Book publishers have always set the suggested list price of printed books. Bookstores were free to sell the books to customers like us at any price. In days that seem ancient now, mega-bookstore chains like Barnes & Noble, Walden, and Borders engaged in deep discounting. Many independent bookstores couldn’t compete and they went out of business.
Like any traditional content-based business encountering digital distribution, publishers tried to cling to their old ways. Please refer to the history of the music business over the past decade for how that view of the world worked out.
Continue reading A Big Question About the Future of the Book Publishing Business: Who Sets the Price of eBooks?
A confession: I never finished Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (aka In Search of Lost Time); neither in English nor in French. I did finish Haruki Murakami’s IQ84; all 1186 pages of that book. Moby Dick, too, even the whale dissection parts. I have high hopes for completing David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. But I wouldn’t want the author or the publisher to know what I had finished, nor what my lack of time, tedium, or distraction had caused. I wouldn’t want them to know which sections I lingered on and re-read. Some readers of Fifty Shades of Grey might really not want such behavioral information shared.
Continue reading They Know What You Are Reading – Every Word of It
Can you legally resell your second-hand digital files? That’s an unusual question not yet directly answered by the courts.
U.S. copyright law’s first sale doctrine says that a purchaser of a legally made book, a DVD, or other physical object embodying a copyrighted work may legally resell that copy. (You can’t make copies of the work or make a movie of the book you bought, though.)
Continue reading Can You Legally Re-Sell Your Digital Music Files?