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Old 08-18-2009, 11:20 AM   #61
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I suspect it has less to do with her not wanting ebook versions of her works as it does with her (and her publisher) waiting for the ebook market to really hit the mainstream (it's almost there). Once it does, you can be assured that legitimate versions of all the Harry Potter books will be available as ebooks--at a price of $14.99 each. By releasing them too early, they'll be in a position where the price will be expected to come down after a while, at which point they could make less money by selling the same number of copies. But if they hold out just a bit longer, they can really rake it in. Remember folks, business is all about maximizing profit.
That would be a stupid thing to do.
That's a bit like amazon and the kindle. If you wait too long, people might not be interested anymore.
And 15$ each is NOT a price I would pay for e-books.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:29 AM   #62
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I'm inclined to agree with ahi on this, though he does say it incredibly forcefully. If there's one thing I've learned over the course of my years, it's that when people say "they just need to do this" or "all it takes is...", the person saying it usually has NO idea how to do it or what is actually involved. At the same time, the "just" or "all it takes" tend to be the most difficult part of the process.

So griffonwing, while you say "The technology is available, it just has yet to be implemented", guess what the most complex part of the problem is. If you can't actually offer any insight into how the implementation would take place, you're words are as valuable as someone saying "Fixing health care is simple. All they need to do is find the cure to all the diseases." (And I'm not intending to pick on you personally, it's just that your phrase was sitting up there in the quoted text, and it worked quite well for the example.)
I never claimed to know how to implement the technology. I only know that it will take some doing, but that the technology to do it is already here. Googles indexing service is very good, and highly advanced, and would work very well for book-storage and searching. As to how to go about it, that needs to be left up to those with the know-how.

And it's different than health-care and "curing all diseases". Yes, the technology is here, possibly, to prevent them all, but out bodies are smarter and are constantly evolving to immunize against these drugs to where they are worthless, or weakened.

The goole search indexing service is here already, it just needs to be tweaked, and implemented. All Cures is not here yet, and will require much more research, and we may still never know everything about the human body.

I understand where you were trying to come from, but the analogy was like apples to oranges.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:32 AM   #63
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Thanks for clarifying that, Elfwreck. IANAL, but from how I see it Amazon aren't the direct beneficiary of any sale—rather, the uploader/publisher is and Amazon is secondary (or possibly tertiary). Would this be somewhat similar to how Google doesn't directly make profit from the viewing of YouTube videos, but does make a profit from the selling of ads that accompany those videos?
Amazon is the direct beneficiary--they get a percentage of each sale. This is unlike ad revenue, where a third party pays them for the interaction that takes place between Content Poster and Viewer. In Amazon's case, they get direct payment for that interaction, from the people involved.

Hmm. I'll have to think about how this is similar to or different from eBay. (It may be identical to eBay, and eBay just gets less hassle because they don't allow direct download sales, and proving infringement on a physical medium is harder; someone else would have to buy the "disc of 100 ebooks" and arrange complaints from copyright holders first.)
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #64
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And do what with it?

Technology isn't magic.

What on earth would google's pitiably OCR'd database be useful for in this context?
Yes, if you're fixed into a very narrow view which refuses to see the box. The actual content of the database is irrelevant. The value is that google have for each book they scanned identified the rights owners.

Is it going to be near perfect? No, but it'll eliminate many of the common-case problems. Trying for perfection is this sort of thing is a very good way of paralysing the system into doing nothing.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:23 PM   #65
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Amzon, turn off self-publishing and this problem won't happen. Then when any eBooks are uploaded, validate them first.
That would certainly make common sense. Kind of baffling why they didn't have that as their policy in the first place.

It'll be interesting to see if they start deleting these from people's kindles again.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:26 PM   #66
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And how, exactly, does Amazon validate them?

