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Old 10-28-2012, 06:13 PM   #166
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Why do you assume they don't think about it already? Isn't also perfectly plausible that many people just don't give as much of a sh!t about it as you (or others) think they should? (Either that, or they do, and they've already come up with a way to appease their own personal sense of "ownership")
You can count me in that number. I resisted buying a book reader for a while, because stuff could disappear. Until I thought about it, and realized how few books I ever reread anyway. The most that's at risk at any give time, for me, is maybe $20 in unread stuff.
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:57 AM   #167
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Well at least it helps to get the word out on the evils of DRM, eh.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/...being-deleted/
I like one bit of the article best, saying:

Many other websites also lamented that many digital retailers (Amazon, Apple, and plenty of others) are not selling digital goods, but rather license them. It's a distinction many Arstechnica readers may already understand, but it's less apparent outside the ranks of the tech-savvy. (After all, those purchase buttons usually say BUY, not BUY A LICENSE.)

Exactly!
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:16 PM   #168
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This is a problem with all forms of digital distribution, particularly video games sold via Steam and Origin. Online vendors have used the baits of price, convenience, and ease-of-use to entice customers, while discreetly rewriting their rights to own what they've bought in EULAs.

This is the first time I've heard of Amazon getting flak for locking a customer out of his or her account, but it regularly happens with Valve and EA customers. Unfortunately, there have been no social media blowups to make them relent.

Last edited by holymadness; 10-31-2012 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #169
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This is a problem with all forms of digital distribution, particularly video games sold via Steam and Origin. Online vendors have used the baits of price, convenience, and ease-of-use to entice customers, while discreetly rewriting their rights to own what they've bought in EULAs.
Yes, very discreetly. However, WRT the pricing: If you really think about the price of an eBook compared to let's say a paperback, it doesn't seem so cheap after all, considering one is merely getting a licence for it. In fact, it seems quite expensive to me.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:40 PM   #170
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Yes, very discreetly. However, WRT the pricing: If you really think about the price of an eBook compared to let's say a paperback, it doesn't seem so cheap after all, considering one is merely getting a licence for it. In fact, it seems quite expensive to me.
You are, of course, free to calculate the value to you as you see fit, but I'll point out the following:

You are merely getting a license when you 'buy' a paperback, too. Make no mistake. Read the copyright page. Some of the things you can't do with 'your' book are spelled out there, others are spelled out in copyright law.
You are buying the paper and glue, but you only get a limited set of rights to the content.

In many cases:

An ebook can be instantly replaced as needed (say, if you forget it when you go on a trip), for free. Can the paperback?

The ebook can exist for you in several places at once, for your convenience, at no extra charge. Can a paperback?

You can carry hundreds or thousands of ebooks in your pocket, so you can have almost unlimited choice at any free reading moment. How many paperbacks can you carry?

You can buy almost any new ebook almost anywhere you happen to be, and have it to read instantly. Can you do that with a paperback?

You can change the font on an ebook to suit your needs with the push of a button.

None of these things represent value to you above the value you get for the with a paperback? If not, why are you reading ebooks? Just keep buying paperbacks, and ebook prices be darned!

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Old 11-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #171
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Those are advantages supplied by the reader. An expensive device that you paid for separately from any ebook and that will need periodic replacement to prevent losing access to all your ebooks. It has nothing to do with the ebooks you put on it. The publishers didn't give me portability, ect Amazon did that part.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by crossi View Post
Those are advantages supplied by the reader. An expensive device that you paid for separately from any ebook and that will need periodic replacement to prevent losing access to all your ebooks. It has nothing to do with the ebooks you put on it. The publishers didn't give me portability, ect Amazon did that part.
Nonsense. Try buying the paperback instead of the ebook and see if your reader still gives those advantages from it.

You might as well claim your reading lamp (or your eyes) is the source of value from the paperback.

We pay a price for a particular version of a book--paperback, hardback, audiobook, ebook, what have you-- because we want the features that version offers. We should consider the value of those feature, not merely compare the price to a different version. Simple as that.

Last edited by ApK; 11-01-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:12 PM   #173
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You are merely getting a license when you 'buy' a paperback, too. Make no mistake. Read the copyright page. Some of the things you can't do with 'your' book are spelled out there, others are spelled out in copyright law.
What's written on the copyright page is irrelevant; it often contradicts copyright law. Standard text often says things like "no part of this work may be reproduced in any way without written permission from the publisher," which is a lie--reviews, parodies, and educational uses are allowed without permission.

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You are buying the paper and glue, but you only get a limited set of rights to the content.
Yes, and people are asking for those same limited rights with their digital purchases.

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An ebook can be instantly replaced as needed (say, if you forget it when you go on a trip), for free. Can the paperback?
Very few, possibly no, ebook stores guarantee replacement copies for life. Fictionwise is down to insisting you must download within a couple of hours or you may lose your purchase.

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The ebook can exist for you in several places at once, for your convenience, at no extra charge. Can a paperback?
The ability to copy it into several devices at once is a permission granted by the publisher; it's not allowed by copyright law. This would have some merit if the terms of the license were spelled out in detail; as it is, people think there's some different law that applies to ebooks.

