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There are some things going on in this world that bother me ... that offend me ... that don't make sense, and never will. I dedicate this site to those who seek truth even where it is difficult to find, and who are willing to agree and disagree in principle, while steadfastly refusing to let irrelevant detail overshadow core truth.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Golly-gee, I can download a book to my iPad and read it instantly? Cool!

Or is it? Because, what would any reasonable person expect to be able to do with "my book" once they've read it? Well, apparently ... nothing!

OK, I've bought and read my book. Now, I want to share it with my son, either by loaning it to him or giving it to him. But, I find the good folks at Apple are a little short sighted on the subject. This is apparently a no-no. In my opinion, that pretty much tips the scale against electronic publishing. After all, if I bought the physical book, I'd be able to give it to him ... There is still only one copy after all. There will have to be equality on this topic, or I won't purchase electronic forms of a book ... Or the price of a book will have to be much lower than it is today! I pay as much for an electronic book as I did for a paperback book. If there is a future in electronic publishing, there has to be more than physical convenience. For example, there should be two types of purchase...one completely analogue to buying a hard cover or paperback, you own it and can keep it, trash it, resell it, give it away, or loan it out. No two copies of that single purchase exist at any time, so the behavior is exactly like it is with thy physical book. Another might be a one-time purchase, at a much lower price, say 25% of retail for two weeks use. I also see electronic lending libraries wherein they have one or more copies of a book that can be borrowed or rented for a period of time, during which they are NOT available to be lent to another subscriber.

Why is this not already in place. Two reasons really, neither of them having anything to do with technology. First, paranoia ... On the part of authors and publishers. That and GREED, pure and simple. They want more money for less value, a totally unacceptable concept in a proper free market. They see an opportunity to do something for more money with electronic publishing than can be done today with physical books, control our behavior, and squeeze more revenue out of every book. I guess multimillions isn't enough these days, when there is an opportunity to eek-out many times more than that with this new technology. You want proof? I'll give you proof. Check out the Barnes & Noble reader. They have enabled a one-time lending of a book for 14 days, using "DRM" ... The only catch is this capability can be authorized, title-by-title by the author, and if you check, most authors have chosen NOT to enable lending of their books even once. Greedy bastards that they are.

Recently, there has been a lot of hoopla about iCloud. From what I can tell, this affords us the perfect opportunity for Apple to show it's true colors; do they really care about the long term relationship with their customers? If,so, go back to publishers and use Apple's incredible clout to do the right thing. It's still a goldmine for Apple and for publishers, and does not further constrict users and book owners rights.

What say you, Apple??????

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