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Why can't I give away a kindle book?


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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 6, 2011 7:51:35 PM PDT
So far as I can tell (and I'm not a lawyer so take that to mean "I don't know much), at least under US law, when I buy a Kindle book, I should be allowed to dispose of it as I would like. This isn't the case, and I'm hoping smarter minds than mine can tell me why (other than the economics - I have an economics degree and can explain that to myself well enough).

It's nice that publishers are allowing lending of books now (but only once is ludicrous - even people who are hardest on their books can make a book last long enough to be lent more times than that), but I want to be able to just give a book away. Most of the books I buy on the Kindle are "disposable" - I'll read it a few times, and for the most part, I probably won't give it a second thought. In the past, I'll give these books away to friends (since it makes them feel less obligated to read it when I give it outright instead of lending it and saying that they should totally read such-and-such book). Now, while I'm saving a few trees by not buying these "disposable" books, I no longer get the joy of giving my old books away.

I'm not asking for the ability to sell my "old" Kindle books, so there's no money exchanging hands when the publishers aren't involved. One could argue opportunity cost, but I've never given a book away to someone who would have bought that book in the first place, though I could be the unusual one - who knows?!

Someone - anyone! - please explain why the Kindle books (or maybe all ebooks - don't know; I only know Kindle books) can seemingly violate the first sale doctrine without impunity. I know I signed the contract, so to speak, but I thought even contracts couldn't violate standing laws.

Posted on Oct 6, 2011 7:55:50 PM PDT
You don't buy a Kindle book.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200506200
Use of Digital Content. Upon your download of Digital Content and payment of any applicable fees (including applicable taxes), the Content Provider grants you a non-exclusive right to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times, solely on the Kindle or a Reading Application or as otherwise permitted as part of the Service, solely on the number of Kindles or Other Devices specified in the Kindle Store, and solely for your personal, non-commercial use. Digital Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider. The Content Provider may include additional terms for use within its Digital Content. Those terms will also apply, but this Agreement will govern in the event of a conflict. Some Digital Content, such as Periodicals, may not be available to you through Reading Applications.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2011 8:04:24 PM PDT
Although it's true that you are actually purchasing a license, it would be nice if those licenses could be transferred to another account. However, I could see how this would be a potential way of "sharing" vast libraries... certainly websites would pop up that linked people willing to trade different books around. Because e-books don't degrade and geography doesn't limit who you trade with, it could cut in to sales, just like unlimited lending would.

Too bad...
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  3
Initial post:  Oct 6, 2011
Latest post:  Oct 6, 2011

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