Why Amazon Is Within Its Rights to Remove Access to Your Kindle Books

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News Depot' started by Spider, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    Summary: Apple, Amazon and Barnes & Noble can revoke access to your ebooks, music and software any time they want. Here's why.

    [​IMG] By Eileen Brown for Social Business |October 25, 2012 -- 11:17 GMT (04:17 PDT)

    [​IMG]

    Credit: Prescotte There has been a fair amount of indignation directed towards Amazon over the last couple of days.
    Amazon deleted Norwegian IT Consultant Linn Nygaard’s Amazon account and removed access to the Kindle books she had purchased.

    Martin Bekkelund blogged how Amazon closed her account and wiped her Kindle. It offered no explanation as to why it had done so.

    Although it smacks of poor customer service, Amazon is completely within its rights to do this. Its terms of service state:
    All content included in or made available through any Amazon Service, such as text, graphics, logos, button icons, images, audio clips, digital downloads, and data compilations is the property of Amazon or its content suppliers and protected by United States and international copyright laws.


    All the books on your Kindle are not yours. They belong to Amazon. All that cash you have paid was simply to access these books on your Kindle. You have not paid to own the books. If you want to own books, pay for physical printed books and get Amazon to send them to you by post.

    Other online providers have similar terms and conditions.

    Barnes & Noble “reserves the right to modify or discontinue the offering of any Digital Content at any time”. Apple’s terms and conditions state that “You acknowledge that iTunes is selling you a license to use the content made available through the iBookstore”

    None of these terms state that you actually own the content at all. In each case the content remains the property of the supplier.

    Providers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have structured their licences like this to protect themselves. If there is a catastrophic site failure that makes access to your books impossible, then you could sue for the return of your property. They would be liable.

    Granting a licence to use the books or use the software makes sense. These terms are to protect their investment in their site infrastructure and costs to maintain the site.

    To try and protect your investment on Kindle and Nook, you can try to remove the DRM from the book. Removing the DRM from the book puts you in contravention of terms and conditions and you then run the risk of having your account suspended. But you will have access to the books.

    Digital Rights Management is a huge issue for publishers and authors. I totally get DRM, the need to limit access to digital content after purchase and I get the need to protect copyright.

    I am a published author and I am delighted that I receive royalties for the books I’ve written that have been legitimately purchased. Why should the book that I spent months researching and writing, formatting and editing be available for free or downloaded on torrent sites?

    With the imminent demise of the printed book, we are going to have to get used to the way we purchase but do not own electronic goods. Whether that is virtual clothing for my Second Life avatar, a customised background image on Twitter or a premium account on LinkedIn, it is not really mine.

    I am renting the service just like I am renting the books I ‘buy’ on Amazon. And like any other service I rent, it can be taken away from me on a whim.

    I just have to get used to that thought.
     
  2. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    Excellent article, thanks Spider. :)

    A good theme for discussion. I love books, specially the REAL, ink on paper variety. There's just not the same range of sensation, reading a book in an electronic device, as in flipping the pages on a nicely made book. The paper, it doesn't require battery charge, back lighting, and has VERY high definition.

    I favour hard covers, and enjoy seeing them on the shelves, which I built myself as my collection keeps growing (fast those days, with so many good books being donated to charity stores, and resold for low price).

    I purchase mostly used books, the price differential to new ones is so large; there's a variety of good sellers.

    One of the sites I use for shopping is bookfinder.com, and he has some insightful articles on books, publishing and the industry in general. The used books industry is worried about the e-book phenomenon, and the fact that you really don't own the ebook - it's NOT a transferable licence you can resell, and use the proceeds to buy other books, as it is with the paper variety.

    People paying the asking price for an e-book are getting little more than access to the content in a very quick way (no shipping, or driving to a physical store to find a copy). But they don't own much of anything, as the article above demonstrates.

    Thank you.
     
