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Old 01-11-2009, 06:29 PM   #1
ccccclark
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Problems with the EBook Industry

I have just recently bought my first EBook reader, so I am new to this, but here is what I am seeing are the problems with the industry. It is not the DRM per se or the price, but the serious gaps in the catalog of available books.

For example, Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, much of Dylan Thomas and several more recent history books I have an interest in are not available, not even on Amazon for the Kindle.

In my opinion, the industry is really losing out. I realize they cannot release everything at once, but I am not citing obscure works.

I have gone completely paperless for my reading material except for magazines, graphic novels and illustrated books (such as art). So if i am unable to find book A in EBook format, then I will be purchasing B. I will not be buying A in paper format. I just don't have the storage space for paper copies anymore.

I understand the possible concern with piracy, but it really is inevitable anyway, just like the music industry. I don't have an issue with paying for EBooks, just like music and there will always be a lot of honest people willing to do so (Apple ITunes).

Just look at now. Dylan Thomas' poems are under copyright, yet they can easily be found online. I would purchase his poetry despite this if it were available.
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Old 01-11-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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Yet another thread. The one thing you mentioned that is fresh is the out of date publications that are no longer in print but are still copyrighted. This is a big problem. Part of the problem is accessing ongoing demand to recreate the works in electronic form and an additional problem of getting the rights to publish an eBook. Generally the contracts are very specific and do not include eBook rights. In addition many of the people who wrote those books are dead although the copyright is still in force and there is no way to get permission or the people you would get permission from do not understand the issues.

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Old 01-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccccclark View Post
I understand the possible concern with piracy, but it really is inevitable anyway, just like the music industry. I don't have an issue with paying for EBooks, just like music and there will always be a lot of honest people willing to do so (Apple ITunes).
At least for the books you mentioned, piracy isn't a good excuse because there are already versions being shared online. It astounds me that Lord of the Rings isn't available through Amazon or Sony because I imagine it would sell extremely well.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:15 PM   #4
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I believe that in order for a copyright to be in force, someone has to hold the copyrights. Copyrights is a civil matter, not a criminal, so someone has to actively enforce the copyright. If no one holds it, you can publish with no problem. Of course, sometimes figuring out who owns the copyrights can be an issue. That's why there is a proposal for identifying and allow the use of orphaned works, i.e. works with no identifiable copyright owner.

The LOTR's copyright is owned by Tolkien's children, who are rather active in protecting it since it's still in print and making quite a bit of money for them. I think that Richard Adams who wrote Watership downs is still alive.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by epiphany View Post
At least for the books you mentioned, piracy isn't a good excuse because there are already versions being shared online. It astounds me that Lord of the Rings isn't available through Amazon or Sony because I imagine it would sell extremely well.
Yep. Rowling's books are the same way. The last Harry Potter book actually appeared online before it was available in the stores. Perhaps ebooks just aren't on the radar screen in Great Britian.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:37 PM   #6
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You could buy a paper book, throw it away, and then download a pirated e-version.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:51 PM   #7
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You could buy a paper book, throw it away, and then download a pirated e-version.
Not even getting into the "illegal" vs. "moral" debate, this makes the publishers' opinion about ebooks a self-fulfilling prophesy. "See, people are buying the paperbacks, they must not really want digital..."
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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This is complicated and debatable. Just like in the PC game industry, somebody buys a legal copy and then use a no-cd crack.
Oh the IP laws, I have a headache just by thinking about it.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:27 PM   #9
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I've read before that Rowling and Tolkein's heirs are very against ebooks. It's a shame because, as we have all seen, there are digital versions of the books regardless of whether they want it or not. They're just not profiting from them.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:23 AM   #10
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I've read before that Rowling and Tolkein's heirs are very against ebooks. It's a shame because, as we have all seen, there are digital versions of the books regardless of whether they want it or not. They're just not profiting from them.
True.
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