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Old 09-07-2007, 03:33 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
The physical book is yours to fold, spindle, mutilate, or pass along, as you chose. The content in the book is not.
Could you explain how I can "pass along" a physical book without also passing along the content? And if I am legally passing along the content then don't I also own that content? Otherwise how could it be legal?
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:11 PM   #62
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For a review of US law in this area, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine. Apparently there is some confusion about whether this doctrine can legally be limited by an End User License Agreement (i.e. EULA).

My sense of it is that you "own" one copy, which you can sell (or do certain other things to), but there are some limits on what you can do, especially as regards making additional copies. With a paper book, the copy is physical. With an ebook, the copy is electronic. This is somewhat problematic as computers make "copies" of all electronic content, just in the process of using the content (e.g. copying data from a hard drive to RAM). Also, digital content is somewhat more fragile than analog (e.g. paper) content, so backup copies are considered normal. The critical factor seems to be whether you distribute copies.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:16 PM   #63
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I'm sorry Nate, I don't understand what the issue is. If you go to Fictionwise and buy a book with MobiPocket DRM, say, then the site clearly tells you before you buy it that you will only be able to read the book on certain specified devices, and that you won't be able to print it. Those are restrictions imposed by the DRM mechanism, and you are buying the eBook with the full knowledge of what those restrictions are.
But HarryT when I buy a car I am also told of certain restrictions, e.g. it runs on regular gas, there is a maximum speed it can attain, etc. However, since I own it, I can make modifications so that it runs on biodiesel and can go faster.

Yes I may still have restrictions such as speed limits but given that I own enough land that I can build my own race track, that doesn't apply. Just because it was built by Ford does not give Ford the privilege to restrict my changes for my own use.

Therefore, except for some self serving law, "bought & paid for" by authors & publishers, there is no logical reason that I can not remove DRM from a book I own in order to make it more to my own desires & requirements.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:29 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Users may not modify, transmit, publish, participate in the transfer or sale of, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, display, or in any way exploit, any of the content of these product(s), in whole or in part.
Might I infer from this that "non-users" may modify, transmit, publish, ..." since there is no explicit restriction to "non-users?
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:35 PM   #65
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I think "legality" and "fairness" can sometimes differ, though it's the job of a society to try to make them as close as possible. I suspect DRM will eventually come under legal challenge vs. the doctrine of first sale. But someone with fairly deep pockets will have to make the challenge, because the media industry is going to make it expensive to fight.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #66
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Until now the market has spoken very clearly; people do not want drm or high e-book prices, while for reading devices probably 50-100$ is the price where they get to break out.

I do not see this changing and until we get there, commercial e-books will still be a niche product, under 1% of the market, whatever our wishes...
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:22 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by slayda View Post
Therefore, except for some self serving law, "bought & paid for" by authors & publishers, there is no logical reason that I can not remove DRM from a book I own in order to make it more to my own desires & requirements.
Let me clarify my previous post.

If you bought an ebook at Fictionwise, you do not own it. They do. You merely licensed it from them.

I don't know about you, but this really pisses me off. Unfortunately, it is what I agreed to. I am waiting on emails from a lawyer I know. Unless he can tell me why the user agreement is not vaild or is not enforcible, we re stuck with it.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:24 AM   #68
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What do you want to do with your eBook that the Fictionwise terms and conditions will not permit you to do, Nate?
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Old 09-08-2007, 06:58 AM   #69
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What do you want to do with your eBook that the Fictionwise terms and conditions will not permit you to do, Nate?
How about own it? Would you be surprised that I would want to own something I purchased?
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:20 AM   #70
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How about own it? Would you be surprised that I would want to own something I purchased?
Well, yes, if you want the honest truth. You never "own" intellectual property (unless it's your own, of course) - all you ever own are the media that it's supplied on. When you buy a book, you "own" the paper, not the "story". When you buy a CD, you "own" the physical CD, not the music it contains. When you buy computer software, you own the media it's supplied on, not the program itself. When you download something, there is nothing "physical" to own so you own nothing.

Do you expect that, when you buy a book from Fictionwise, they are going to hand over all the rights to that book to you, and let you do whatever you want with it? Give copies of it to all your friends? Auction 100 copies of it on eBay? Print it and sell paper copies of it? You could do all those things if you "owned" it. Naturally there are restrictions imposed upon you when you are dealing with someone else's IP.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:06 AM   #71
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Well, yes, if you want the honest truth. You never "own" intellectual property (unless it's your own, of course) - all you ever own are the media that it's supplied on. When you buy a book, you "own" the paper, not the "story". When you buy a CD, you "own" the physical CD, not the music it contains. When you buy computer software, you own the media it's supplied on, not the program itself. When you download something, there is nothing "physical" to own so you own nothing.