  3. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    Surprising that nobody esle commented in this, an interesting issue. :)

    I posted a thread with the same article at another forum (crediting and linking to this one), and we had a couple rplies.

    To one of those, I wrote the following - which I think would add to this discussion here, possibly?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The publishers so far are insisting on that - under current terms, user rights are NOT transferable, so you can't recover some of your money from the original purchase. ;)

    That fellow I mentioned from bookfinder.com has an excellent article on that subject. This not only rips the buyer from the right to recover some of their money by selling an already-read book, but it deprives the secondary market of stock which could be sold on easily to other customers, like paper books are.

    So, all used book sellers are not excited about this, as you can imagine.

    I found the pricing of the Steve Jobs biography, by Walt Isaacson, rather amusing; at the time I read it, the Hardcover edition was listed at $17.99, half the Publisher's back cover price at Amazon.ca.

    The eBook? $22.99 or so, about 15% higher. The price to get something you do not really own, as it's immaterial, can't be resold, and is wrapped up in DRM, plus tied to a company which could decide to deny you access, like the article states.

    Isn't that interesting? More money for an immaterial, almost zero production cost version of a good book, than for the regular printed copy? The price of 'I want it Now', I would say. :)

    One of the things I think my tablet does best is reading eBooks; on that, it is the device I turn to. The 9.7" screen is about the same size as the Hardcover I would be reading otherwise, and I can get access to books I don't physically own yet. It also displays them better than an eBook reader on one of my laptops, and is lighter to hold on; more book-like. :)

    I read Steve's bio in eBook format, I thought that very proper as he was the one who popularized the tablet format which was around for years, but never got off the ground until his iPad launch.
     
  4. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you search my posts you will find a couple of rants about real vs. ebooks ;)

    To bring it here though:

    Isn't this pretty much the same as this:

    So torrenting is so bad but you are perfectly fine as an author is somebody gives your book to a friend or goodwill or sells it to a used book store? Then the used book gets sold again and you don't get any money from it?

    Point is it is basically the same thing. Yes going into a book store and stealing the book or torrenting a book instead of buying it is bad. But that isn't to say only ebooks face these situations. Literally for centuries you have been able to pass books on and do what you want with them and ebooks should be no different (liability issues aside). If people like the product they will pay the creator. It works with independent music and kickstarter projects. It would work with books too. DRM is sort of a joke anyway and it doesn't prevent the people who want to steal from stealing so let's get past trying to babysit every electronic item in the world and foster a culture of paying for what you like instead. In the long run it works out better for everybody.

    /rant

    JP :D
     
  5. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    Here's the blog post from BookFinder.com that I was referring to above - a full quote, as I think it's a good read :

    He has another interesting one, Perceived value of ebooks decreasing?, which can be summarized here via a screenshot :

    [​IMG]

    And regarding J515OP's post above, yes - the net gain for an author (or its publisher) from the resale of any used book is Zero; no additional money goes to them, the proceeds cover the cost of the used book from original buyer, plus a margin for the reseller, if it's a business.
     
  6. Tom T

    Tom T Senior Member

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    Regardless of the legal issues, which franckly make me sick to my stomache just trying to comprehend, I feel a RIGHT (could care less if it is legal) to immediately remove drm of my purchases so that I have access to the books I BUY in the future. This is something the industry is going to have to deal with, because I and many others will not pay a purchase price to essentislly borrow a book. I buy the books I read, even though I can easily get every book published for free. I do this because I want authors to continue writing and be rewarded for their artistic efforts and accomplishments. I do not, however, give a **** about publishers who are so greedy and paranoid to believe if I want to let my wife read a book I have purchased, even though she has a different platform and therefore format, then I should have to buy a title twice?
     
  7. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    Tom, I am with you there.

    If you paid the price, removing that lock is a just thing, to keep something you paid for.

    Accessing that content should not be dependant of a remote server allowing you in or not. If more people demanded more rights for e-book purchasers, they might get a better deal for all.
     

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