Authors Without A Yacht (AWaY) discussion

Report Suspicious Stuff Here > Did you see this one? Two sisters are offering 5 free eBooks to their readers.

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message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliedoe) | 3 comments Um...where does it say they are giving away ebooks? And even if they were, why can't they purchase an ebook for someone else?

message 3: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 9 comments Mod
If they are buying them and giving them away, I'm thrilled. But far too often people assume that because they bought their copy, that lets them "share" it with others, because after all, they paid for it. If they only share with 5 people, that's 5 copies the author is not paid for, right?
By the by, I don't know how I got the notice about their contest. I've never heard of these 2 readers before. But maybe it's from a group I joined that they are members of also?

message 4: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Buying and then giving away is a copyright infringement (unless the books were purchased as a one time gift from Amazon using the gifting program).

I took a look at the site

It appears that the sisters are reviewers, and that they offer authors and publishers the opportunity to participate in giveaways.

So, it is possible that these authors are voluntarily donating an e-book to be sent by the authors or publishers directly to the winners.

The reviewers should not be copying and distributing... but if the authors give them permission, it is legal.

What concerns me is that there doesn't appear to be any copyright statement advising potential winners that they may not "share" or sell or bundle the e-books they "win".

There's a widespread misunderstanding of what "free" means. Just because an author gives away an e-book to one winner in one contest does not mean that the e-book is in the public domain, or that the author has surrendered her copyright.

message 5: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Fiona, Julie,

Thank you very much indeed for your observations.

In answer to your question, Julie, one can under limited circumstances purchase a book for someone else... as long as one does not take delivery of it, and create a copy for the recipient while retaining the original (or a copy) for oneself.

If one were to email a copy to someone else, one would immediately create at least 5 copies.

As a practical matter, no one is going to get into trouble for doing that. However, the danger for publishing is that people tend to do what they see other people doing. It's the "If 5000 other EBayers are doing it, it must be legal for me to do it as well" syndrome.

message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliedoe) | 3 comments Yes, I understand copyright law very well. I said "purchasing a book for someone else" in reference to ebooks. This can be done with gift certificates at some places, while Amazon allows you to buy a book and have the download link sent to another party. I think one site allows you to pay for a book and have it show up on another party's download list. Anyway, they're all perfectly legal.

However, jumping to the conclusion that what these two people were doing was illegal - particularly since it appears most likely that they are offering *physical* books - seemed unnecessarily reactionary. Nowhere in the post does it say ebook, and the post makes reference to wherever ships. I doubt bookdepository ships ebooks.

Also, with all due respect:

E-mailing to one person does not immediately create 5 copies. One copy, yes, but not five. (Not that I am advocating doing that, of course).

I also don't think that folks who sponsor giveaways need to post big warnings about not copying and giving away ebooks. Ebooks carry warnings inside them that say that. Contest sponsors aren't the copyright police, and most regular readers of ebooks understand that copying ebooks by sending them to other people is a copyright violation.

I'm all for educating people about copyright and how to legitimately purchase/own ebooks. Overblown reactions to what seems to be a legitimate contest only hurts the cause.

message 7: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Hi, Julie,

You are absolutely correct. I read their website too quickly when I assumed that they were giving away e-books, but if the authors give away e-books, it's not a problem in any case, and I thought that I duly noted that.

In the reference, bookdepository is struck through. At least, it is on the screen I can see, which is why I dismissed the notion that bookdepository is involved.

Emailing one person does indeed create multiple copies, maybe not 5. Someone more tech savvy than I am told me that, and I simply parroted it.

Let's see: one in your SENT (in addition to one your desktop and hard drive), one in her IN, one on her desktop assuming she downloads, one on her hard drive. That's only 4, unless there's a temporary folder, too... a Download cache?

I don't look on that as a big deal at all, it's only a pain if one wishes to legally sell or give away the original, because one then ought to delete the e-book from all locations. Way too much of a nuisance, IMHO.

I apologize for the appearance of an over-reaction. I'm in the middle of a huge issue on EBay, where a couple of vendors have taken 7,000 "current" authors' books and 9,300 "current" authors' books burned the lot onto CDs under various titles, and are claiming that the books are public domain (because they got them for free).

You're right about the size of warnings, and about where the responsibility lies for enforcement of copyright. If I hadn't shot from the hip, I'd have been more tactful.

I do think that when running a giveaway, it is prudent to be very clear about the exact nature of the prize. It's a moot point if the book is a paperback or hardback.

message 8: by P.D. (new)

P.D. (pdsinger) | 3 comments Five. One in your email handler, one on your server, one on the recipient's server, one in her email handler, one on her hard drive. Actually six for a while, because there will be a copy in the receiver's temporary files until she runs a cleanup program.

message 9: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Thank you, PD.

message 10: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliedoe) | 3 comments The eBay thing is sad, and I hope that gets taken care of quickly. I don't have much experience with them, so I don't know if they are good at responding to complaints or not. Good luck with that.

On the 5 copy thing, OK, granted there may be additional copies left on servers (I didn't know all the intermediate servers kept copies...sorry), but those aren't really usable copies by anyone. They're kind of like backups. If you count those as bad or illegal, them OMG I'm guilty, too, of making mulitple copies because every time I back up my computer the program saves the last three complete images of my hard drive.

For all practical purposes, when you e-mail a single person a file, there's now one more copy floating around - the copy that that person downloads/saves from the e-mail. In other words, while 5 copies may be technically true, but not practically. Just my 2 cents. YMMV.

Again, good luck with eBay.

message 11: by Rowena, Group Owner (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 685 comments Mod
Creating back-up copies for your own use is absolutely legal. It's not bad. I thought that I mentioned that.

The theoretical issue would come if you decided to sell or lend your one original (selling your only copy is legal).

No one, of course, could check up on you, and no one would wish to check up on you, but technically, if you sell your original, you are expected to delete all your copies.

Just as with a paperback, when you sell it, you do not keep a copy, so, if you sell your official copy of an e-book, you are supposed to erase all your back-ups.

You are right, no one else ought to be able to access your email server, so it is only useful to be reminded that a copy is in your old mail and sent mail if you needed to delete all copies.

As for emailing a .pdf to one friend, you are correct... one more copy, unless she Forwards your email with attachment to some of her friends, or stores it on a file-sharing site.

With some of these storage sites, one believes that one's library is private, but anyone (as far as I can see) can search by title, and snag anything from anyone else's library.

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