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  1. #141

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    I have nothing against ebooks and e-readers. I always keep a few ebooks on my ipod for those times where I’m waiting/stuck somewhere and feel the need to read. My sister lent me her e-reader the last time I had a long flight and it was fine. I much prefer paper books, but e-readers have their place.

    My big worry though is the loss of bookstores. I do buy quite a lot of books online, but those are mainly from authors and series I know and love. I find it difficult to find new books online. It’s hard to get a feel for the book when you can’t flip though, see if the dialog draws you in, or to see the dimensions of the book (thus figuring out how much time I will be spending reading it). I know that you can get page excerpts online, but I find that the first few pages or first chapter of a book doesn’t always give you a feel for what the book is really like. I often go to the bookstore and wander for hours, looking for books that look interesting and I have stumbled on many wonderful books in genres I would have never even looked at online.

    I’m pretty sure that if I were to switch solely to an e-reader, the amount of books I read would probably go way down because I’d find few books online that I actually want to read. Happily, my local bookstores seem to be doing well. There are always people browsing when I go (and they aren’t just at Starbucks ).

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    You cannot duplicate those "Coffee Table" pictures books, for example, with eReaders ...unless in the future the entire surface of your coffee table is an HD screen that allow you to look coffee table books while you sit.
    This technology already exists - it's like a mega tablet.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  3. #143

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    Access to books and how books are shared are two areas that still being worked out as eBooks become more popular. DRM is used by publishers to make it difficult to copy eBooks but it also makes it difficult to read eBooks on different platforms and to do things that we normally do with pulp books (i.e. share a book with a friend, sell or give away a used book, etc.). Here is an eBook user's bill of rights (Mods: the author gave permission for the entire post could be copied so that's what I'm doing):

    http://librarianinblack.net/libraria...ookrights.html
    The eBook User’s Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.

    The eBook User’s Bill of Rights


    Every eBook user should have the following rights:

    the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
    the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
    the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
    the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks
    I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

    I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.

    Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

    I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.

    I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks. I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users’ rights.

    These rights are yours. Now it is your turn to take a stand. To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others. Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  4. #144

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    I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets.
    I don't know how sharing would work in an eBook system. If it means you buy the eBook, then pass it along to a single friend, fine. I grew up reading used books and I certainly take books out of the library.

    But if the system allows you to buy a book, then pass it along to ten people, or a hundred, or a thousand, I begin to get concerned.

    I write books. That's how I make my living. I am an author/writer (up until now, I assumed they were the same thing- live and learn). I will not thrive if my books are made available to a thousand people from the purchase of a single copy. My landlord won't thrive and neither will my gas and electric company or my cat, all of whom count on my ability to make money off the sales of my books.

    Google tells me when and where books of mine are being downloaded on internet sites, or when someone requests the location where one of my books can be downloaded. And every time I learn of such a place, I remind myself that I'm at the tail end of my career, and it won't matter all that much if a few people or a few hundred read my books with only one having paid for it.

    But anyone who thinks young author/writers starting out are going to thrive if their work is "shared" has either never really thought about how author/writers survive in this world or simply doesn't care.

  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by missing View Post
    I don't know how sharing would work in an eBook system. If it means you buy the eBook, then pass it along to a single friend, fine. I grew up reading used books and I certainly take books out of the library.

    But if the system allows you to buy a book, then pass it along to ten people, or a hundred, or a thousand, I begin to get concerned.
    But how is this different from someone buying the actual book and then lending it to 10, 100 or 1000 people? You can only lend the ebook to one person at a time. It's a file emailed to them and they can read it on their device or through web/phone/iPad applications. While they "have" the ebook, it's not available to you or anyone else. After 2 weeks it's no longer available to them and then you may access it again. Your landlord can breath easy again.

  6. #146

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    At the prices that are charged for ebooks, being able to transfer them through sale to another user is reasonable. (In contrast, the price charged for an electronic edition of a newspaper is low enough that I consider it reasonable that it might not be transferrable.) Using DRM to make sure that there is only one copy transferred is reasonable too. I wouldn't particularly mind if there were a limit to how many times the book could be "passed" to a new owner -- maybe 3-5 times?

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
    But how is this different from someone buying the actual book and then lending it to 10, 100 or 1000 people? You can only lend the ebook to one person at a time. It's a file emailed to them and they can read it on their device or through web/phone/iPad applications. While they "have" the ebook, it's not available to you or anyone else. After 2 weeks it's no longer available to them and then you may access it again. Your landlord can breath easy again.
    But that's with DRM. The Bill of Rights cited above says, in part:

    Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

    Librarians are, for the most part, opposed to DRM and want it eliminated. If that happens, missing is right--sharing will not be limited to just a few.

