Round up #121: COPE vs BYOD, RH says libraries own their e-books
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Random House says libraries own their e-books
Thanks to a reader who gave me the heads-up on this story in a private e-mail…make that two private e-mails.
I’m doing more research on it, and have asked Random House for some clarifications.
Basically, it all comes from this
The key quote from Skip Dye of Random House is this:
“This is our business model: we sell copies of our ebooks to an approved list of library wholesalers, and those wholesalers are supposed to resell them to libraries. In our view, this purchase constitutes ownership of the book by the library. It is not a license.”
This would be a revolutionary change.
When we “buy a book” from the Kindle store, we buy a license. We own that license just as much as we would own a paperbook. We don’t own the file we get from the store.
If the library has bought a copy of the book, rather than a license, that’s a completely different arrangement, and it has pluses and minuses.
If we assume that the purchase of the e-book copy doesn’t also involve licensing restrictions, the library could, hypothetically, sell that copy to someone else.
Owning the copy would not automatically mean they had the right to copy the file. Let’s say the publisher buys one copy of an e-book. When a patron borrowed it, they would have to loan that exact copy to the patron…it would not be on the library’s server any more. If the patron accidentally deleted it, the library would have to buy another copy.
This is so radically different from the way that it is currently understood to be happening that, as I mentioned, I’ve asked them for clarification.
My first thought is that it is a statement of concept, rather than a practicality. Random House previously stated that they had the e-book rights when they had bought the paperbook rights, as I understand it. That was challenged in court by RosettaBooks…the latter ended up with the right to license the e-book rights.
If Random really sells copies to library wholesalers, the wholesaler would have to buy a copy for each library that wanted it…and if the library wanted five copies, the library wholesaler would have to have bought five to sell to them.
The library wholesaler could sell a license rather than a copy…if they library wholesaler owns their copy and has the right to do what they want with it.
If I hear back more from Random House, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I recommend you read the article by Michael Kelley which I linked above. It could mean huge changes, or it might mean nothing.
COPE vs BYOD
I recently wrote about Amazon’s new Whispercast service:
This is another complicated one.
The basic thing is that it is a way for organizations to mass distribute content to Kindles and Kindle apps.
by Brian Proffitt does a nice job of discussing one of the decisions that organizations are making.
There are four basic configurations for employees using technology:
- The company provides nothing
- The company provides hardware and software, and does not allow employees to install outside software
- The employee provides the hardware, and the company provides the software (BYOD…Bring Your Own Device)
- The company provides the hardware, some software, and also allows the employee to install outside software for personal use (COPE…Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled)
Whispercast does allow for the third one, clearly. It is set up to allow the same device to be used for both corporate materials and a personal Kindle library…but it does it through mass-gifting. The company gifts the content to the employee, and the employee then owns it.
As to COPE with Whispercast, it doesn’t seem like it would really work with hardware Kindles. Currently, a single Kindle can not be registered to two devices at the same time (although it can bounce back and forth). Well, I suppose the company could let you register the Kindle to your personal account, and then still gift you books…but that doesn’t allow it to directly access the Corporate account.
Organizations are going to have to figure all of this out. In the old days, companies owned the sophisticated equipment, and individual employees couldn’t afford it. Now, I’d say it’s not uncommon that individuals own technology that exceeds what their organizations provide. One reason for that is that companies have to provide support for their company-owned devices…and the process to upgrade and be able to provide that support is very different from an individual who relies on the manufacturer or the retailer for the support, rather than doing it “in-house”.
Some people have COPE now: their employer provides them with a SmartPhone (or maybe an iPad), and they are allowed to use it for personal use and install apps on it. The employee would commonly pay for those outside apps and data use beyond a standard.
If you are an employer (or for that matter, an employee), these issues will affect you in the future…and you might find the article interesting.
Robert McCrum says the obvious
and the author/literary editor (for The Observer)/Editor-in-Chief (of Faber & Faber) isn’t the obvious person to say it.
As readers, I think we all know that e-books are a good thing. This is just a nice little article that has one of the “inner court” saying it: “The Emperor has digital clothes!”
The Humble Bundle: two days left for NYOP e-book bundle
NYOP = Name Your Own Price
Yes, you can name your own price for this bundle of books, including some by well-known authors.
Charities benefit from these purchases (you have control over the distribution).
These are multi-format books without DRM.
Over 75,000 people have bought it, and they’ve raised more than $1 million.
The average amount paid is $13.99 as I write this…and if you pay one penny more than the average, you get more books.
The initial bundle includes Cory Doctorow and Mercedes Lackey, and the extra books (you get all of them by going one penny over average) include Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.