The Sword and Laser discussion

153 views
Am I misinterpreting something in the Harry Potter ebook terms?

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Here's a copy of what I wrote in my blog, so you don't have to go there to read it:



I know there are a lot of weird things in legal documents that aren’t actually enforceable. It’s one of the reasons every contract has a part that says invalidation of one part of this contract doesn’t invalidate the whole contract. But this one makes 0 sense to me for eBooks:

“You may not:copy or burn the book or extract to a device whose principal function is to act as a storage device, for example, a CD/DVD or USB stick;”

That can’t possibly be an enforceable part of the contract. For one, if you buy the eBook from Pottermore you only have 8 downloads (per book) before you have to buy it again. Given how often hard drives fail and Ereaders/books are stolen, it seems pretty dumb to forbid users to be able to back up their books. Also, they reserve the right to terminate your account if you’re inactive for 6 months. So, forget about waiting for a hard drive crash, if you’re not a Harry Potter fanboy you can wind up only getting one download. Finally, this is in direct contradiction with the way people may choose to use their computers. Maybe I want my eBooks to be portable to read on any computer. So I would put them on a USB stick and read them whenever I want.

In the midst of otherwise pretty sane terms and conditions (and, as far as I can tell DRM-free ebooks and audiobooks), it’s a really weird term to have.


message 2: by Randolph (new)

Randolph (us227381) | 1 comments It's legal but practically unenforceable. Once you put the book into the main memory of most devices nowadays, it becomes "transportable" since the device is usually read/write capable. So say I have an sd card in my phone, is the book now mainly on a device used for storage? I don't think so. What about cloud drives? Are these mainly for storage or backup? Since the definition is certainly fuzzy it is unlikely to stand up under careful scrutiny.

The short answer is do what you please, just don't sell or give it away, that's piracy. That is what they are really trying to prevent.


message 3: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Randolph wrote: "It's legal but practically unenforceable. Once you put the book into the main memory of most devices nowadays, it becomes "transportable" since the device is usually read/write capable. So say I ..."

Yeah, except they already have a clause covering sharing with others. Oh well. They also say you can't print it, which, again, I think is pretty dumb. If you bought the eBook and want to waste your own ink/toner who cares.


message 4: by Ben (new)

Ben Nash | 200 comments Does this mean I can't download it? I don't know about you, but in my computer, my hard drive's "principal function is to act as a storage device."


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Ben wrote: "Does this mean I can't download it? I don't know about you, but in my computer, my hard drive's "principal function is to act as a storage device.""

I thought about that, but figured perhaps someone'd say its main function is to serve up programs - vice the way most people use thumbdrives and writable DVD/CDs.


message 6: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3533 comments Mod
For me, backing up a copy to ensure you always have access to the book is "Fair Use" under their restrictive download policy.

If they don't want you to, then they should allow unlimited downloads. Like most good eBook suppliers do.


message 7: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "For me, backing up a copy to ensure you always have access to the book is "Fair Use" under their restrictive download policy.

If they don't want you to, then they should allow unlimited downloads...."


Indeed. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention whatsoever to follow this - it would mean I'd have to create Crashplan rules to not backup these files. But it continues the trend of stupid rules/terms/laws causing us to become scofflaws just to do what's right and just.


message 8: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments I know it isn't excatly the same, but let's say you purchase a physical version of a book. Can you make copies of it to save just in case something happens to the original?


message 9: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Dharmakirti wrote: "I know it isn't excatly the same, but let's say you purchase a physical version of a book. Can you make copies of it to save just in case something happens to the original?"

Yes


message 10: by Dharmakirti (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments Eric wrote: "Dharmakirti wrote: "I know it isn't excatly the same, but let's say you purchase a physical version of a book. Can you make copies of it to save just in case something happens to the original?"

Yes"


Thank you.


message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments Dharmakirti wrote: "I know it isn't excatly the same, but let's say you purchase a physical version of a book. Can you make copies of it to save just in case something happens to the original?"

You can, but the cost of making the copy and the time involved would make it impractical.


message 12: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa (djotaku) | 617 comments Also, we shouldn't be hobble by limitations of the old format. I can't automatically lookup words in my physical book, but it's one of my favorite features of ebooks.


back to top