One of the big problems with the current state of copyright in the world is that there is no directory of who owns what content.
That's why you don't start selling stuff when you have no clue who owns the rights to it. Their entire "self publishing" thing is a really bad idea. You're right, it's going to be really difficult to police it, but Amazon is still liable for all of the infringement that is inevitably going to take place.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:27 PM   #67
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I assume the problem is similar to YouTube's.
The main difference is that because Amazon is directly benefiting from the sale of the material, they are liable for the copyright infringement. YouTube falls under safe harbor, Amazon doesn't.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:31 PM   #68
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So far, they've settled for going after a violation when it was brought to their attention, which is obviously good enough for the law.
I don't think that's true. Somebody who is merely hosting material and qualifies for safe harbor can settle for going after a violation when it's brought to their attention. Amazon is directly benefiting from the financial sale of the material, which disqualifies them for safe harbor. According to the law, they seem to be liable for copyright infringement whether or not they remove content after it is brought to their attention. Selling it at all constitutes a violation of the law on their part.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:36 PM   #69
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I think they're on pretty thin ice where safe harbor is concerned, because they're taking a cut of every ebook sold; they have an obvious interest in *not* managing their content better. In case of lawsuit, they'd have to prove that wasn't part of the reason for not reviewing books & getting real contracts before they sell them.
Nope, the ice is cracked and they're neck deep in the freezing water. Safe harbor specifically states that if you have a direct financial benefit then you don't qualify. The way I read the law, as soon as they sell the material they are liable for copyright infringement.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #70
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You do have to have that. You have to fax them a form with tax ID, social security number, bank account details, etc etc.
None of which they actually verify, apparently.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #71
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I may be mistaken, but I believe that checking or verifying the validity of the works beforehand opens them up to considerably larger damages in the event that something ever does slip through.
I think what you're referring to is willful infringement? I believe that has to do with whether or not they were aware that they were distributing, not whether or not they were aware that they didn't have rights. It's hard to argue that the distribution was not willful when they are actively selling the material.

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Also, as it is, they are working within the current legal framework (i.e., removal of infringing material after receiving a takedown notice).
No, removing infringing material after the fact based on a takedown notice only absolves you of liability if you qualify for safe harbor. Amazon does not. So, for them, regardless of whether or not they removed the material later, they are still liable for the infringement. Selling the material disqualifies them from safe harbor, unlike an ISP that is just hosting material but not directly benefiting.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:50 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Abecedary View Post
Thanks for clarifying that, Elfwreck. IANAL, but from how I see it Amazon aren't the direct beneficiary of any sale—rather, the uploader/publisher is and Amazon is secondary (or possibly tertiary). Would this be somewhat similar to how Google doesn't directly make profit from the viewing of YouTube videos, but does make a profit from the selling of ads that accompany those videos?
No, they have a direct benefit because they take a cut of the sale of the material. They're not giving the eBooks away for free and selling ads, they're selling the eBooks and taking a cut.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:53 PM   #73
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Hmm. I'll have to think about how this is similar to or different from eBay. (It may be identical to eBay, and eBay just gets less hassle because they don't allow direct download sales, and proving infringement on a physical medium is harder; someone else would have to buy the "disc of 100 ebooks" and arrange complaints from copyright holders first.)
You don't pay eBay when you win an auction, you pay the seller. Ebay is a facilitator, not a direct seller.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:57 PM   #74
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Nope, the ice is cracked and they're neck deep in the freezing water. Safe harbor specifically states that if you have a direct financial benefit then you don't qualify. The way I read the law, as soon as they sell the material they are liable for copyright infringement.
Do you know if there's any legal difference between Amazon's book sales, and eBay's auction brokerage? I would think that "Amazon sells book & pays 30% of that sale to author" is different from "Person sells book & pays eBay 5% (or whatever) of the sale," but I'm not sure. eBay also seems to be profiting directly from the sale of copyright-infringing items.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:12 PM   #75
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Do you know if there's any legal difference between Amazon's book sales, and eBay's auction brokerage? I would think that "Amazon sells book & pays 30% of that sale to author" is different from "Person sells book & pays eBay 5% (or whatever) of the sale," but I'm not sure. eBay also seems to be profiting directly from the sale of copyright-infringing items.
I believe they are legally different. As I mentioned in another post, you don't pay eBay directly when you win an auction. They are providing a service to the sellers by hosting the auctions, but the payment goes directly to the individual sellers. The service fee that eBay charges is indirect from the sale itself.

If Amazon just hosted the sale and you payed the individual eBook uploader directly, then I think it would be the same as the eBay scenario. That's not how Amazon does it though.

The main difference is "Amazon sells book" vs "Person sells book (on ebay)"... aka who receives payment for the sale.
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