anybody's revenue]. I have certainly gained a benefit from having a lovely place to sit, but it was at no cost to Joe, it didn't negatively affect his business, and it didn't deprive him of any physical property.

An employer and employee have a pre-aranged agreement regarding pay. I have made no such agreement to pay anyone for a book. I have not broken my word to anyone if I make a copy. And reading a copy of a book one didn't pay for doesn't deprive anyone of a penny. I can go to a library in a city I don't live in and sit there and read a book bought with somebody else's tax money. i have paid anything and, according to you, I now owe the author the cover price. Ludicrous.



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The easy choice is: "you don't want to pay the price, then just read something else". The "wouldn't have purchased the book anyway" is just a red herring, and doesn't really matter. You could use that for anything.
I don't think you know what a red herring is. The original point was that an infringing copy that does not take the place of a copy that would have been paid for results in zero loss. This is completely relevant to the point of whether copyright infringement always causes harm.
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