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Old 08-22-2007, 12:23 PM   #16
rlauzon
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Licenses and transfers and stufflikethatthere

There was a Microsoft case a number of years ago that relates to this talk about licenses.

The gist of the case was:
1. Person buys a computer with Windows installed on it.
2. Person doesn't want Windows but can't buy the computer without it.
3. Person removes Windows from the computer and installs <whatever>.
4. Person then puts the copy of Windows up for sale on eBay.

Microsoft had the sale removed from eBay saying that they person licensed the software and that they couldn't transfer the license without Microsoft's permission. Microsoft insisted the the license was tied to the computer itself.

The person argued that Windows was just a component of the computer sale (no different then the hard drive or video card) and that it could be resold just like any other component.

The person won. That's why when you buy a new computer, your Windows proof of license is on that non-removable sticker that's physically attached to the computer case.

I don't remember all the details of the case. It would take me a while to find them. But it does seem to indicate that you can transfer a license without permission from the owner of the eProperty.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:24 PM   #17
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Baen are definitely the "good guys" of the eBook publishing world. They deserve all our support.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:25 PM   #18
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... your Windows proof of license is on that non-removable sticker that's physically attached to the computer case.
Heh, a good saber saw will take that off for you.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:20 PM   #19
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Are you saying that you believe that non-DRM-protected eBooks cannot legally be re-sold, Liviu? I would have thought that it would be a similar position to, say, re-selling computer software, which is generally permitted provided that you provide all media and electronic copies to the buyer, and delete them from your own systems.

I suppose the problem with eBooks is that, unlike computer software, you don't generally get an End User Licence Agreement (EULA) which lays out what you can and can't do - it's all rather vague.
These (license vs ownership and what it means) are very interesting questions and I have no idea about what the strict letter of the law is. I suppose technically you could resell ebooks as above, but it's not customary and there is no secondary market in econtent and I strongly believe that such a market is not going to exist. In the drm case there is no incentive for the content creator to allow transfer, in the non-drm case I just do not see it legal; sure in an individual case it may be, but I just do not see a market forming and not being shut down by courts.

Napster technically was such a market where people traded drm free music and we know what happened.

Regarding Baen, I am a big fan and active in discussions on their forums, but let us not forget that they allow the contents of their cd's to be posted for free online since ebooks are still a publicity venue first and foremost for them, and just secondary a revenue generator. I am very curious how their e-only initiatives (Universe, Grantville Gazette - though in both cases they are issuing print copies of selected content too, and misc non Baen authors like Niven & Pournelle, Lee & Miller, and various others) will come out...
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:27 PM   #20
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Similarly I have an embiid book that I migrated when I changed pc's but next time I change pc is very likely I won't be able to.
Actually, Embiid books are tied to the personalized reader program .exe, not the machine. So as long as you keep the reader, you'll be able to read your books.
Alternatively, you can try my tool and then do what you want with the HTML (i.e. convert to LRF for reading on Reader).
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:47 PM   #21
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Based on what Eric Flint said in the latest Baen's Universe, they mostly look at these types of transfers as "opportunities to get our work in front of someone else's eyes". Baen may not make any money off that one, but gets someone else to try the author out.

"Try before you buy" is a tried-and-true sales technique - especially when it comes to items that are very much based on personal tastes.

At Penguicon a few years ago, John Ringo was there talking about Baen. What they were doing at the time was releasing volume 1 of a series for free as an eBook. That generated interest in the rest of the volumes - which they sold. Authors who thought that their books were done were (happily) surprised to get sizable royalty checks.
When a book series is no longer generating all that much interest, that is a very good way to generate intertest. Because if the series is by a known author and book 1 is free, you'll get people to read book 1 and then if they like it, they'll purchase the rest thus generating revinue where there was none or not much.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:00 PM   #22
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Take MobiPocket or BBeB books for example... They are tied to some sort of PID that's tied to your computer and/or your reading device(s). Now if you break the DRM and find it's legal to do so via the exceptions in the DMCA (in the USA), you have a legally DRM free book. Can this DRM free ebook then be sold to someone else?

One of the issues with ebooks is ebay. I've seen a lot of ebooks illegally being sold. I do read Star Trek books and I've seen ebooks for sale that included some ebooks that officially have never been released electronically.

