You don’t own that ebook!

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  • #198704
    Weird Jim
    Participant
    • Topics - 131
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    Google this woman’s name. Linn Jordet Nygaard had her ebooks wiped by Amazon, and they won’t tell her why. She did get her books back eventually, but it brings up the fact that you only rent, not buy digital stuff including software. It’s a bit complicated and has to do with something called first sale rights.

    But if ‘buy’ means ‘rent’ and not ‘buy’ (clicking on a buy button), then where does this leave ebook sellers in respect to the author. Methinks it may get murky in the future.

    First sale rights has to do with the right to re-sell something you’ve bought, like a printed book.

    #207621
    silvara
    Participant
    • Topics - 5
    • Replies - 48

    This is interesting, though I will point out that Random House says that libraries own the ebooks that the libraries buy from vendors, even though many vendors don’t seem to agree. A link to an article about that is here. Hopefully Random House will start a trend when it comes to ebook ownership that can filter down to personal copies as well as those owned by libraries.

    #207622
    ErinMH
    Moderator
    • Topics - 405
    • Replies - 10,885

    It’s been murky for a while. More than one recording artist has made hefty money by suing because electronic “sales” aren’t sales (with royalties due) but rather licenses (with often 50% of gross due). This is one of the driving forces for publishers making certain that royalties for e-books are spelled out in contracts, so they don’t get caught in the same loophole.

    Did she get her books back? I hadn’t seen that; I only saw a link that Neil Gaiman tweeted with all the e-mails exchanged where Amazon basically ended up saying “There is no appeal. We hope you are satisfied with our response.” Right, because that’s so satisfying.

    #207628
    jschara
    Participant
    • Topics - 115
    • Replies - 655

    I hadn’t seen she got her books back either. And how would she if Amazon cancels her account and will cancel any account she creates in the future?

    I’m testing the Hazel file management method mentioned in the Goals board. To do that, I had to install the Kindle app on my Mini. Then I couldn’t figure out why, after I downloaded all my books from the Amazon cloud that I couldn’t open then. (Duh! I’d made the rule to move the file to the backup location instead of copy it!)

    This is the reason I object so strenuously to paying full hard cover or paperback price for an e-book. If I don’t own it, I better not have to pay the full price for it. If it’s an open-ended “rental” then I had better be paying “rental” or borrowing prices.

    The other factor, which has good and bad applications is the ability for Amazon (or other providers) to update the information either by replacing the book with a new version or sending corrections can be a good think — unless it becomes 1984-like where history is being rewritten to favor whomever is in charge. I consider than when purchasing an e-book. If there’s information in there I don’t want someone cavalierly changing, I get a hard copy version. I appreciate that Amazon emails me about this when it comes up and asks my permission to replace the file.

    #207623
    jhmcmullen
    Participant
    • Topics - 35
    • Replies - 353

    This has been one of the arguments against Amazon and the Kindle model for some time. I don’t know of other retailers or publishers following the same model, but my knowledge is hardly exhaustive.

    When we bought an e-reader in our family, this was the reason I fought against a Kindle. The Kobo is not quite as nice, but we own our ebooks.

    Great at theory, terrible at practice.

    #207624
    Gilroy
    Participant
    • Topics - 24
    • Replies - 146

    I thought I heard of some form of Appeals Court case regarding this issue, or something similar. Just can’t find the blasted link.

    #207625
    NinjaFingers
    Participant
    • Topics - 20
    • Replies - 48

    She got her account and books back.

    What appears to have happened was that she bought a used Kindle on the local equivalent of Craigslist. The serial number of that Kindle was associated with some kind of shenanigans, which then caused an algorithm to link HER account with the previous owner (or whoever’s) bad account.

    So, the moral of the story – be careful if you choose to buy a second-hand e-reader. Especially as often these companies don’t give any kind of appeal (not just Amazon), leaving people with no recourse but to go to the courts or, as this woman did, to raise a stink in the media.

    #207629
    CatP
    Participant
    • Topics - 59
    • Replies - 104

    This is a total aside.

    Philip K.Dick wrote a story “Not by Its Cover”, that included a Wub – a slovenly but intelligent creature. An edition of a book was covers with the fur of a Wub. The words within the book kept changing.

    Is this a case of Fiction predicting Science?

    #207726
    jschara
    Participant
    • Topics - 115
    • Replies - 655

    That’s a great example. I think fiction has predicted science several times on this issue.

    #207626
    zette
    Moderator
    • Topics - 580
    • Replies - 887

    What this appears to be is a case where the ebook reader was flagged as not belonging to the account it tried to access, so they locked down the account to stop stealing of the books. I’m glad she got it worked out.

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