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Old 03-13-2011, 09:12 AM   #1
snipenekkid
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How long before we see a LIMIT on the number of reads we are "allowed"

Given the recent move by HarperCollins to limit the number of times an ebook can be loaned by libraries, how long before some bean-counter gets the idea to limit the number of times the consumer can read, or even access to download, our ebooks?

Don't scoff because I see this as a potential move to manufacture new revenue centers out of old purchases. It's all part of the current business models of ever accelerating revenue growth rates. Making a steady profit is no longer good enough after all. Profit growth rate must be forever accelerating with steady growth being considered a failure today.

And no faux indignation allowed. Yes, yes we know already, "if they ever do this you won't buy anymore ebooks" blah blah blah -- you will and you know it.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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This is something I think could happen. There is a potential benefit if it does -book clubs. Since you can only read it once, then you could pay a set price for a number of books similar to what's done now or even go further by paying monthly like a music service. Im a firm believer in owning what I buy but I see this as merely taking "borrowing" from the library a giant step further.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #3
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i completely agree with the profit growth. it's like they want more and more, as if you could eat money for breakfast, lunch and dinner -_-

well, greed is never-ending.

as for the number of reads of an ebook, it's quite possible. humans have been known to do immensely stupid things. for now, there are enough PD books that interest me to keep me reading for a good while.

still, if they do this, then i'm going back to buying physical books. i'll make space in the house if i have to :| i think it's ridiculous to limit the number of reads of an ebook that you paid for.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:24 AM   #4
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I do consider this as entirely possible. However, it would just motivate more people to get books from the darknet.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:28 AM   #5
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What proportion of your books do you read more than once? With me, the figure is very low. I have a few old favourites, that I read over and over, but the overwhelming majority of books I'll never read again.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:32 AM   #6
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Well I'd say it's up to us the people to douse their greed. There are "dousers" out there called P2P, Torrent and so on ...
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wyndslash View Post
i completely agree with the profit growth. it's like they want more and more, as if you could eat money for breakfast, lunch and dinner -_-

well, greed is never-ending.

as for the number of reads of an ebook, it's quite possible. humans have been known to do immensely stupid things. for now, there are enough PD books that interest me to keep me reading for a good while.

still, if they do this, then i'm going back to buying physical books. i'll make space in the house if i have to :| i think it's ridiculous to limit the number of reads of an ebook that you paid for.
What can I add but, I agree. Oh, remember the recent copyright lifespan changes in the US? I can't help but wonder if this is part of the motivation. It's a long term, well beyond my lifetime at least but I suspect beyond the lifetime of all here on MR, but very long term goal to keep content (books, movies, etc.) out of the PD. Weird to see corps. thinking in the long term anymore in this era of the quarterly report anyway.

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This is something I think could happen. There is a potential benefit if it does -book clubs. Since you can only read it once, then you could pay a set price for a number of books similar to what's done now or even go further by paying monthly like a music service. Im a firm believer in owning what I buy but I see this as merely taking "borrowing" from the library a giant step further.
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I do consider this as entirely possible. However, it would just motivate more people to get books from the darknet.
Good points about darknet. I would imagine the publishers will use that as just a way to justify further price increases. Basically they will spin it all in any way possible to restrict and increase prices further.

Maybe that was the underlying sub-text in Jobs' now infamous comment "nobody reads anymore". Was he really saying nobody reads anymore because the publishers are completely clueless in knowing their customers and evolving with the rest of the globe.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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What proportion of my books do I read more than once?

Probably 1 to 2%. Heck, I have a increasing number of eBooks at the moment that I still haven't even read once.

I'm not sure it matters though. That is simply a restriction I would not be willing to agree to. If I WANT to read my books 153 times I blankety-blank will and I wouldn't buy a book that I couldn't.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:49 AM   #9
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What proportion of your books do you read more than once? With me, the figure is very low. I have a few old favourites, that I read over and over, but the overwhelming majority of books I'll never read again.
First I do not see how that is relevant since if the number needs to be low then the publisher(s) will simply pick an arbitrarily low "personal license" lifespan and add to it an aging-factor. Because, you knooow, books age and pages become brittle and we must keep in line with that idea after-all.

Second, the vast majority of my books have be re-read at least once, most all 2+ times.

I do wonder if there exists every intention of publishers to bugger with formats and firmware to ensure obsolesce of existing content over time. Naw, the way Amazon is setup would seem to eliminate that option because all that needs done is to re-download a book in the new format. Well, unless the license we agreed to only specifies the current Amazon format will be supported in that license of the book.

Ahhh, I've got it publishers will begin to licence their own file formats to the device makers. That is where I think Amazon is on our side. By controlling the file formats they seem to have done an end-around on that idea. For now anyway, which brings me back to reading limits in the future.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #10
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This is all pure paranoia, IMHO. Nobody is suggesting, and nor is there the slightest evidence to suggest that anyone is even THINKING of suggesting, that such a restriction be imposed.

The Overdrive library limits are a completely different situation, and cannot sensibly be used to infer that any additional restrictions are on their way for commercially-sold eBooks.

Haven't we got enough things to talk about with "the real world", rather than panicking about imaginary "wrongs"?
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #11
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I think a better view on it is not so much how many times do I read a book, but how many times are books that I have bought read? That question drives up the readings per book quite a bit in my experience. Some years ago I had many co-workers with overlapping tastes in SF. My copy of Snow Crash was probably read at least a dozen times, making a few trips to remote offices in the tan envelopes of the inter-office mail. The median read count on any SF I bought in that period was at least two, and probably three.

As I'm not with that company any more, nor even in that region, my former co-workers are probably buying books from some of those authors I used to lend to them.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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What proportion of your books do you read more than once? With me, the figure is very low. I have a few old favourites, that I read over and over, but the overwhelming majority of books I'll never read again.
certainly, but really, people want to feel that they at least own something that they paid for and with it the privilege that they can do with it as they please, within reason. like you, i have a few favorites that i've read over five times now, and it's been a joy every time.

although if they do insist on pushing this, why not just issue a "rental" version of ebooks (and a 'rental' price) instead of implementing such a policy across the board? of course, i assumed that the OP meant it as an across the board thing.

@OP: all this greed and paranoia is driving me nuts it's like Harry said. we've got enough things to worry about still, well, we live in a capitalist society. businesses want as much profit as possible. that's what my business texts all say

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Old 03-13-2011, 09:54 AM   #13
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This is all pure paranoia, IMHO. Nobody is suggesting, and nor is there the slightest evidence to suggest that anyone is even THINKING of suggesting, that such a restriction be imposed.

The Overdrive library limits are a completely different situation, and cannot sensibly be used to infer that any additional restrictions are on their way for commercially-sold eBooks.

Haven't we got enough things to talk about with "the real world", rather than panicking about imaginary "wrongs"?
you sure seem more on edge and confrontational in your comments of late...hope all is well.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #14
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Well if it does ever happen, there would have to be different "classes" of ebooks set up. I mean who's ever going to purchase an electronic dictionary or a cook(e)book that they can only read once? Or any kind of reference type book?

Publishers may be greedy bastards, but even they know that there's a line in the sand (even if its exact location is undetermined at this point) where over-restricting is going to cut into their bottom-line. They may be willing to cross that line with lending institutions because frankly; they know they can get away with. It's whole 'nother ball game on the consumer side of things.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #15
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@OP: Oh yeah, and we better stop giving the big wigs more ideas they can be dangerous in the wrong hands

this is a fun discussion though
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