Keeping ahead of the technology • 21 November 2007 • The SnowBlog

Keeping ahead of the technology

Because technology gets invented by people who specialise in it, there does seem to be a bit of a lag between something being invented and ordinary folk finding out about it and figuring out what they think of it. Just to pick an example, people started eating genetically modified food some time before they knew what it was and whether they approved of it. And in that particular 'debate' (if that's the word) Britain baulked and America shrugged. With that sort of thing in mind, now really is the time to figure out what we all think about fair use when it comes to things like books, music and DVDs. But as I've said recently, books have a long history of being shared around in a way that could get you sent to prison if you try it with an MP3 file. And that's not just hyperbole; people really are getting into serious trouble for sharing small numbers of tunes. What will happen when something like the Amazon Kindle applies the increasingly tough rules of the MP3 world to books. Have you figured out what you think yet and where you stand? See what you think of this... Thanks to Leila's other half, Tom, for pointing this out to me. Here's an excerpt from an online piece that is being much talked about at the moment:

When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this. - Jeff Bezos, President of Amazon, Open letter to Authors Guild, 2002

You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content. - Amazon, Terms of Service for Kindle e-Book Reader, 2007


The SnowBlog is one of the oldest publishing blogs, started in 2003, and it's been through various content management systems over the years. A 2005 techno-blunder meant we lost the early years, but the archives you're reading now go all the way back to 2005.

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