Originally Posted by Catlady
Right now, I can easily convert file formats to read the book on any device I choose.
Good point. I left format conversion aside, then forgot about the issue. Here's an amended version of my proposal:
Media files are sold (not licensed) to buyers. When a buyer downloads a media file, her/his own copy of it includes embedded metadata that allow the vendor to identify who bought it, and when. Buyers are allowed to give copies of the files they bought to other people of their choice; however, they have a personal responsibility if copies of their media files get illegally distributed, whoever the actual distributor is.
If a media file gets illegally distributed (e.g., it is published on a torrent site) the original buyer of that file is considered responsible of illegal distribution along with the actual distributor and they both get fined. Only the distributor gets fined if one or both of the following conditions apply:
1) at time X, before the illegal distribution, the buyer of the file notified the police of a theft of property or data which included media files, and the illegally distributed file was purchased before time X;
2) the buyer of the file is able to identify the physical person who actually distributed the file, and this person confirms to have done that.
When a buyer gets fined for illegal distribution at time Y, she/he cannot be fined again for illegal distribution of files she/he bought before time Y.
Finally, buying a media file gives to the buyer the right to download how many copies of it she/he wants, in whatever file format of choice, at the moment of purchase or later. All copies include embedded metadata identifying the buyer. The buyer is not allowed to perform format conversions on the media file, as they can destroy the metadata, except when the destination format is not made available by the vendor.
(BTW: if the vendor folds, I cannot get new copies of the file, so I am free to convert those I already have into any format.)