Another question I have .. is it legal to take books from PG, convert them to some other format and sell them? I've just found an auction on ebay for the Dr. Thorndyke books in Acrobat format. In fact, this idiot seems to be selling a LOT of PG books.

http://stores.ebay.com/NicheTouche_W...QQftidZ2QQtZkm
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
Actually, Embiid books are tied to the personalized reader program .exe, not the machine. So as long as you keep the reader, you'll be able to read your books.
Alternatively, you can try my tool and then do what you want with the HTML (i.e. convert to LRF for reading on Reader).
I have only one embiid book (I was so upset with the limitations that I got the other 2 books in that series as used books for ~8$ each rather than the 5$ for the ebook, and everyone involved - me, author, publisher - lost, and the one I had, I snagged and ocr'ed), but I am going to try that script soon.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:58 AM   #24
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Based on what Eric Flint said in the latest Baen's Universe, they mostly look at these types of transfers as "opportunities to get our work in front of someone else's eyes". Baen may not make any money off that one, but gets someone else to try the author out.
That was the whole point of the Baen Free Library, which you were encouraged to copy and share.

An old friend of mine is a musician and band leader, with a couple of major label albums and a slew of indie releases. He'd like you to buy the CDs, but if you dupe them and pass them to your friends, he's cool with that, too. The band has a following and makes its living playing gigs. The more folks who hear their music, the more people come to see them when they play.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:07 AM   #25
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Another question I have .. is it legal to take books from PG, convert them to some other format and sell them? I've just found an auction on ebay for the Dr. Thorndyke books in Acrobat format. In fact, this idiot seems to be selling a LOT of PG books
AFAIK, yes. They are on PG because the content is in the public domain. You can do anything you want with it, including sell it.

PG insists you remove their boilerplate if you do something like that, but there's nothing to stop you from doing it.

I know a chap who takes PG etext, typesets them and adds covers, and sells them as actual printed books via print-on-demand technology. He's doing very well from it. (And expressed bemused wonder a while back when he got his statements and discovered just how well, like "Holy crap! I'm rich!".

It's obvious the folk who buy the eBay seller's offerings aren't aware of Munseys or Manybooks...
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:52 AM   #26
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Another question I have .. is it legal to take books from PG, convert them to some other format and sell them?
Provided that you remove all mention of PG from them then yes, it's entirely legal. You can do anything you want with material that's in the public domain, including re-selling it.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:55 AM   #27
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Take MobiPocket or BBeB books for example... They are tied to some sort of PID that's tied to your computer and/or your reading device(s). Now if you break the DRM and find it's legal to do so via the exceptions in the DMCA (in the USA), you have a legally DRM free book. Can this DRM free ebook then be sold to someone else?
IMHO, no. Legally, by removing the DRM or converting the format you are creating a "derived work" (ie one derived from the original, but different to it), and to do that requires the permission of the copyright holder.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:42 PM   #28
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IMHO, no. Legally, by removing the DRM or converting the format you are creating a "derived work" (ie one derived from the original, but different to it), and to do that requires the permission of the copyright holder.
That could be argued both ways. If I have a paper book, do I need the permission of the copyright holder to make one partial set of photocopies of the book? Do I need the permission of the copyright holder to take a thick book, divide it into two or more parts and carry only part of the book with me?

The answer to both of these questions is no.

Now, if I can do that with a paper book I purchased, why can't I do it with an ebook I purchased? What is the difference between the paper copy and the electronic copy?

The only difference I can tell is the so called "license". I really want to know if the license concept is actual law, or something that the general public was conned into accepting.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:55 PM   #29
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That could be argued both ways. If I have a paper book, do I need the permission of the copyright holder to make one partial set of photocopies of the book? Do I need the permission of the copyright holder to take a thick book, divide it into two or more parts and carry only part of the book with me?

The answer to both of these questions is no.

Now, if I can do that with a paper book I purchased, why can't I do it with an ebook I purchased? What is the difference between the paper copy and the electronic copy?
The difference is that, with the paper book, by cutting it up, you are not creating a new book; you are doing things to the old one. When you photocopy a portion of the book, you are creating something new, but that's specifically covered by the "fair use" clause of the copyright laws.

When you convert the format of an eBook, however, you're creating another copy of the book - a "derived work" (you end up with both the original file and the new one). It would be like buying a paper book, and translating it into French, say. That's fine if it's for your personal use, but you couldn't then sell someone your translation without the author's permission. Similarly, you couldn't sell someone your format-converted e-book.

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The only difference I can tell is the so called "license". I really want to know if the license concept is actual law, or something that the general public was conned into accepting.
The licence is very real - it is the set of rights granted to you by the copyright laws of your country.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:09 PM   #30
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The licence is very real - it is the set of rights granted to you by the copyright laws of your country.
I think you have it backwards. I am granted my rights to my property from common law, not copyright law. Copyright law restricts certain rights over my property to the copyright holder. It doesn't grant me rights, it takes them away.

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The difference is that, with the paper book, by cutting it up, you are not creating a new book; you are doing things to the old one. When you photocopy a portion of the book, you are creating something new, but that's specifically covered by the "fair use" clause of the copyright laws.
Okay, if I can make a complete copy of a paper book (with the print enlarged in order to be read easier), then why can't I convert an ebook from a format I can't use to one I can? Why is one covered under fair use, but not the other?
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