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Old 07-26-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
Worldwalker
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CNN: Why can't you 'give' an e-book?

Actually, the CNN headline had "gift" instead of "give", but I refuse to perpetrate the verbing of that noun when there's already a perfectly good verb.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/....html?hpt=Sbin

They are, of course, talking only about DRM-restricted Kindle ebooks. Perhaps a few MobileReaders need to pay a visit to the comment section and let the world know that there are alternatives.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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It seems to me that this whole business of buying a license rather than a book, and therefore not being able to give it away, would not be considered a bother to most people if most eBooks were $1.99.

I think the issue is the money. People wonder why they should spend the same money for an eBook when they cannot do what they can do with a hardcopy.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:24 PM   #3
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I think the writer is complaining that there is no easy way to give a book as a present. She's not complaining about DRM, lending or giving away books you already own; she wants a mechanism that makes it easy for you to put a specific book on someone's Kindle as a present.

I think "gifting" is a handy verb. I can give you a book as an everyday thing, but the sense is different if I "gift" you a book -- a sense of occasion, meaning it is a present.

Last edited by Maggie Leung; 07-26-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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Maggie is right abut the writer's complaint. It is a bit indirect to give a gift card plus a suggestion of what to buy, rather than being able to buy then an e-book directly.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:37 PM   #5
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Especially since you can access someone's Amazon wishlist and buy physical gifts from it and have them shipped directly to the recipient, if the recipient has enabled this feature on their wishlist. You can't do this with ebooks, which makes no sense from a business perspective. I assume it's a technical issue, but if I were an Amazon executive, I'd want that issue resolved ASAP.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
...the CNN headline had "gift" instead of "give", but I refuse to perpetrate the verbing of that noun when there's already a perfectly good verb...
Actually, gift is a valid verb, albeit a wee bit archaic, that dates back at least as early as the mid 16th century. Most decent, preferably older, dictionaries will tell you this. 'Tis interesting that give, which probably originated in the 13th century survived whereas gift, as a verb, has fallen into disuse even though it continues on as a noun.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:05 PM   #7
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Actually, the CNN headline had "gift" instead of "give", but I refuse to perpetrate the verbing of that noun when there's already a perfectly good verb.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/mobile/....html?hpt=Sbin
And you refused to use "Kindle books" and changed it to e-book!

(she did mention that iBooks, the Nook, and Sony have the same limitations though)
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:10 PM   #8
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Can't you do the usual wishlist thing, where someone puts something on their wishlist and you buy it for them? Does that not apply to ebooks?

I'm not sure I'd want the ability for people to send me unsolicited gifts electronically.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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It seems to me that this whole business of buying a license rather than a book, and therefore not being able to give it away, would not be considered a bother to most people if most eBooks were $1.99.

And why shouldn't we be able to give our licence to someone else?
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
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And why shouldn't we be able to give our licence to someone else?
My point is that if the eBook cost a trivial sum, people wouldn't care that their liberty to transfer the license was restricted.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:01 PM   #11
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Can't you do the usual wishlist thing, where someone puts something on their wishlist and you buy it for them? Does that not apply to ebooks?

I'm not sure I'd want the ability for people to send me unsolicited gifts electronically.
Quite so, Koval. But I often send un-DRM'ed *.prc/mobi ebooks to my daughter's Kindle. She gave me permission to do so. However, Amazon indeed restricts DRM'ed ebooks to the account of the purchaser -- many cannot be given as a gift to another Kindle user. Some can, though. Think maybe the publisher is the one that sets the restrictions, not Amazon?

Enjoy,
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:13 PM   #12
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My point is that if the eBook cost a trivial sum, people wouldn't care that their liberty to transfer the license was restricted.
They'd still want to be able to give them as gifts. And prizes.

Imagine: online book club recommends a book a week, and at the end of the year, buys an ebook reader & 10 books for whoever posted the most reviews. Except you can't buy 10 ebooks for someone else; the book club can't pitch in and get their star reviewer "the 10 books we voted on to start next year's reading list."

The lack of transferable books, both new & used, is one of the big flaws in publisher's approach to ebook distribution. It's one of the big reasons cited why people don't think ebooks are "real books"--you can't (legitimately) give them away. Can't share them.

Ebooks, as mainstream publishers & most ebookstores would like to arrange them, are entirely selfish purchases.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #13
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My point is that if the eBook cost a trivial sum, people wouldn't care that their liberty to transfer the license was restricted.
I sure as heck would! I don't give a darn if it's $1.99 or $19.99, if I paid for it, I should be able to do what I want with it. I'm funny that way.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:51 PM   #14
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That's one of the big advantages of DRM-free ebooks: You can give them to people. I've bought several from Smashwords and sent them off recently. Of course, the $1.99 price point made it a lot easier to buy one and email it to a friend with "here, I think you might like this" than the typical Amazon price.

Now, if I was planning to give ebooks as a birthday gift, I'd probably put them on an SD card, pack it inside a mini Altoids tin, and gift-wrap it (complete with tiny bow).
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:11 PM   #15
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Does Amazon permit you to put your recipient's Kindle's unique number for download? And they have the choice to accept or not? And refund the cost if they refuse?

You would need to know their machine's number first.
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