Nostalgic Rumblings
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9/4/2011


Ebook Publishers Seem Really Confused…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:07 am

I’m probably the only person who actually reads these stupid things, but in some of the ebooks I own (screw ‘em, I own the books just as if I had purchased the paper version) the following appears in the “fine print” buried in the back of the book:

No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of [publisher].

There is a small problem with this, though. If you purchase from Amazon, you will need Kindle for PC (or a real Kindle); if you purchase from Barnes and Noble, you need Nook for PC (or a Nook). These applications (or the software in the real-world devices) are, “information storage and retrieval systems.” So by purchasing and reading the book in the application or device you are supposed to be using, you are actually violating the letter of the license the publisher believes it can force upon you.

Not the dumbest thing content providers have written, but pretty stupid nevertheless.

Of course, I have to admit, I routinely violate the letter of these stupid “shrink wrap” agreements…I figure if I don’t provide it to anyone else, what I do with these books is my business. If I wish to read them on my Android tablet without installing fifteen different ebook readers, one for each type of DRM these chuckleheads can come up with, well, I will. I don’t share with anyone else, since that is clearly wrong, but changing formats for my own convenience is a violation I’m quite prepared to live with.

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