Tuesday, October 30, 2012

E-Book Retailers vs. Common Sense

Joanna Cabot has written a fantastic open letter to E-Book retailers. It begins:
Dear E-Book Retailers:

I’ve read so many wacky news stories this week that my head is spinning.

There was the Random House thing—the idea that a publisher actually had to explain to its paying customers whether they owned their bought books or not just boggles my mind. Then there was the Norwegian lady who had all her books deleted, then un-deleted, by Amazon. And the assertion by a Kobo tech support person that accounts belong not to households but the one sole individual whose name is on the credit card …
She makes some excellent points, points which I think will have legal ramifications for 'e-tailers' in the future. For instance, that button? On your website? That I click to purchase the e-book? It says BUY NOW. Not RENT NOW or LEASE NOW, but BUY NOW.
On this issue, I think it should be clear. If the button said ‘buy now’ and I clicked on it and I paid anything remotely resembling full retail price, I should own the book. And therefore, I should be free to read it on any device I choose, with no limits—no ‘only five devices,’ or ‘only Amazon devices,’ or any such nonsense.
  Read the whole thing here. Then re-post it to the world!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we were on vacation, we shopped at an enormous mall--it stretched out forever and had multiple levels, but it didn't have one bookstore. Already, there are some books I don't have the option to buy in hardcover; they debut as paperback and e-book. The recycling/advocacy used book website I frequent has started selling e-books. It's evident that inexpensive, quality hardcovers won't be available in the near future. So, I'm buying them in quantities that can last me the rest of my reading life! I figure I have another couple years to purchase, hopefully.

I'm not a Luddite; I love technology. However, I like physical books. I can loan my book to whomever I please. I can keep it for a lifetime. It will never be erased. It will never be changed without my permission. No one is going to decide to sanitize Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and change Mark Twain's work without my knowledge.

It's crazy, too, how expensive e-books are when the manufacturing costs are negligible in comparison to printed books.

Railing against "progress,"