What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Just to chat > Is anyone else aware of the owner ship of our electronic books?

Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by MJ (new)

MJ | 1353 comments Originally I was 'no way in hell would I buy electronic as I want the hard copy in my hand'. Obviously I caved and have somewhere in the region of 1000 each of ebooks and music (mostly apple).

So I just saw a breakdown the other day that explained that every electronic file we buy (books, games or music etc)... Is not BUYING, but is RENTING. This means that the owner - being apple, amazon etc - have the right to withdraw our RENTED items from our data storage units, therefore leaving us without the the books, music, apps that we have paid for. And yes, as they are only RENTING said items, they are operating within the law.

message 2: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited May 05, 2015 08:04AM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1747 comments Depends on the type of eBooks you got. Some have DRM, and in addition are on machines that others have control over (Apple, Amazon, et al).

Some do not, and the files are your files, and you can put them wherever you want (and back them up), and nobody can delete them off of your machines (assuming you have a machine that you've not given control over to someone else (Chromebook, Kindle, iP*, etc) - without committing major felonies (you do more time for breaking into computers than for committing murder). Some Apple machines are yours, iMacs (and such), and some are not; iPhones and iPads for example.

So yes, it matters if you bought the book, or rented the book. Check your receipts carefully.

Of course, if they withdraw the rented items, one could certainly hit them for a refund... since there was no explicit rental period stated (or was there? - I wouldn't know as I don't buy digital books).

message 3: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 609 comments its not a rental...you are purchasing a license - there is a difference

meaning, as long as the retailer is licensed to sell the item, you can purchase; however, even if they no longer are licensed to sell you maintain access to the product - I have many books in my kindle archives that are no longer available for purchased but I can still read

the fact that is it a license is in the kindle TOS that you acknowledge when you set up a device/register one to your account

to date, there has only been one reported instance of amazon taking back books someone has purchased and that was because they were illegally uploaded and sold in the storefront - and all individuals who purchased were not only refunded the cost, but given an additional gift card

Justanotherbiblophile | 1747 comments I guess that was the 1984 kerfluffle


message 5: by Ingo (new)

Ingo (ilembcke) | 604 comments And another problem can be a shop that closes, happened to me once, with Sony USA, they transferred all my books to Kobo, which I checked and do not like and I was lucky in so far as after the transfer all books where still available for download, others did not have the same luck.

Also, both UK companies Waterstones and WH Smith did not sell me any more ebooks after they got pressured not sell to non-UK residents - Sony (USA) never checked. With another seller in USA I have to use VPN to buy and download ebooks, so they think I am in USA. For books I pay for!

From all books I strip DRM and save them with Calibre, but depending where you live, this may not be legal.
Also, I try not buy books from Apple, as their DRM gets changed often and it is not possible for me to remove it from newer ebooks.

That said, and even replied, I think this discussion is better placed elsewhere, and not in this group.

message 6: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 609 comments you have to use VPN because the books aren't licensed to be sold in your country and by saying you are in the US, you are violating the TOS and could potentially lose access to your account if its found out

message 7: by Ingo (new)

Ingo (ilembcke) | 604 comments Just tried to find the TOS where it says that, but sorry, I cannot find it.
Not at the Website where I bought the book, nor in the ebook itself (checked the last book I bought in the US).
The same book in printed edition can be bought from a US-Shop without a problem, so I cannot see the logic in that. I buy the ebook, I pay for it, as long as they sell it to me, it is a small risk to take, and there is an easy way for them to check for my country, I pay with a credit card which through the first 4 numbers clearly states country of origin.
As I pay for a book, the asked for amount, so what harm is done? Sometimes the same book is available in Germany, and I look wether it is cheaper in the US. Sometimes it is not even available in Germany, should I not buy the book that is not available here or more expensive?
The alternative would be to buy used - while cheaper if available, both the publisher and the author get nothing from that sale. Or not buying, not very satisfying, everyone loses.

message 8: by Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (last edited May 06, 2015 12:58PM) (new)

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) That's a point I remember about electronic files and agree, especially considering with updates turned on Kindle will sometimes edit existing books on your device in their updates without you knowing about it. Also I know of someone who lost their entire nook library when they took their credit card off their account with Barnes N Nobles - the books they bought disappeared and were revoked. She contacted them and said it was their policy that they must keep a credit card on file. Hopefully they changed this policy, it was several years ago.

It's especially scary if a book is banned, people can always smuggle copies - not so with ebooks, it's too easy to erase the files and stop access to them. Pirating would enable it to a degree but with risk.

message 9: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 333 comments Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading* wrote: "... Kindle will sometimes edit existing books on your device in their updates without you knowing about it. ..."

There's a place in your account settings where you can toggle this on or off. But regardless - when there's an update to the book, they never tell you what that update is. It might be a typo correction, a better table of contents, or a major rewrite.

Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading* wrote: "She contacted them and said it was their policy that they must keep a credit card on file. Hopefully they changed this policy, it was several years ago...."

