Round up #105: I wrote that, (Lawrence) Block party
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
(Laurence) Block party
The Kindle Daily Deal for today is any one of seven books by Lawrence Block for $1.99. No, these aren’t Matthew Scudder or Evan Tanner novels, but fans may find this a bargain. It does include a couple of Block’s non-fiction books for writers, notably Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print.
Amazon has also recently started having a Kindle Kids Daily Deal. I had felt early on that Amazon had sort of ceded the kids’ e-book market to the NOOK, but that appears to have shifted (fortunately). Today’s offering is Shoes for Me! by Sue Fleiss. This is an interactive book, almost more like an app, and is therefore limited to the Kindle Fire, Kindle Cloud Reader, Kindle for iPad, and Kindle for Android. You can tap on the text and it “pops up”. Due to that limitation, it is not also accessible to text-to-speech…although none of these apps (or the Fire) do TTS with Kindle store books anyway.
Hey, I wrote that!
I had a funny experience with my morning Flipboard read this morning. As I’ve mentioned before, that’s a free “maggregator” (my term for something that gathers news sources and turns them into a magazine format) app. It’s taken the place of a morning newspaper for me…I read it as I get going, and I love the discovery of not knowing what will appear. I often just skim the articles at the time, “favorite” them on Twitter, and then review them later to see what I think might interest you (when I report it with some of my take on it).
Well, I started to do that with an article this morning (Are traditional publishers losing sales to indies?) and then I realized, “Hey, I wrote that!” I guess somebody retweeted it or something, and that got it in the chain. I was a bit dismayed by a couple of errors, but I’ve corrected those now.
Believe it or not, in Germany, even linking to a story (as I often do in these round-ups) may become illegal (without authorization or a payment).
That’s sort of an odd concept. I think all I can possibly do by linking to a story is help that publisher. I’m careful about not taking what I would think would be a violation of Fair Use (I don’t reproduce the whole article, or even a large piece of it). I typically recommend that people read the article…I’m driving traffic there. Why does it matter to the rightsholder where you read it? Well, one reason is advertising. If they sell ads on their website (I don’t, at this point), the number of hits on that site affects the rates they can charge.
However, the argument that “it’s good for them, therefore it’s okay” doesn’t work legally. If I say it’s better for you not to have have cigarettes (or French fries, or steak, or ice cream), that doesn’t give me the legal right to take yours. As a society, we can get together and ban something, but even then, it isn’t usually something that the individual citizen enforces.
Unauthorized linking is not illegal in the USA, and I think Germany is still considering the bill.
I can see what might happen if it passed, though…I might have to allude sideways to something that I thought was great. That might introduce the “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” era of blogging. “There is a blog from a new source that says that it doesn’t print news which it considers is not fit that has an article…”
The biggest takeaway ever?
by Jeff Bercovici shows a real backwards understanding of e-book licensing, and that is something I do see from time to time. There is a desire to make something emulate an old system…at the cost of a strongly embraced innovation.
Let’s see…it might be like saying that there was plenty of room to tie up several horses outside the old West saloon. So, we’ll let you tie up your cars…but the cars can only be wide enough to hold one person.
Bercovici proposes that e-books be sold with a single license…and that they can be loaned to anybody, but only if you loan them in person (by, say, “bumping” two Kindles together).
The multiple reading license and non-geographical requirements for exchange are two of the things that make e-books successful (and in some ways superior to paperbooks).
I can’t imaging the howls that would happen if two people in the same family couldn’t read the same book at the same time! There are Kindle clubs with many people in them…that would be out the door. We have four people using our Kindle account in two time zones…having to be physically in the same place to loan a family member a book would be a terrible retrogression.
I’m guessing Bercovici isn’t taking advantage of these features. The writer might be the only person on the account (assuming that Bercovici is using e-books…that’s not always the case in people who write about them).
Go ahead and read the article, and see what you think. Would publishers like it? On the surface, sure…it would greatly reduce the rights people typically get with an e-book, and rights are worth money. However, I think that it might be such a drastic change that it might cut down on purchases from major publishers who used it…and provide another opportunity for independent publishers who wouldn’t limit e-books to “one at a time”.
We’ve had multiple “simultaneous device licenses” for close to five years (just looking at the Kindle). That’s enough time for social structures to have been based on them.
By the way, I would have commented directly on the article, but I would have had to set up a Forbes account…or used another method that seemed unacceptable. It gave me an option to comment using my Twitter account…but doing so would have given Forbes the right to change my profile and post Tweets through my account! I found that a bit of an excessive price just to make a comment.
What do you think? Should linking requirement payment? That’s mostly for search engines, but would it extend to blogs…and e-mails? Should TTS (text-to-speech) somehow be extended to interactive books…just as closed captioning can be made available for video? Would “one at a time” with lending (emulating p-books) be a success? Do you miss the way you could lend a paperbook without restriction, or do the simultaneous device licenses make up for that? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.