I posted something related to this on Facebook a few days ago, and I think anyone who purchases digital media should read the post below. It outlines an important distinction between ‘ownership’ and ‘licencing’ of digital product. To give you an indicative example, I recently purchased a Kindle (which I am very happy with). It is a great device for uploading and reading PDF’s, has a good range of free books (that are out of copyright), let’s you preview chapters free of charge, and most importantly enables you access to books instantaniously – something I often need. However, I have noticed that lots of books I would like are at least the same price as the paperback versions. On the surface this may not seem too much of a problem, BUT – if I intend to lend the book or sell it on – I Can’t!!! Why – Because I don’t own the digital version.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the convenience of digital downloads is great, but as I have had these important right taken away from me – it should be reflected in the price of digital copies – be it a song or a book. As long as the ownership/licencing distinction is not reflected in price – there will always be a tendancy to look for illegal copies in my view.
Read the post below if you want more details.
The holiday season is upon us, and with it thoughts of peace on earth, goodwill… and the latest electronic media. Visions of Kindles and Kinects dance in children’s heads (and no doubt yours as well), and iTunes store cards invitingly peek from stocking tops. But as consumers embrace digital media, businesses and courts grapple with a question that has proved as elusive as it is essential: when you “buy” an e-book, an MP3, or a downloaded TV show or movie, what do you really “own”?
With paper books and plastic discs, the answer was obvious, courtesy of a legal principle known as the “first sale” doctrine. Put simply, under the first sale doctrine, a copyright owner can’t control what consumers do with a lawfully made copy of a copyrighted work after it’s been sold. This idea has had a pervasive impact on individuals, commerce, and society. It enables libraries to lend books, museums to display art works, and Blockbuster (BBI) and Netflix (NFLX) to rent DVDs. Online aftermarket sellers, such as on eBay (EBAY) and Amazon.com (AMZN), rely on the first sale doctrine to offer new and used copyrighted goods. Retailers can sell CDs, DVDs, books, and video games below suggested prices because the first sale doctrine prevents manufacturers from controlling prices. And every time you give a book to a relative, purchase a used textbook, or buy classic vinyl at a yard sale, you benefit from the first sale doctrine.
To read the rest of the post – click the link below