From what I understand, the DRM scheme that B&N used to use incorporated your current credit card information. The theory was that you'd be able to open your files on any device you'd be willing to input your credit card information on - so you wouldn't be likely to pass around your files to complete strangers but they'd still be portable for you. I can't fault their logic but having my credit card info built into every one of my books isn't something I'm comfortable with.

But they recently changed the way they encrypted your files so your friend might want to try again: http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/03...

Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) Melanti,

What they did was delete all her books completely from her nook since she had the card deactivated (for reasons other than shopping there, of course). After checking the nook and seeing it wiped, she called and found out why, then said she said she didn't want to put another card on her account because of security issues she'd been having (plus was upset at them), and they refused to return the e-books she had bought over the years. So all that was lost - not owned - because she changed her mind about a credit card. It shows she never owned the ebooks she was buying is our point.

It is good they changed it now but this was years ago, and we lost contact anyway.

I know with the Nook free reader on the computer they also would never let me download and use the app (like you can the kindle app on the computer free) unless I registered a credit card with them first. Since the point was to read the free ebooks at the time, I didn't see the point of registering a card, so just nixed the idea and never bothered using their nook reader app. They can't wonder why Amazon really won so much of the e-reader war when you take some of this stuff into consideration.

message 11: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 333 comments Nook customer service is widely reputed to be a pain in the neck to work with, so I'd believe it. I assume their system just freaks out when it can't update the encryption. Not that it should NEED to update it. Other ereaders that use a similar encryption setup don't do that, from what I understand.

I have a bunch of books that were transferred over to B&N when Fictionwise shut down that I've never been able to access through them for the same reasons you've stated. Luckily they were all DRM-free and I have multiple backups so I didn't loose anything.

As for why Amazon has such a big market share... I'd already owned my first Kindle for months by the time B&N came out with the Nook. I'd looked at getting a nook too but was leery of all the horrible bugs the Nook had when it was first released. (It took a second or two just to turn a page!) Just about the time they got the worst of the issues fixed, the location closest to me ripped out the cafe and hired a new manager that was really, really rude to the customers. Customer service is NOT something the company is good at. I have no sympathy for B&N whatsoever. If they go under, they have no one to blame but their own management.

I DO have sympathy for Sony, however. They didn't get my business because I didn't like the way their ereader felt in my hand. A very silly reason, and now they're out of the ebook market altogether.

But to return to the subject, yes, we don't technically own copies of the ebooks. We just own a license to read them.

This whole thread reminds me that I need to be a bit more contentious about backing up my books, just in case.

message 12: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2359 comments Electronic files -- whether books, software, music, or whatever -- are almost never yours. They are almost always licensed, and the EULA says the owner can revoke that license at will, or may be required to revoke it if they are proven not to have had the right to sell it in the first place. If you want true ownership of a book (plus the power to loan, give, or sell it), get the physical version.

message 13: by Ingo (new)

Ingo (ilembcke) | 604 comments Re: message 12 Michele.
As a digital native, I found this ridiculous. What you get is a copy, plain and simple, wether it is with or without DRM. Copyright (and even out different German Urheberrecht) is an artificial right. There is no ownership with a copy, but you should be free to do whatever with it, as with a printed book.

Also, for some reason the courts in the EU just decided differently for ebooks than for software: you can and are allowed to sell used software, but not used ebooks, as long as you do not keep a copy. This was one special case, with some very special circumstances, so it may be the next case will be ruled differently, but as long as no one goes to court for this, this ruling stands.
These rules, that they can and might revoke your book only apply with DRM, so more reason to fight against hard DRM - I can see and understand the reason for soft DRM (Watermarks) and as long is I can convert eBooks from EPUB to Kindle and vise-versa, I have nothing against it.
Look here:
Defective by Design.

That said, most ebooks I buy, I buy from Amazon, some do not have DRM, and so far, their DRM is easy to remove, I think they take a relaxed view as long as it gets not abused too much, like buying ebooks to offer them on a another Website and they could add a soft-DRM Watermark to track buyers without changing their hard-DRM. If some of the other shops (Adobe for EPUB) change their DRM so I cannot remove it, it will drive more sales to Amazon, and I am sure I am not the only one.

Justanotherbiblophile | 1747 comments re: credit cards
I've had friends who've had their cards expire (every couple of years) and big issues getting their automatic payments and such set up on the new card - I assume that means different CC numbers. That means you'd have that hassle every 4-6 years. Ugh.

Licensing re: music means you can make your own, personal backup copies - in case your original media goes bad, as you licensed the *music* and not the CD/tape/cassette/record. But I'm not sure that applies to books...

message 15: by Cumbling Michael (new)

Cumbling Michael (CumblingMichael) | 166 comments If you want to take control of your e-books, you're really left with two choices - either piracy, or out of copyright. I won't deal with piracy here - it's illegal.

However, there are literally millions of e-books available totally free. Either because the copyright has expired, because the author or publisher never claimed copyright, or because the author has decided to give away free electronic copies.

On the internet, the process really kicked off with Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/), who claim to have 46,000 free e-books available. But in recent years, their efforts have been beggared by the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/index.php), who claim to have 7.9 million free books available.

And it's all free, and completely legal.

So if you're hacked off with DRM, and want to take control of your library, try these sources.

Have fun


back to top