Saturday, April 12, 2014

Things that piss me off: Not owning the bits I buy

When you buy an ebook from most outlets, including Amazon, the leader, you don't really own that ebook.  That pisses me off.

The thing is, even though you may think you're buying an ebook, you're not.  You're licensing it.  The "seller" has the right to freeze your access to the book by freezing your account, and Amazon has even in the past wiped purchased books from a Kindle account.  I know the license makes clear you are licensing, not purchasing, but that's just bullshit.  When I buy bits, I want to own them.  I want to be able to store them anywhere I want, use them on any device I want, and generally treat them like any other bits I own.

More to the point, I want to treat the bits like any other product I buy.  If I want to loan a CD or a book to a friend, I can.  I can store those items where I want.  Etc.

I must note here that not all outlets behave this way.  If you buy an ebook from Baen, my publisher, you not only own it, you get it in multiple formats and can do whatever you want with it. 

I understand the piracy concerns of the outlets, but I just don't think they're worth worrying about.  If someone wants to steal my ebooks, nothing I can do will stop them. 

I want to own the products I buy, even if those products are digital.  Until I can, this aspect of ebooks will continue to piss me off.

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