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Old 06-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
pdurrant
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How should we buy/sell/resell ebooks?

There is not yet a general consensus on the terms under which electronic books (& other digital items in general) should be sold.

For physical objects, it's simple. You pay money and receive an object. You can use that item in any way you like. You can keep it, use it, destroy it, or sell it to someone else. You're not allowed to manufacture a duplicate to sell or give away, unless the item is a design that's in the public domain. But since duplicating a physical object is generally quite hard, this isn't an issue most people come across.

Ebooks. About the only similarity to buying a physical object is that money changes hands.

Having bought an ebook, what should I be allowed to do with it?

Should I be able to download it, or only read on-line? Who should be allowed to read the ebook? Should I be able to sell whatever it is that I've bought to someone else, and if so, how? If my backups fail, should I be allowed to redownload from the retailer?

How does the mobileread community think that ebook sales ought to operate.

NB I'm not asking how ebook sales currently operate, or what the law says in any particular country, or whether DRM is ever a good idea.

I'm interested in hearing how people think it should work in a world where your ideas on ebook sales were law.

Last edited by pdurrant; 07-01-2009 at 04:43 PM. Reason: bad phrase choice
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:19 PM   #2
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Honour system when it's a 1to1 sale. Business sales should be registered. All of it without DRM. The important thing is that 'if' digital files cost as much as their 'physical' counterparts, then we should have the same rights of second-sale with them. If we don't get these same rights, if, in fact all we are buying is an extended license to rent the digital copy, then the price should be lowered to fairly represent that fact.

Charge me 50p and state clearly that what I'm buying is an extended rental, then I'll be happy. They can DRM the digital copy as much as they want as long as they're honest about what I'm paying for upfront.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
wodin
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The operative words are "in an ideal world". In that case everyone is honest and no-one would even think of mass distributing bootlegged copies of anything. Under those circumstances I agree with Moejoe completely, the honor system.

I'm honest, and you’re honest, but I'm not sure about the rest of the brigands out there, in fact I’m not even sure about you!

Even though, don’t sell me something that becomes effectively worthless once I’ve read it. Even the Goodwill store gets SOMETHING for used books.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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As I'm not paying a dollar or two for my ebooks, but at least as much (if not more) than my paperbacks, I think we should be allowed to resell them. Even if it's a password protected type of thing, it should be done.

For all that we love our E books, I think the time may come when the price really creates a backlash Against E books when compared to buying a paperback.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
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Personally, I'd be happy if I could just share the ebooks I loved with my friends and pass on the ones I didn't love to someone else who might prefer them...just like my p-books.

It would also be nice if I could donate my finished ebooks to the library.

Of course, that's not really feasible, given that eReader is my DRM hell-of-choice, and then I'd have to give away my credit card number!
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wodin View Post
The operative words are "in an ideal world".
OK, bad choice of words. Now edited to read "in a world where your ideas on ebook sales were law".
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