Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Lost All My Books On My Kindle

Distributors of Books Are Oppressing Authors?

I’m confused. Can you help me understand?

I write fiction.

My publishing aid company, FastPencil, produces and distributes my books.

Places like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple sell my books.

So, I create them, FastPencil invests its operation in producing my books, and other places sell them.

Also, I hold the copyright

Along comes a Reader

They “buy” my book—the e-book edition.

Do they own it?


Well, technically, if they buy it from FastPencil directly they do own it and could, for instance, give it away to someone else.

But, the companies where most folks will find my books are Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple.

I’m still unclear about Barnes & Noble (and, they’re the least powerful of those three) but, if someone buys an e-book edition of my books from Amazon or Apple, they don’t own it—they essentially are only “renting” it.

I began to be confused about all this when a friend on Book Island in Second Life sent me a link to Outlawed by Amazon DRM.

That link will lead you to the story of a woman who had a happy Kindle—full of books—and suddenly had Amazon remove them and never give her a good reason for their action

DRM—Digital Rights Management—is putting some code in an e-book that makes it very hard to share the book—tampering with the code (even if you are the copyright holder) is illegal.

We really have two issues here and we’re also right in the middle of my confusion

Amazon’s ability to wipe-out your book collection has to do with having your Kindle connected to them through Wi-Fi—I never do that

Not being able to share an e-book (by passing someone a file copy of it) has to do with the DRM code the retailer adds to the book’s file.

Now, get this:

I wrote a book.

Someone bought my book.

Even though I hold copyright, if I break the “digital lock” to help the person who bought my book share it with someone else, I’m breaking a law………

Does that make any sense to you?

Does it seem fair that the creator of a book has less legal rights than the retailer of that book?

I must insert an analogy that may seem off-beam but captures my emotional state as I contemplate my rights as an author.

I live in the United States of America.

This country purportedly is “of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

The U. S. A. can now spy on all my on-line activity and phone conversations.

They can, because of something they discover through their spying, arrest me and put me away where no lawyer could help me.

Even if what they discovered about me is perfectly legal………

Sure, the comparison of situations is extreme but, some days, I wonder if the folks who use DRM to control what I supposedly have to right to manage will team up with the folks who are using certain crisis situations to usurp my rights as a citizen of a “free” country.

Want an in-depth explanation of how DRM is overriding copyright?

Watch the video below…

And, if, after watching it, you can help me clear up some of my confusion with this issue, Please make a Comment

If you’re the kind of person who wants to sink your teeth into this issue, check out these links:

An e-book enigma: here one day, gone the next

Electronic copyright laws are bugging readers—and authors

Doctorow’s Law: Who Benefits from DRM?

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