Monday, October 29, 2012

You don't own your ebooks

Why Amazon is within its rights to remove access to your Kindle books, article.
Barnes & Noble “reserves the right to modify or discontinue the offering of any Digital Content at any time”. Apple’s terms and conditions state that “You acknowledge that iTunes is selling you a license to use the content made available through the iBookstore”
Non of these terms state that you actually own the content at all. In each case the content remains the property of the supplier.
Providers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble have structured their licences like this to protect themselves. If there is a catastrophic site failure that makes access to your books impossible, then you could sue for the return of your property. They would be liable.

I just think they then should be legally obligated to make this clear to the customer. The button should not say "buy", it should say "rent" or "lease", and it should be made clear up front that your content can disappear anytime, and you can't do sh*t about it.

I think maybe this may make prices look different. $15 for a book you own, okay. $15 for renting a book...?

Another thing is, why shouldn't they be liable for loss of content? They do promise the customer that his/her content is always available in the cloud! If that's not a solid promise, shouldn't they be required to state up front: "this promise may be void in case our server breaks down or something..."

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