E-Books, More About

Nuno J. Silva nunojsilva at ist.utl.pt
Tue Feb 23 23:44:05 CET 2010

Gary Leach <bangfish at cableone.net> writes:
> Daniel:
>>  With digital copies this
>> situation becomes very clear: one only owns the mp3-player or the e-
>> reader.
> I'm not so sure about this myself, but I admit it comes to the point
> and you may very well be right in terms of how things will ultimately
> shake out. There is, after all, little to nothing that's distinctly or
> even definably physical about a digital copy. It's one reason I've
> been very reluctant to do more than download legit e-book freebies up
> to this point. If I actually pay money for an e-book, what am I buying
> and under what terms am I buying it? Or am I indeed just renting, or
> engaging in some new form of transaction that has yet to be adequately
> codified?

When you buy a physical book, you get the the right to have a copy
forever. Thus, we would expect to own the bits and bytes the same way.

And with a physical book you are able to put them over a copier or
scanner and get an analog or digital copy of it, even if it is illegal
to do so. If you have access to the binary data of an ebook, you can do
the same.

Some may sell the e-book so that you can see it on your computer, others
will only sell it through a specific device (see Amazon kindle). I
wonder what are the conditions of the transaction, but as you can see
from what Amazon did, things can go wrong.

There are publishers pushing for ebooks with DRM[1] and people against
that, and new e-reading platforms appearing (and this itself is a
growing market).

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management

In my opinion, you're right: it still has to be codified, as there are
certainly developments and decisions going to happen in the (near?)

Nuno J. Silva

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