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Old 09-03-2010, 03:02 AM   #1
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Prenup

Being divorced and getting through a messy split-up of assets, one being who gets what from our library, got me thinking on whether an E-reader, well, more its content, should be included in a prenup. Some will have two E-readers connected to a joint book account, only one will be able to connect to it in the future. Can books be divided between accounts? If you can split them so both get to keep a copy, will you be limited to fewer devices after that?
Any lawyers here who can see something like this turning ugly?
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:44 AM   #2
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IANAL but I can see it getting ugly in so many ways it boggles the mind. Definitely it should be prenup fodder.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:46 AM   #3
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Hmm, I own all the ebooks... If we were to be divorced, he would be with a nice Kindle, but without books!
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:43 AM   #4
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There are advantages to being single.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:06 AM   #5
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Well it is rather interesting. If you read the terms of sale of ebooks, the purchaser is usually sold a licence to view the ebook an unlimited number of times, with the clause that the contract is non-transferable. My guess is if the account is in your name, then legally you can't transfer the contract, and IANAL but I somehow think it would be rather difficult to prove that ebooks are an asset. Help me out business people, but does an asset not have to be 'controlled' by an entity? If so, well you can't control the ebooks, you're bound by a contract to its use.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:37 AM   #6
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Yet another reason to only buy books where you can remove the drm.

Lee
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
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Yet another reason to only buy books where you can remove the drm.

Lee
My thought was something similar: Yet another reason to only buy books with no DRM. I've never bought MP3s with DRM, I don't intend to buy e-books with DRM. I'd rather spend my money with authors/artists that don't apply DRM in the first place.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:55 AM   #8
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Are there ways to sabotage an e-reader before giving it back to the spouse in the event of a divorce? If so, the possibilities for trickery are endless.

I'd rather get the books.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:07 AM   #9
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Brrr...
Some cold comments here. (sabotage?)

I dunno but it strikes me that for normal people (non-millionaire, non-celebrity, etc) if you go into a marriage preparing to exit that marriage you probably shouldn't be getting married. After all, shacking up is socially acceptable in most countries these days.
Marriage is supposed to be an emotion-driven commitment; a prenup escape clause suggests the commitment ain't all that deep.

But then, what do I know?
(Shrug)

Hmm, I'm thinking Shakespeare had it right.

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-03-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:45 AM   #10
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I am sooo waiting for an e-book case to make it to Judge Judy. I can't wait to see JJ's face while she tries and figure out the e-reader/e-book thing (she barely uses email). The shared account aspect is going to throw her over the edge. (grins)
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:51 AM   #11
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Now that's what I call a messy divorce, Kum. You're not attached enough to your earlier relationship for the pair of you to make a friendly deal even over such fine detail? Neil
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:13 PM   #12
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Small potatoes on the battlefield of a messy divorce. I'm twice divorced, both not terribly messy, but I still don't see much value in a prenup on this. If it is a concern I'd say keep separate e-book accounts. To share a book just swap readers (while married, lol).
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:30 PM   #13
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Now that's what I call a messy divorce, Kum. You're not attached enough to your earlier relationship for the pair of you to make a friendly deal even over such fine detail? Neil
Then I would have to admit that he is literate, a girl has her principles, you know!
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #14
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This question came up a bunch of years ago at Baen's Bar. The couple getting divorced had purchased most of the then-available Webscriptions eBooks, and wanted to know how they could split up the books. (More accurately, they wanted to split their account, with some books for him and some for her. Re-download capability, don't ya' know...)

The eventual outcome was that Arnold (the "Evil Henchman" and proprietor of Webscriptions, which is a separate business from Baen Books) simply created a second account that had "purchased" all the books from the original account. This effectively introduced a new "paid-for" copy of the books. The explanation given was that he (in consultation with the folks at Baen) had chosen to do this as an exercise in "good marketing." Their view was that this took 1 happy customer (sadly going through a divorce) and wound up with two happy customers (post-divorce).

In a related example, my sister has been buying every Webscription book since they became available. During that time, various of her kids have left home and moved out on their own. She asked for guidance on the question of "what can/should I do about their access to Baen eBooks?".

The response was, again, an exercise in increasing the number of happy Baen/Webscriptions customers -- "Hand each kid an electronic copy of all the books you've bought from us on their way out the door. You can even give them books up to that date at some later time, if that's what works better. But once they're out on their own and more-or-less self supporting, let them buy their own copy rather than sharing yours." They also stated more-or-less explicitly that the guiding principle was "what solution leads to the most sales going forward?"


It's important to note what they didn't do, though. They avoided everyone "just copy the books." They made it clear that this was "good business practice" not "copying the books is fair game." They also made it clear that these decisions represent their current idea of good business practice; there's no guarantee on whether or not they'll change their approach in the future.


Xenophon
Note: I am not an insider at Baen; I cannot set policy there. I may not even know what today's policies are at Baen. All I'm doing here is describing how they responded to two individual cases that resemble the OP's topic. Your mileage may vary.

Last edited by Xenophon; 09-03-2010 at 12:43 PM. Reason: fix emphasis
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Old 09-03-2010, 03:17 PM   #15
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Their view was that this took 1 happy customer (sadly going through a divorce) and wound up with two happy customers (post-divorce).

They also stated more-or-less explicitly that the guiding principle was "what solution leads to the most sales going forward?"

It's important to note what they didn't do, though. They avoided everyone "just copy the books." They made it clear that this was "good business practice" not "copying the books is fair game."

Yet more Kudos to Baen.
Those folks really and truly know what they're doing.
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