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Old 07-19-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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*Publishers* setting device limit for Kindle

Recently, when looking for total number of pages of a Kindle edition book on Amazon's site, I've noticed on more than a few occasions that the number of pages line has been replaced with the following:

Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits

A link to one of many examples (scroll down to Product Details): http://www.amazon.com/The-Canterbury...8043762&sr=1-5

This particular example has multiple copies by various publishers, but that is not always the case.

Now, if Amazon's policy limits a customer to six devices, where does a publisher's limit come in to play and how is it enforced? I suspect the publisher's limitation takes precedent over Amazon, as did the Text-To-Speech issue.

Yet another distortion of Amazon's sales pitch?

(Sorry, I obviously failed my initial search attempt on the subject and now see a short thread addressing this) Moderators please feel free to move/delete.

Last edited by Skydog; 07-19-2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: duplicate thread
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:23 PM   #2
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Well, that's a dumb restriction since Canterbury Tales is *so* in the Public Domain.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
Recently, when looking for total number of pages of a Kindle edition book on Amazon's site, I've noticed on more than a few occasions that the number of pages line has been replaced with the following:

Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits

A link to one of many examples (scroll down to Product Details): http://www.amazon.com/The-Canterbury...8043762&sr=1-5

This particular example has multiple copies by various publishers, but that is not always the case.

Now, if Amazon's policy limits a customer to six devices, where does a publisher's limit come in to play and how is it enforced? I suspect the publisher's limitation takes precedent over Amazon, as did the Text-To-Speech issue.

Yet another distortion of Amazon's sales pitch?
It's not Amazon's policy, its always been the publisher's decision. Amazon has always said that it's generally 6 devices, nothing has changed.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
Well, that's a dumb restriction since Canterbury Tales is *so* in the Public Domain.
Yes, in this case, I agree. There are other examples with only one publisher.
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carld View Post
It's not Amazon's policy, its always been the publisher's decision. Amazon has always said that it's generally 6 devices, nothing has changed.
Can you point us to the URL with this information on Amazon?

My publishing company has a distribution agreement with Amazon and we were never given the option of deciding how many devices we could limit books to.
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doreenjoy View Post
Can you point us to the URL with this information on Amazon?

My publishing company has a distribution agreement with Amazon and we were never given the option of deciding how many devices we could limit books to.
I'm pretty sure it's on there somewhere, or it was. Reading some of the threads on the Kindle forum it looks like it's 6 devices for major publishers and 5 for publishers using the DTP program. In which case that would have to be set by Amazon, which makes my previous post pretty much completely wrong.

It also looks like Amazon isn't actually asking publishers about the limit, it's just popping up on the books, very bad form.

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Old 07-20-2009, 05:34 AM   #7
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Publishers are beyond paranoid but then again their business is worthless without unique content because they themselves produce NOTHING.

This is ridiculous because Amazon itself limits 6 devices per account and I am sure their agreement with the publisher included this fact.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #8
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Just out of curiosity - how many folks need the ability to use more than 5 devices?
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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If you folks check the Kindle Myths and Partial Truths wiki, you'll see a copy of a letter I received several months ago from Amazon Customer Service which states:

Quote:
Most books come with a maximum of six licenses, but their are some books that may have less. The amount of licenses a book comes with is determined by the author or publisher who owns the right to the content
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow_hand View Post
This is ridiculous because Amazon itself limits 6 devices per account and I am sure their agreement with the publisher included this fact.
Not true. You can have as many Kindles as you like on your account. However, most books limit the number of devices you can download to to 6 (or less).
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elsi View Post
Well, that's a dumb restriction since Canterbury Tales is *so* in the Public Domain.
Ha... funny stuff. So, not only are they selling you something that you can get for free... they are enforcing a copyright that they can't enforce.

BOb
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan_cassidy View Post
Not true. You can have as many Kindles as you like on your account. However, most books limit the number of devices you can download to to 6 (or less).
That brings up another question. According to Amazon (confirmed by phone), the six device limit is for simultaneous use of devices. However, others have reported that the limit is being applied to number of devices/serial numbers that have appeared on one's account, regardless of returns or exchanges.

Apparently this issue has been tested with individuals who have gone through multiple returns/exchanges and have exceeded six devices.

It would be nice to know if devices/serial numbers are permanently attached to one's account. This could be a real headache in the future given the number of upgrades, exchanges and any additional authorization of new hardware from other manufacturers (i.e., iPhone). Seems illogical to me.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #13
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Ha... funny stuff. So, not only are they selling you something that you can get for free... they are enforcing a copyright that they can't enforce.

BOb
So long as the text is wrapped in DRM, the DMCA protects the text, even if it's public domain text. Not directly, but because the tools needed to remove the DRM are illegal.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:33 PM   #14
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Just out of curiosity - how many folks need the ability to use more than 5 devices?
A family with three Kindles and three iPods would run up against that limit. I don't know how common that is, having just one device myself, but I can see it happening more and more over time as the number of Kindleable devices proliferate.

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Old 07-20-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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So long as the text is wrapped in DRM, the DMCA protects the text, even if it's public domain text. Not directly, but because the tools needed to remove the DRM are illegal.
By default, ebooks from Amazon's DTP are DRM-free. So the device "limit" could be entirely notional, even though it is still enforced on Amazon's servers for downloads. There is perhaps disagreement about whether it is legal to strip DRM from an ebook for personal use (and, as you say, developing the removal tools is illegal), but there is little doubt that copying a DRM-free file to a 6th or 7th device for personal use is fair use in the US.
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