Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let's Bunch Up Our Skivvies; Another WTF Moment

So it was on the Web and on Facebook and many many pub, Indie,  or author blogs and posts.  Amazon won the rights in court to a patent to RE SELL ebooks that had already been sold.  They want to open a used book store for digital files.

I am no computer whiz.  I usually write most of it off as Magic because I don't want to figure it out.  I have to keep myself contained.  A few weeks ago I was reading a beginner's guide to quantum physics and kind of getting into it.  I had to stop myself up short and give myself a good shaking.  But I do know a digital file is an endless resource.  I also know that putting DRM on a book is stupid because there are dozens of sites that will tell you how to go around it.  The only time I did it was because I pushed the wrong button and they wouldn't let me undo it. 

I am not sure what a Bit Torrent site is but I know it is like user to user and bypasses servers some where and it is shady if not illegal.  But certain people that advocate open sourcing and intellectual property freedoms will only use Bit Torrent for their readers (i.e.:  I kind of don't pay attention so tell me if something needs to be cleared up here.  Anyway, shortly after the big Shades of Gray debut, a reputable blogster in the Indie book area gave the addresses of the bit torrent sites where you could download all three volumes for free.  I am a little scared of doing that  because I have heard those sites are heavily monitored, and I am already logged in to Al-Jazeera and probably, hopefully, on someone's NSA list. but how many people did Apple sue when they caught kids downloading music without paying for it?  Or paying for it and giving it to thousands of people?  One I read about.  A kid in a dorm room that they went after for zillions and who knows if it was ever prosecuted.  Certainly, I feel sure, they never collected a cent.  And the pirating of 3 Shades didn't keep the author from making millions.  

There is this site called Quora (q.v.) that seems so nice.  I've posted some stuff and answered some questions and even gotten a thumbs up or two.  (Oh, Lord!  Only we lonely blogsters know the importance of a thumbs up!) So they had a forum about owning digital files and this one guy said he had a vast digital library and went to a lawyer to find out about willing the work to his heirs and the lawyer said there was no law yet, he would have to look into it.  So this guy was wondering what the current drift was.  Umm, want to let your son inherit your digital books?  Hand him your Kindle.  

So anyway, already purchased digital books are now probably going to have some code embedded in them saying how many people read it and how much someone will have to pay to read it again.  And it will take some hacker about four days to figure out the over ride for that.  And how much do we think Amazon spent on lawyers for this show?  

And, I guess journalists have to make a living, just like the lawyers do, but now there are dozens of articles in every sort of publication, Internationally, about how now that Amazon "owns" the digital used book stores, whatever are Kobo and Nook and Apple and everyone else going to do?  Why, shucks.  Amazon has just put the final pillow over the mouth of the suffocating publishing industry.  

Spare me.


1 comment:

  1. All the doom and gloom about Amazon is just a bunch of fear mongering. It's not going to kill the publishing industry, and it's not going to push other merchants out of the market. Actually, I see that "used ebook store" thing to be a big load of crap.

    The whole reason that there's a market for used physical books is that they get dinged up in their use. But a digital copy doesn't get dinged up--unless it gets corrupted, and then it's totally useless anyway. One electronic version is just as good as its copy (so long as DRM doesn't come into play). So maybe a digital used book store would give you the ability to transfer the books to someone else and recoup some of your cost in buying the book... but why would someone do that if they could just buy a copy straight from Amazon? And why would Amazon or anyone else WANT that to happen, since it would be cutting into their own sales figures? Unless they just want to get the patent so that no one else can get the patent first and undercut them (that, I think, is where the rubber meets the road).

    The problem with these business models is that they're leveraging a technology (the internet and computers in general) that was designed for open communication. The very basis of its creation was to connect the world and facilitate open dialogue and sharing of information. Therefore, when you take a technology designed for the express purpose of sharing things, and then try to modify it into something that prevents the sharing of things (or, sharing of things only when it's allowed), there are always going to be ways to get around it.

    Companies like Google are the ones who really have their shit straight. They embrace the open source mindset, going with the flow rather than against it, and they've reaped incredible benefits because of it.



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