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You can carry hundreds or thousands of ebooks in your pocket, so you can have almost unlimited choice at any free reading moment. How many paperbacks can you carry?
I can carry hundreds of songs in my *head*, without any mechanical device. Does that mean I have the right to perform or distribute them at will? Storage capacity has nothing to do with copyright law.

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You can buy almost any new ebook almost anywhere you happen to be, and have it to read instantly.
Well, as long as you happen to be in the US. Many new ebooks aren't available in the UK or Australia, and many more aren't available in countries where English isn't the main language spoken.

I can order any paper book Amazon offers from almost anywhere in the world. Can I do that with ebooks?

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You can change the font on an ebook to suit your needs with the push of a button.
Depends on the reader. Early ebook readers had limited abilities with this; that's a matter of hardware and software, not a trait of "ebooks."
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:23 PM   #174
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Elfwreck, your repitition of the term "copyright law" suggests you may have misread my post. I only referred to copyright law in the context of defining your rights with a p-book. I didn't suggest in any way that the benefits I listed for ebooks came from copyright law, only that they exist and should be factored into what we think is a fair price.
And you also may have missed my use of the phrase "in many cases" which I put in just to avoid needless posts of the exeption cases...didn't work, eh?

Last edited by ApK; 11-01-2012 at 11:33 PM. Reason: typos! no more posting from a little touch screen. this is why I hate texting!
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:31 AM   #175
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Elfwreck, your repitition of the term "copyright law" suggests you may have misread my post. I only referred to copyright law in the context of defining your rights with a p-book. I didn't suggest in any way that the benefits I listed for ebooks came from copyright law, only that they exist and should be factored into what we think is a fair price.
For most people, lack of ability to share or give away a purchase *drastically* lowers the value, enough that whatever perqs it might contain are almost irrelevant.

And several of the features you mentioned aren't features of "ebooks" but features of some hardware/software combinations used to access ebooks. (Paper books can be used as kindling! As insulation! But these aren't considered "features" of paper books, reasons why they are the price they are.)

Quote:
And you also may have missed my use of the phrase "in many cases" which I put in just to avoid needless posts of the exception cases...didn't work, eh?
"In many cases" is based on hardware, software, and the store used to buy them; it's not a trait of the ebook itself, but of the entire access package.

And yes, it's sometimes relevant. However, I'm annoyed that, while many ebook stores hype "read on multiple devices!!!", none of them mention "not a sale like a pbook! Only a license! With terms we won't actually give you at time of sale!" in clear, direct language. So I'm prone to ignoring the hype-parts, because I don't think of them as "bonus features" as much as "what we're using to distract you from what you're NOT getting."
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:32 AM   #176
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The important battle is to fight EVERY attempt by publishers/vendors to use the "<Content> as a service" phrase. If this term gains acceptance, consumers will lose all rights over purchases going forward.

If you sell me a license to read a book, bundled with a physical equivalent that I can read with said license, then I did not buy into a service. I don't even have a problem with these vendors stating that there is one price for the sale, and another add-on to allow future re-downloading. The problem I have is that these companies ACT as if they are SELLING products online, just like a bookstore, yet they expect a vastly asymmetrical power balance that favors them to be in place.

Of course these publishers are fighting for perpetual rights to "change the deal", because it is in their economic self interest. As consumers, we must fight them on these and related points at every opportunity.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:00 AM   #177
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ApK says:
Quote:
You can buy almost any new ebook almost anywhere you happen to be, and have it to read instantly. Can you do that with a paperback?
Ever heard of continental restrictions?

pBooks can be sold, after reading, or given away. Can you do that with an ebook?
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #178
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I think ApK has a point, why always focus on the negative aspect of eBooks, there are lots of positive sides to them, otherwise we wouldn't have made the switch. But I still can't accept it when their price is higher than for the printed version, and yes, I do think a fair price is around 70% of a paperback.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:39 AM   #179
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For most people, lack of ability to share or give away a purchase *drastically* lowers the value, enough that whatever perqs it might contain are almost irrelevant.
I think a relatively small group THINKS that it lowers the value for many. I think the many rarely care or notice, or at worst, it's a tiny inconvenience overwhelmed by the value they get.
I offer as evidence the huge continued success of Amazon's Kindle and the ebook market in general.

Anecdotally, I have heard people raise their eyebrows and say "Oh really?" when they realize they can't resell or give away ebooks. I have never heard one of them then say "Oh, then I will stop wasting my money on them and go back to paperbacks!"

But, really, you and I arguing in a general thread is distracting. I agree with you on most end points, just not on matters of degree or rationale.

We should start a 'subtle distinction' thread.

Last edited by ApK; 11-02-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:43 AM   #180
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ApK says:


Ever heard of continental restrictions?

pBooks can be sold, after reading, or given away. Can you do that with an ebook?
pBooks and eBooks are different things. Why would you expect them to be exactly the same in those respects? Can you sell or give away a fireworks exhibit after watching it?
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