Do you expect that, when you buy a book from Fictionwise, they are going to hand over all the rights to that book to you, and let you do whatever you want with it? Give copies of it to all your friends? Auction 100 copies of it on eBay? Print it and sell paper copies of it? You could do all those things if you "owned" it. Naturally there are restrictions imposed upon you when you are dealing with someone else's IP.
I did not say I wanted to own the intellectual property; I want to own the file. I want the exact same rights over this ebook file that I have over my pbooks. I did not say I want to distribute the ebook. Please do not accuse me of illegal activities.

And HarryT, yes, I can own a file. If it was not possible for me to own it, then there would be no need for the license agreement to specifically say that ownership rights are not transferred in the purchase of the ebook.

In all honesty, this is not an established area of law. I have asked a couple lawyers. If you don't believe me, then cite the law or court decision that proves me wrong. That is, unless you are now going to claim to be a lawyer as well as a software developer.
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:15 AM   #72
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Let's say I have an extensive library of Sony books purchased via the Connect Store. Let's say my Reader was damaged and I did not feel like replacing it with another Sony but wanted to replace it with a v9 instead since it will handle PDF much better. Now I have all these electronic books that all I can do is read them on my computer using Connect. That's not a very nice way for me to read them. So, I want to sell them to someone with a Reader who would be able to get some enjoyment out of these books. I suppose in this case, I could see m account along with the books so the reader could be authorized via that account and those books downloaded and read. But really what I want is just to sell the books and have them usable on someone else's reader. DRM prevents me from selling. Now if I was to take all the MS Reader and MobiPocket books I have purchased and wanted to sell them, I can as the DRM can be broken.

Given the law in the USA, the exception says that the LIT format books can be stripped of their DRM because the reader feature of MS Reader is disabled. So I go ahead, break the DRM, and sell the LIT books. That's legal.

The MobiPocket books may or may not be allowed to break the DRM and then sell them. MobiPocket Reader does not have a read aloud feature so the exception does not apply. But, if the person I sell my MobiPocket books to has a program to strip the DRM and all that person needs is my PID, then legally there is nothing to stop me from giving the buyer my PID to be able to strip the DRM. Heck, for MS Reader files, all I have to do is give my key file away for use with CLIT to use to break the DRM.

So the answer is buy only books in a format where you can legally break the DRM and then you have the right to sell the books as long as you no longer have kept any copies of the electronic versions.

I have seen a lot of auctions on ebay for illegally downloaded books. But if I was to sell my legally purchased LIT files sans DRM (on ebay) it would be my legal right to do so.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:22 AM   #73
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I did not say I wanted to own the intellectual property; I want to own the file. I want the exact same rights over this ebook file that I have over my pbooks. I did not say I want to distribute the ebook. Please do not accuse me of illegal activities.
I'm certainly not accusing you of illegal activities. I'm simply saying that if you "owned" the eBook then those activities which I listed would be legal for you to do, because it would be your property to do with as you wished. It isn't your property, hence it is not legal for you to do those things.

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And HarryT, yes, I can own a file. If it was not possible for me to own it, then there would be no need for the license agreement to specifically say that ownership rights are not transferred in the purchase of the ebook.
Ownership rights to the book are not transferred. The file is yours - you can do whatever you want to it. Copy it, etc. But you have no rights to the "contents" of the file. This is exactly the same as with a printed book.

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In all honesty, this is not an established area of law. I have asked a couple lawyers. If you don't believe me, then cite the law or court decision that proves me wrong. That is, unless you are now going to claim to be a lawyer as well as a software developer.
There's no need to be rude. I don't have to prove you wrong because I completely agree with you - you don't own a downloaded book. Where we differ is your expectation that you should own it. I disagree with you because you can never own someone else's intellectual properly.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:30 AM   #74
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But really what I want is just to sell the books and have them usable on someone else's reader. DRM prevents me from selling. Now if I was to take all the MS Reader and MobiPocket books I have purchased and wanted to sell them, I can as the DRM can be broken.
No, you can't. You are bound by the license agreement under which you purchased those books, and I'm pretty sure you'll find that that agreement prohibits resale or transfer. You agreed to those conditions when you purchased the book. Eg, for Connect see:

http://ebooks.connect.com/termsofservice.html
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:33 AM   #75
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In all honesty, this is not an established area of law. I have asked a couple lawyers.
Are you thinking of challenging the law? The EFF might help. I'd love to see this go to court. It would help if you could get some additional plaintiffs. Perhaps someone who lost access to ebooks due to a death of a parent or spouse, and someone with degenerative visual impairments who can no longer use content previously purchased. The first case wouldn't have been an issue with a p-book, and the second SHOULDN'T be an issue with ebooks. And both are likely to get the attention of a jury.

At least one co-plaintiff who lost content in the collapse of one of the earlier DRM schemes would be good, too.

It's harder to come up with an emotionally compelling case regarding resale of books. You'd need someone who had spent an awful lot on DRM locked content and then had huge medical bills and needed to sell all their property or something.
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