It's hit the news that Kobo Says You’re Not Allowed to Share Your Account – Not With a Spouse, Your Kids, Anyone -- someone finally wrangled an answer out of them, wherein they said "Legally, only the account holder has license to use the material."

Kobo's not alone in this; very major ebook store, and most of the minor ones, has a clause like this. Kobo is probably the first one to confirm in writing that it means "you are not allowed to let your spouse borrow your ereader and read the books you bought from us."

No wonder ebook sales for YA books are lousy. Kids can't buy books directly, and stores won't promote them because that would mean saying, "share your purchases with someone else."

Sections from other ebook stores TOS, with overuse of the phrase 'personal and non-commercial' )
Cecilia Tan published a post today entitled "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ebook Piracy".  Have I mentioned lately how much I love this woman?
Dorchester/Leisure Press is near bankruptcy, has been not paying its authors, and several of them are calling for a boycott. They've also been putting up ebooks that they don't have the rights to--this is the real book piracy, the kind that copyright law was designed to counteract. Brian Keene says:
Since January of this year, unauthorized digital editions of my work have been sold via Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Sony. These digital editions were not made available for sale until well after the rights had reverted back to me. Dorchester’s response, in each case, has been to blame someone else and assure me that “they are looking into it” and that I would be “financially compensated” and that “it wouldn’t happen again”. Except that I haven’t been financially compensated and it keeps happening again.
His post goes into details and the history of the problems, with links to more posts and a list of authors, editors & others who are supporting the boycott. He's been asked why he hasn't taken legal action--and pointed out it's hard to hire a lawyer when you haven't been paid in a year. He's reclaimed his rights and will be able to start collecting money on new sales soon, but Dorchester is still selling his books without the legal right to do so, and isn't paying several of its other authors, and is ignoring their demands to reclaim their rights.

They're running a contest to decide which 20 books they'll next convert to digital, and Montilee Stormer says,
How about any 20 titles where the author actually receives compensation per their contract? How about 20 titles you actually own the rights to publish and distribute?
I originally wrote this for Shane Jiraiya Cumming's blog a month ago, during his Grand Conversation about ebooks; it was posted there a month ago. The conversation is fascinating series with input from many authors and publishers, and I encourage people to go read it. (And try out his books; he's got a couple of freebies and a set of very reasonably priced ebooks at Smashwords.) This essay was intended to be "a blog post;" Shane wound up posting it in 3 parts because blog posts shouldn't be 4500+ words long. But since this is DW that allows *cough* 50k word fanfics in a single post, I'm posting it all together here.

Part 1: Customers in potentia )

Part 2: Sell something worth buying. )

Part 3: Make them pay. )
It's apparently Mobileread/Dreamwidth crossover week, in which IP law and ebook piracy have become one of the hot new topics bouncing around the journalsphere. I hesitate to jump in, not so much because I'm not sure what to say, but because I'm not sure what there is to say that Mobileread doesn't have a dozen thirty-page threads about already.

We have discussed this. To death. Beyond death. There is no aspect of ebook piracy that hasn't been considered, counterpointed, analyzed by lawyers (from several directions), critiqued by hackers, patiently explained to newbies, ranted about, and used as the topic for random surrealist jokes. Even the US-centric aspects... MR shies away from discussions of race (of privilege of any sort), but it *is* a firmly international forum, and people from non-English-majority countries have a firm presence; they're quick to jump in and explain how the laws work differently in their country, and how US publishers don't consider them as real customers.

Up for some more hipponecroflagellation? )


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