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Old 11-02-2012, 12:53 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by hapipiko View Post
DRM allows ebooks to be read for a certain period. Some libraries work with that: ebooks are no longer to open after 3 weeks.
As if this needs to be explained:
You aren't buying those ebooks from the library in any sense. You are borrowing them for a specific time.
That's not what anyone here is talking about.

There is no fixed time limit associated with ebooks you buy from any of the current relevant sources.

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Old 11-02-2012, 01:35 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
No, "same" and "less" are not the only choices. There is also "more but different." Which is what it must be because they ARE different. They have different properties and require different rules.
Your argument (i.e., that different media provide different possibilities to customers, and therefore different sets of rights) is flawed. The difference in customer's rights between pbooks and ebooks are not due to the difference in medium: they are due instead to different policies adopted by the vendors.
How convenient for ebook vendors that the "increased possibilities" that ebooks provide to customers (in addition to those associated to pbooks) are all free of charge for them (the vendors)! While all the "reduced possibilities", i.e. the features that customers are used to get from pbooks but are not available with ebooks, are due to choices of the vendor. Coincidentally, such choices have the side effect of maximizing the income of the vendor.

For example: you can't lend your ebooks to your friends because the terms of service say so; you can't bring your books from your old home (your current device) to your new one (another device sold by a competitor) because the terms of service say so; you can't sell (or give as a present) your book to someone else because the terms of service say so. And so on...
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:09 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by BoldlyDubious View Post
The difference in customer's rights between pbooks and ebooks are not due to the difference in medium
I (obviously) disagree, at least in part.

For example, you CAN lend your pbook to someone because in doing so, you are handing them your one and only copy, no additional copies are being made, copyright is not violated.

You CANNOT lend your ebook to some one, because in transferring the data, you are creating a copy and violating copyright.

Lending mechanisms ARE in place to address this. Kindle and Nook have lending features, libraries lend ebooks. Of course, we can dislike the current mechanism and want a better, more flexible one.

You are also free to lend your ebook to someone by lending them your ereader.

(Someone, perhaps ew, will likely want to point out that some draconian TOSes try to restrict even that, but that's the exception, not the rule. I feel we need to work within or work to change the rules in good faith. Tyrannical and unjust exceptions, I'll stand and fight with the radicals.)

As for charging money for features that cost nothing to offer, they have every right to set a market price and try to make a profit. Like everything else in the marketplace, if the price is too high for the value you place on the thing, don't buy the thing. They are not non-profit charities obligated to pass on every cost savings cent for cent.

ApK

Last edited by ApK; 11-02-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:14 PM   #199
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Your argument (i.e., that different media provide different possibilities to customers, and therefore different sets of rights) is flawed.
Are we about to segue into the stage of the discussion where all the fancy Latin names for the various logical fallacies get trotted out? That usually follows closely on the heels of "analogy wars."
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #200
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I think price is a red herring. The price of e-books is generally just fine, I believe. A newly published e-book is generally significantly less costly than its newly published hardback counterpart. When that same book is published in paperback, the e-book price generally drops as well. I don't have any problem with that price structure. I think the value of an e-book and a paperback are roughly equivalent; each has benefits and drawbacks.

DRM is a separate issue.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:16 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I think price is a red herring. The price of e-books is generally just fine, I believe. A newly published e-book is generally significantly less costly than its newly published hardback counterpart.
Depends on where you live. In many European countries, for example, the price difference is negligible.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:46 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I think the value of an e-book and a paperback are roughly equivalent; each has benefits and drawbacks.
DRM is a separate issue.
I would say that DRM (and/or its consequences) is the main one among the drawbacks of ebooks. So it's not actually a separate issue...
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:56 AM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
As if this needs to be explained:
You aren't buying those ebooks from the library in any sense. You are borrowing them for a specific time.
That's not what anyone here is talking about.

There is no fixed time limit associated with ebooks you buy from any of the current relevant sources.

ApK
I've started seeing reports that this isn't true with B&N's DRM scheme - when your credit card expiration date hits, apparently the book expires. You then have to redownload.

With Kindle, of course, the downloaded book expires when your device does. You then have to redownload to some other device.

Both schemes assume that the retailer will live on forever, which is a pretty bad bet. Although at least my Borders books moved to Kobo successfully, that transition is unusual. And even if the company continues, that doesn't mean you'll be able to redownload all your books (and issue with some old ereader format books at B&N, as they run out of devices that support that format).
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:14 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I think price is a red herring.
On a moderately-recent best-selling book at Amazon, the paperback is 4p less than the ebook. From a third-party I could have had the paperback (new) for 43p less than the ebook. For "Used - Like New" I could pay £1.79 less than the ebook.

