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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Kindle 1 and am thinking about getting a Kindle DX. I've recently begun investigating downloading eBooks from the library (via OverDrive and Netlibrary) for me and my family.

After researching the topic and learning how I could get the MobiPocket protected format eBooks to work on the Kindle, I'd like feedback on whether our Kindle community feels that using the current workaround to download MobiPocket format ebooks (via OverDrive from the library) to my Kindle is dishonest.

Some things I've been considering:

-There's a relatively small percentage of ebooks available in MobiPocket format, so we would still purchase books through Amazon.

-The books we would download via the library and convert for my Kindle 1 aren't "keepers". They expire just like other eBooks/Audiobooks on loan do. (The Kindle actually erases them when they expire.) If I enjoy a book enough to reread (I'm a hopeless re-reader), then I'll purchase a "keeper" copy for my Kindle from Amazon.

-If I get a second Kindle, I can deregister my Kindle 1 to let my children use it for library eBooks exclusively. It's very appealing to me to not have my entire library available to them via my content manager.

-I like Amazon and shop there a lot for Kindle books as well as other merchandise. I want to support their efforts with the eBook industry and don't want to take sales away from them. However, I do still visit the library, Goodwill, yard sales, etc., for books (for my whole family, various ages, various interests - couldn't afford to buy every book we want when many of us read a book a day - if not more). However, when I download an eBook on loan from the library, I'd like to be able to read it on the eReader I've purchased to read eBooks - the Kindle. Does that make sense? In other words, I wouldn't want to purchase another eReader just to read eBooks on loan from my local library. (I don't like to read eBooks on my PC - it hurts my eyes.)

Updated to add since original post: I'm very interested in the new Sony Readers. They have most of the features of the Kindle and more, plus allow free use of Library ebooks and DRMd EPUB ebooks purchased from other companies. I want to see one in the flesh when they come out at the end of August 2009.

-I've researched the topic a little, and I get a sense that Amazon has known about this work-around since its inception (in 2007), but looks the other way because they're not really against using the Kindle for library downloads. They just don't want Kindle users to purchase eBooks from anywhere else and read them on the Kindle. Books on loan are different, in their eyes.

I'm sure others may come up with other points - for and against this - but if you could share your feedback with me, I'd appreciate it. And, I know that we're not like the "other place" that likes to walk on the dark side, but just in case... let's keep it friendly, no matter what your opinion is. :)
 

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I get e-books from my library, and I honestly don't care how Amazon feels about that. I have every right to use the library for e-books, just as I
never
did before for paper books.

I don't know that Amazon is against people purchasing e-books from other sites. They would obviously prefer for you to purchase it from them, but books from other sites do work on the Kindle as long as it's in Mobi/PRC format (such as books from Smashwords.com, etc.).
 

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First, there is absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing ebooks from other sites.  If you choose not to, that is fine, but I can't see how there is any legal, ethical, or moral problem with doing so.

Amazon took, IMO, the position of a bully when it forced mobileread to stop hosting the scripts that made it possible for the Kindle to work with Overdrive.  Mobileread caved under the pressure, denying us any official word on the legality of it, but, again, I don't see any way that this runs afoul of any laws or amazon's TOS for the Kindle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to you both for sharing your opinions with me. I should've been more clear about purchasing eBooks from other companies - I know it's possible to buy them, but Kindle makes it difficult for certain formats, and the formats don't always transfer well to the Kindle. I really don't mind supporting Amazon because of their work in bringing the eBook industry forward, but I was feeling a little bullied (great way to explain it, Marianner) when I realized that I couldn't download eBooks from OverDrive on my Kindle.

I just recently joined a library with OverDrive and NetLibrary, and started out experimenting with audiobooks. I enjoy them, but I find I enjoy reading vs. listening more in most cases. When I started to download eBooks and found I couldn't read them on my Kindle, that's when I started researching more.

I worked on the script/Python download, and after much tweeking (mostly working to get everything in the same folder or it wouldn't work), I downloaded my first OverDrive eBook and it transfered to my Kindle without a glitch. I still have a few twinges about doing this, but I can't pinpoint why. I want to support authors by buying their works (and won't get pirated copies), but libraries have been loaning books for a long time and there's nothing wrong with reading them on my Kindle. I'd never be able to afford all the books I wanted to read.