    I can go to a website right now and download more than 1000 e-books--all still in copyright and all books that have sold well recently, some still on the bestseller lists--for nothing. I can loan a print book to a handful of people at most, but an e-book can go to millions in seconds. It's very easy to strip DRM; it takes seconds if you know how. And once I do that, I, too, can put that book on a pirate site and let everyone who wants it have it for nothing, just because I am such a nice person. If DRM is eliminated, then anyone will be able to do that with any book, even if they don't know how to strip DRM.

    If I were an author, that would worry me a heck of a lot.

    One concern the librarians have, as mentioned there, is ownership. Most people don't get that when they "buy" something with DRM (this includes music), what they are actually buying is access to something, not the something itself. You don't OWN anything with DRM. That's why Amazon has been able to recall some Kindle books without permission or warning; the publishers are the only ones who actually own something. That's one of the main reasons that librarians don't like it.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  8. #148

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    I am CHEAP. My mp3 player broke down last summer and I still haven't bought a replacement (and I am not one of those Ipod people; I'm talking about those $30 players that I haven't gotten around to yet). I cannot see myself buying a machine so I can read something. And I still have to buy the book!

    And why would I buy an ereader to borrow stuff from the library? I'll just keep borrowing the actual books. It's free! (although if the borrowed stuff from my ereader automatically deletes upon the due date, I suppose I would save money on late charges, so it could be a wash). There are way too many old novels I have not gotten around to reading for me to need to buy an ereader. I can certainly see the appeal of everything becoming digitized at school and college libraries, as most of it is for research/study purposes (I am trying to remember when I took a book out of my university library for pleasure.....uhm, nope). Also, it'll be a lot easier to copy-- uhm, I meant quote and properly cite--passages onto essays.

    And I do not see how my reading Tessa and Scott's memoirs will be enhanced via the ereader. Not that I have read the actual book yet, mind you--I'm still waiting for it to hit the bargain bin.
    Last edited by manhn; 03-01-2011 at 07:01 AM.

  9. #149
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    I thought the reason that ebooks pay higher royalties is that they can be put on multiple devices, like music from iTunes.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  10. #150
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    Now that the DoJ has issued a warning to Apple and the Big Five publishers that it might sue them for price fixing for ebooks -- behind the EU -- Authors Guild President Scott Turow has chimed in on Why Amazon Is Evil by publishing a letter on the AG website and has done a Q&A with salon.com, and some authors have responded:

    Turow's Letter
    Scott Turow Q&A
    Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler's Response
    David Gaughram's Response

    The Konrath/Eisler was a link from the salon.com Comments section, and Konrath and Eisler link to Gaughram, and publish Suzanne White's letter at the bottom of their blog entry.

    There hasn't been much to address Turow's assertion that amazon will jack up prices/lower author royalty percentages the moment it's obliterated its competition, but the responders do a good job on picking apart his other arguments.

    I don't know what rock Mr. Turow has been living under, but I was able to read Kindle books on my iPhone before the first iPad was released. It was only Jobs' threat to remove the Kindle application from Apple devices that I didn't buy an iPad to be able to read in Vancouver buses at night. (The interior lights lights are at less than half strength unless the bus is at a bus stop.)
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  11. #151
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    This makes me a bit sad, because Britannica was a big part of my childhood, but my kids have only ever used our set as laptop pads.

    The final print edition goes on sale.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  12. #152

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    I'm another who loves the smell, feel and look of books - there is something warm and comforting about being surrounded by books. Though I've thought of getting a Kindle for reading at the gym and probably will do so at some point.

    Books are probably the last bastion of hard copy - though I think official documentation needed for administrative or bureaucratic purposes, like tax returns and legal reports, is still primarily hard copy and may remain so, to ensure it doesn't get lost?

    But I expect that within the next 40 years or so, when the last of us who grew up with books have passed on, the developing world has caught up with the rest of the world in terms of technology, and technology has gotten even cheaper, digital will be the primary format for books and hard copy will be for collectors.

    Just like vinyl for records - the sound quality and beautiful art work that went into records has been lost, but no one really thinks about it. And no one writes letters by hand anymore, those those letters had so much more of a personal touch than emails do. I still find signed, mailed greeting cards preferable to e-cards, and think a lot of people do, but that too can be expected to change.

    Life marches forward and I suppose the circumspect view is to say that somethings lost and somethings gained as new inventions and technologies change how we live.

    Even so, I can't help but feel very sad to think of a world without books.

  13. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Books are probably the last bastion of hard copy - though I think official documentation needed for administrative or bureaucratic purposes, like tax returns and legal reports, is still primarily hard copy and may remain so, to ensure it doesn't get lost?
    I think anything that needs to be saved for generations or centuries had better be in hard copy/analog form. Yes, those physical artifacts can wear out or get destroyed, but so can digital media. The real problem is that they take up more space.

    The problem with digital media is that they require some kind of device to read/play them, and a power source, and the formats keep changing.

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