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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Amazon's secondhand eBooks

Amazon's plans to create  a secondhand digital market place are moving closer to becoming a reality, but the plans have horrified the publishing industry and authors alike. Amazon was recently awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office with a patent for a "Secondary Market For Digital Objects," a marketplace for the transfer of used digital objects.
Such objects may include audio, eBooks, images, video, and even apps, with the patent indicating transfers "may include a sale, a rental, a gift, a loan, a trade, etc.”
Clearly, a secondhand marketplace for digital objects is coming. How extensive it is, what limitations will be built into it, and who will be the major and minor players are still unknown. Regardless, it is just one more way that the digital world is trumping the physical and changing the consumer landscape, but the problem is that there is no difference between a new digital file and a used file- we won't see dog eared MP3 files or eBooks with folding to the covers, so the worry is that digital consumers will see no reason to buy new books, music or movies.


Charles Gramlich said...

Something else that will keep ebook prices down down down.

Ray said...

Won't apply to games - Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will make sure of that. Also, watch out for the new apps on the PS4(announcements tomorrow) and XBox 720 - Amazon may not get the 'sole' rights - there's a storm coming.