All of these industry articles comparing ebooks to pbooks are fundamentally flawed. They are comparing the WRONG THINGS. Ebooks (sold by B&N, Amazon, and Apple) are essentially licenses. That means you're not paying for the BOOK. You're paying for the right to read the book on demand... so long as you have the proper device, don't want to lend it out, don't want to back it up, and don't piss off the licensor who then locks out your account.
I think that getting the artists opinions would be interesting. I'd also like to know if the artists are informed that the RIAA suing a person over unauthorized distribution of their music and then are actually compensating the artists if/when they win. Interesting and academic, even though, as the RIAA supporters claim it's legally irrelevant.
Then again, I'd also have liked to know what Wells would have had to say over the whole Kindle fiasco. Sure, he may have signed away his distribution rights but as the creator of the the work, I would think that his opinion of the situation would add a very interesting point of view.
I actually wrote a paper on this last year. There's a couple of legal theories that can either support or deny EULA enforceability. It all depends on the judge. There were a couple of cases that happened at roughly the same time that are very similar to this one. In those cases, the plaintiffs had ordered computers to be delivered to their homes. They came in normal shipping boxes with shipping labels slapped everywhere. Apparently, under the labels their was a notice that by opening the box, you agreed to the EULA (which was packaged in the box, of course).
One judge ruled for the plaintiffs, while another judge in a different part of the country ruled again. It's still really unclear as to what makes a EULA enforceable or not.
I've used NBC.com to catch episodes of things that I've missed, or when they put pilots for some new shows up before they aired. I was willing to sit through a few short commercials to not have to bother obtaining those episodes through other means. But start layering on the ads, and I'll fire up my P2P client faster than you can say "strategic marketing".
I have one of the "expensive and crappy" ebook readers, and it's my favorite gadget. In fact, when it went MIA for a week during my last move, I drove everyone insane looking for it. If you're an avid (and fast) reader like me, ebook readers are a godsend while traveling. They're also nice when I want to read in bed and my husband wants the light off. Not to mention, it's much more comfortable to hold while lying on my side than a traditional book.
My trusty ebook has also served as a makeshift flashlight during several power outtages.
Don't get me wrong. I have a MLS, and I love books. But there is a place for ebook readers. Hell, I thought iPods were pretty stupid when they came out, and now I wouldn't trade mine for the world.
I'm hoping Santa brings me one of the new Sony ebook readers this year. I don't think I've ever had tech lust quite this bad.