Anyway, thank you again for your perspectives - I wasn't sure what kind of reception my question would get, and am relieved to find that you share my feelings. :)
 

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I don't think you're going to find too many people who think you shouldn't be able to read library books on the Kindle--quite the contrary, I think most of us strongly think it should be a lot easier to do!  You're also among a crowd that for the most part thinks nothing of "enhancing" our Kindles with better screensavers and better fonts--and the minute a folder hack appears, you better believe half or more of this place will be adding that to their Kindles as well. :)

I haven't applied the script you used as I have a fair sized backlog to read already, but believe me, the day it was erased from MobileRead, I downloaded the cached wiki directions and all the files for it.  I agree completely with marianner, Amazon is being a bully about something that really isn't an issue.  Nothing in those specific scripts removes DRM from the files, and therefore should not be in violation of the TOS.
 

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I would like to add to this conversation as I use all the hacks that I found to manipulate any ebooks that I purchase so that I can read on my Kindle.  My question is this (brought up by a friend with a Kindle).  If you already own the DTB, is is 'immoral' (her word) or infringing on the copyright (my term) to get the ebook from a torrent, shared file site, etc.  Not with the intention to redistribute or share, just to read for yourself

Her example to me was Harry Potter.  I was complaining about it not being available in any format and she was horrified that I would even consider buying it on ebook as I have both hardcover and paperback of each book.  Then I started thinking about all the books that I have purchased multiple copies (couldn't find, bought another, then found the 1st one).

 

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Jesslyn, that's an interesting question and I'm not sure I know the answer, but my husband and I were just talking about it.  A lot of people confuse the copyright for computer software (one copy per user or one copy per machine--depends on what you purchased) with the music industry which allowed people to buy a vinyl record and make other recordings FOR THEIR PERSONAL use, not for resale. 

I'm not positive with books, because in the past you couldn't exactly make a "copy" for yourself--and why would you when a copy was just another type of the same thing you owned--bulky pages?  So it's possible that it isn't covered all that well in current copyright.

I would think that legally you are okay, the only bad thing would be supporting or frequenting a site that...frankly is often way outside of copyright.  Meaning that the more people use them, the more illegal stuff appears on them.

But still, I don't see how you would be outside the right to re-read in whatever format you chose.  Now, as to my opinion of Rowling being stubborn about e-books...

:)
 

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MariaESchneider said:
Jesslyn, that's an interesting question and I'm not sure I know the answer, but my husband and I were just talking about it. A lot of people confuse the copyright for computer software (one copy per user or one copy per machine--depends on what you purchased) with the music industry which allowed people to buy a vinyl record and make other recordings FOR THEIR PERSONAL use, not for resale.

I'm not positive with books, because in the past you couldn't exactly make a "copy" for yourself--and why would you when a copy was just another type of the same thing you owned--bulky pages? So it's possible that it isn't covered all that well in current copyright.

I would think that legally you are okay, the only bad thing would be supporting or frequenting a site that...frankly is often way outside of copyright. Meaning that the more people use them, the more illegal stuff appears on them.

But still, I don't see how you would be outside the right to re-read in whatever format you chose. Now, as to my opinion of Rowling being stubborn about e-books...

:)
Speaking of pirating AND Rowling--the Harry Potter and other books were put up on Amazon's Kindle store today by someone today. They have since been pulled down by Amazon, but they were there for awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jesslyn said:
I would like to add to this conversation as I use all the hacks that I found to manipulate any ebooks that I purchase so that I can read on my Kindle. My question is this (brought up by a friend with a Kindle). If you already own the DTB, is is 'immoral' (her word) or infringing on the copyright (my term) to get the ebook from a torrent, shared file site, etc. Not with the intention to redistribute or share, just to read for yourself

Her example to me was Harry Potter. I was complaining about it not being available in any format and she was horrified that I would even consider buying it on ebook as I have both hardcover and paperback of each book. Then I started thinking about all the books that I have purchased multiple copies (couldn't find, bought another, then found the 1st one).
Jesslyn, my husband and I have talked about this very issue, so I'm glad you brought it up. Since I first started this thread, I've done a lot of research on the issue of ebooks and DRM, etc, and my understanding of the topic has increased a lot.

I now have no problem at all with doing what I have to do to read library ebooks on my Kindle, but I always delete them afterwards. Always.