That the publishers can print and ship, and Amazon receive, store, pack and ship the paperback and make money while still charging less shows that the ebook pricing is excessive.

Why is it excessive? Let's see where the money goes.

The paperback RRP is 7.99. Amazon gets at least a 50% discount, so the publishers get £3.99, and Amazon, selling at £4.95, gets £0.95.

The Kindle edition is £4.99. VAT is 3%. Amazon gets a 30% discount (agency pricing), so the publishers get £3.39 and Amazon gets £1.45

It seems to me that Amazon is getting too large a cut of the ebook price!
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:11 AM   #205
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@ApK,
Quote:
There is no fixed time limit associated with ebooks you buy from any of the current relevant sources.
If you buy these ebooks DRM-free
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
On a moderately-recent best-selling book at Amazon, the paperback is 4p less than the ebook. From a third-party I could have had the paperback (new) for 43p less than the ebook. For "Used - Like New" I could pay £1.79 less than the ebook.

That the publishers can print and ship, and Amazon receive, store, pack and ship the paperback and make money while still charging less shows that the ebook pricing is excessive.

Why is it excessive? Let's see where the money goes.

The paperback RRP is 7.99. Amazon gets at least a 50% discount, so the publishers get £3.99, and Amazon, selling at £4.95, gets £0.95.

The Kindle edition is £4.99. VAT is 3%. Amazon gets a 30% discount (agency pricing), so the publishers get £3.39 and Amazon gets £1.45

It seems to me that Amazon is getting too large a cut of the ebook price!
I don't care about who gets what. Nor do I care when I buy ANY product or service exactly how the proceeds are distributed (assuming that the product isn't produced using slave labor or child labor or other evil means). As a consumer, what matters to me is the amount I have to pay and whether I think the value is commensurate with the price.

As I said, I think it's entirely fair that an e-book and a paperback are priced at the same level.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:36 PM   #207
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I agree entirely with what you say Catlady, except for the last sentence!

I think it's entirely unfair that an e-book and paperback are priced at the same level, the former should be cheaper.... unless it's DRM free (or at very least the DRM is only some kind of watermarking?) then I'd say it's fair to charge the same price.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:24 PM   #208
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@ApK,

If you buy these ebooks DRM-free
Perhaps you could explain yourself. Maybe one of us is misunderstanding you.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:44 PM   #209
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I've started seeing reports that this isn't true with B&N's DRM scheme - when your credit card expiration date hits, apparently the book expires. You then have to redownload.
I've not seen any such reports, but even if it were exactly true, that's not a time limit. You would be free to re download and keep reading indefinitely.

Quote:
With Kindle, of course, the downloaded book expires when your device does. You then have to redownload to some other device.
Again, same thing, not a time limit in any sense. (Is this really not patently obvious?)

Quote:
Both schemes assume that the retailer will live on forever, which is a pretty bad bet. Although at least my Borders books moved to Kobo successfully, that transition is unusual. And even if the company continues, that doesn't mean you'll be able to redownload all your books (and issue with some old ereader format books at B&N, as they run out of devices that support that format).
On the point of my post, again, this is not a time limit, unless I missed the line in the TOS where B&N told us they plan to out of business and orphan their ebooks in x number of years.

All these situations are no different than you keeping your paperbacks in a storage unit, and having the storage company fold, or your lease expire and getting locked out, or having your books turn to pulp after years in a tropical jungle. All these would be just as much 'time limits' on your ability to read your paper books. There are no guarantees and nothing lasts forever.

So no, these are no time limits on purchased ebooks.

In fact, in many cases, I think the kinds of 'time limits' YOU are citing are SHORTER for pbooks than ebooks: Several friends homes are currently underwater. I can imagine an awful lot of pbooks were lost this past week in hurricane Sandy. Most of the ebooks lost will be able to be easily re-downloaded, which some people will find some comfort in as they rebuild.

On the ACTUAL point you make about possibly losing access in the event of a DRM system folding and orphaning the ebooks, of course, I'm in full favor of protecting against that, and I want both the providers and the law to address the issue.

ApK

Last edited by ApK; 11-03-2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:09 AM   #210
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All these situations are no different than you keeping your paperbacks in a storage unit, and having the storage company fold, or your lease expire and getting locked out, or having your books turn to pulp after years in a tropical jungle. All these would be just as much 'time limits' on your ability to read your paper books. There are no guarantees and nothing lasts forever.
So no, these are no time limits on purchased ebooks.
When you buy pbooks, you are not forced by the bookstore to keep them in a storage unit, or in the jungle. You choose where to keep them, and you choose what risks to take as well. With ebooks, you have no such choice.
And if you change bookstore, your existing pbooks remain accessible to you.
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