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Upgrade to Digital

Surrender the license of printed books in exchange for digital versions
  [vote for,

I love reading books electronically. It's nice to be able to pick up my phone and catch up on the book I'm currently reading wherever I am. I own some books in print that I haven't yet read, and it would be nice to have them in electronic form. However, I can't justify spending full sticker price for an electronic version of a book I already own.

In the proposed idea, publishers would allow customers to mail their printed books back to the publisher, and for a small fee, the publisher would grant the customer in exchange a license (and download) for a digital edition. The physical books would then be donated to schools or libraries for tax write-offs for the publisher, or, in a less-than-perfect embodiment of the idea, the paper would be recycled or discarded.

kevinthenerd, Oct 05 2012

(?) EFF Fair Use FAQ What's been recognized as fair use?
See section 4. The legal basis looks fairly solid. [kevinthenerd, Oct 06 2012]


       For a small fee you can buy the digital version and give the book away yourself.
DrCurry, Oct 05 2012

       yeah, wonder how long (if at all) before they sell the license separately from the media.
FlyingToaster, Oct 05 2012

       DrCurry, that's a very good idea, but I figured the upgrade could be cheaper than the full license.
kevinthenerd, Oct 06 2012

       I think you'll find the business model ends up being the reverse: digital licenses driving the upgrade to hardback book sales.
DrCurry, Oct 06 2012

       I feel like if I have the physical book I should have the license for the digital copy anyway.
DIYMatt, Oct 06 2012

       DIYMatt, I fully agree, and it might already fall under existing copyright law now that I think of it. You're already allowed to make yourself a copy of a movie or a music album as an archived backup. Doing this for my books would preclude me giving my books away, though; I'd have to keep them in my own possession for copyright purposes, and I wouldn't technically be allowed to let someone else read the other copy simultaneously. "Fair use" is less than scientific in its applications, but I'm pretty sure this would fall under that. (I'm in the U.S. and can only speak for laws here, but since our copyright laws are some of the most draconian among industrialized nations, I'm guessing what is allowed here is probably allowed elsewhere.)
kevinthenerd, Oct 06 2012

       Many e-books are in libraries these days. Perhaps including the ones referenced in the main text here.
Vernon, Oct 06 2012

       How about publishers cut a deal with google books to provide an unlock code that allows you to fully view or download paper books you mail to google? Added benefit, if your book is obscure, google gets a copy to scan.   

       If you're maniacally pro-DRM, use a key exchange instead of an unlock code, and allow viewing only, no download. Downside, promoting a pro-DRM mania, and furthering google's domination of everything.
CraigD, Oct 08 2012


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