I also have no problem with stripping the DRM from books I purchase and back them up so they will readable on any device I choose to buy in the future. That way if Amazon (or any other format I purchase) is no longer supported in the future, I'm still able to read the book I purchased. (I'm a rereader, so that's important to me.) Many folks (whether proponents of DRM or not) adamantly state that removing DRM for your own personal use as a back-up copy is not illegal and is allowable under current copyright law. I don't share these books with people other than my children. I never share them with others as I would a dead-tree-book, just because I don't feel comfortable doing that with my current beliefs/understanding of DRM and copyrights.

Now back to your question. On the one hand, once I purchase a book, the author gets his/her royalties, and that's my main concern, so why not get a free ebook version to read on my Kindle (or whatever device)? On the other hand, if I want (for whatever reason) a hardcover and paperback version of a book, I'd have to purchase both versions. I wouldn't be able to go into a bookstore and tell them that since I've already purchased a hardcover, I'm just going to walk out with the paperback without paying for it thankyouverymuch. Property is property, whether it's virtual or physical. Making a back-up copy of a physical book doesn't make as much sense as a back-up copy of a virtual book, so I can't reconcile with that argument, either.

Those are the arguments that my husband and I go back and forth with. I think it's wrong (with my current understanding of DRM/copyright) and my husband says that JK Rowling got royalties for my purchase already, so get the ebook version however I can get it and donate the hardcovers to Goodwill. I won't be making a profit from the hardcovers, and am just replacing them with declutter-friendly ebook versions. He's got a point. But still... I don't know.

I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks! :)
 

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Bookish, you make some good points on the whole hardcover, paperback, electronic...however (and this is just a thought that you caused to spawn in my little brain, not judgment) if you sell the hardback or take it to goodwill...the author doesn't get a royalty when a new customer buys the book.  Thus...have you cheated the author?  (I'm not so sure about that, but wanted to bring the point up.)  You kept a copy.  So if you want to re-read it...you still have that ability without paying again, yet...if you SOLD that book...you profited.  If you gave it to goodwill, they profited (in a manner of speaking.)

Isn't it tangled????

As an author there's two thoughts that run through my brain.  One, if you read it and sell a copy, that gets the book out there to a potential reader and that is a good thing.  The only way to build fans is to have them know about your book.  They might not be willing to spend full price on an unknown author so you did me a favor by circulating the book.  The downside is that I see no royalty from the book and if my publisher doesn't sell out of enough copies...there goes my next book.  I'm of the view that it isn't up to the reader to be second guessing all the time.  Most readers I know do both:  They sell some copies, they donate copies to senior citizen centers or libraries, they keep some copies.  They buy some new, some used.  This is just the manner of books.  They are, in their own helpful way, keeping the boo in circulation in a manner that has been accepted and acceptable for a long time.

As for the legality, I'm guessing that if you purchased a hardback copy and kept it, yet also came across an electronic copy and kept it...you'd still be within copyright.  I'm guessing that if you then sold or gave away the hardcopy...and kept the electronic copy, you'd be violating the literal copyright.  But I'm not a lawyer.  So that's just a guess. 

:)
 

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Maria, you make a valid point.  I believe that the concept of a "backup copy" is only valid as long as one keeps the original.

Copyright is extremely complicated.  Quilters struggle with copyright law constantly, and unless one actually consults a copyright lawyer, it's a very murky area.

If in doubt, you could always consult the publisher of the book in question and see what THEY think.  ;D

Betsy
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
Maria, you make a valid point. I believe that the concept of a "backup copy" is only valid as long as one keeps the original.
Exactly. You are not entitled to a "backup" of something that you no longer own. You have now illegally distributed a second "logical" copy, a pretty clear violation of copyright law.
 

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I love my Kindle, but I think Amazon's draconian control over the contents on them is absurd.  They've even outpaced Apple in their demand that they control the iPod and all its contents.  Music purchased from the iTunes store comes in a format exclusive to Apple - AAC - and can not be played on any other MP3 player.  However, you do have the option of burning an audio CD of that music and that music becomes yours to do with as you please - just as it would if you had purchased a regular CD from a store.

Amazon has gone a step further: not only are the ebooks for the Kindle only exclusive to the Kindle - there is nothing you can do with that format beyond reading it on the Kindle.  You are, in effect, renting the book from Amazon.  If your Kindle breaks, or/and you just choose not get another one, too bad: the books you purchased with your own hard-earned cash are gone.  We all went into it knowing this, but it doesn't make this ok on Amazon's part.  It may be legal, but I don't think it's ethical.  Amazon holds Kindle users hostage to their - Amazon's - whims.  So as far as I'm concerned, if anyone gets around their system, I will cheer them on!
 
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