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Monday, 11 February 2013

Psst wanna buy a used eBook

Traditional Publishing will have another headache if Amazon gets its way for a secondhand eBook system.

Amazon have a patent for a secondhand eBook delivery system which means that customers should be able to sell on their digital files once they are finished with them - Am Amazon press release describes he process thus: Digital objects including e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc., purchased from an original vendor by a user are stored in a user's personalized data store ... When the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user's personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user's personalized data store.

An article published on Motherboard.com stated that - Used eBook shoppers could buy your digital copy, directly from you, and Amazon would facilitate the transfer of files--and it would pocket a fee. It's a fascinating concept, really, but it could ultimately be devastating to the publishing industry and, potentially, to authors. First, the elephant-sized absurdity in the room: a "used ebook" is identical to a new one. It is a precise digital reproduction. The file does not age, it cannot be damaged, it cannot be altered--therefore, it is worth no less than any other copy, and the only premium purchasers of "new" eBooks would be paying for would be the right to read it first.


Bill Rosenblatt, a copyright expert and witness in numerous digital content patent cases, argues that the online retail giant may be angling to push publishers out for good with such a move, and that a secondhand digital market would be bad for authors.

" A digital resale marketplace wouldn’t ultimately make Amazon a lot more money on books or music, at least not at first. But he thinks it would move much more of Amazon’s digital content business beyond the interference of publishers, just as publishers can’t dictate the terms of, for example, the sale of used physical books on Amazon. Just as with physical books, publishers would only have a say — or get a cut — the first time a customer buys a copy of an e-book. The second, third and fourth sales of that “same” e-book would be purely under Amazon’s control." Bob Rosenblatt



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