Changes, Changes: Amazon Stops Printing Pages, MIT Shuts Down TV Music

from the ah,-those-pesky-legal-complications dept

Two followups to popular stories this week. First there was the supposed legal “loophole” that was going to let students at MIT broadcast MP3s over their TVs. I still don’t see how this is any different than something like a Live365 broadcast, but what do I know? Anyway, despite all the news articles saying how brilliant this was for side-stepping legal issues, it appears that not everyone agrees. The students who built the system claimed they had a license from the Harry Fox Agency to use the music, but the Harry Fox Agency said that was news to them. So, now, MIT has shut down the system while the legal issues get sorted out. Meanwhile, as the Authors Guild continued to worry about Amazon’s full text search feature, Amazon has possibly modified the system to no longer permit printing of pages. I just went and checked, and I could print out a page, so maybe I’m missing something here – or maybe it’s only for certain books. Of course, even if they did implement this, I imagine that the easy work around for this is to take a screen shot of the page, and print the image, but I’ve probably violated the DMCA suggesting that.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Changes, Changes: Amazon Stops Printing Pages, MIT Shuts Down TV Music”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Andy Turner says:

No Subject Given

They are actually blocking printing — for some browsers.

They use a print only style sheet to turn off printing. An interesting use of the feature, I think.

<style type=”text/css” media=”print”>
.readerImage {

They also disable the context menu using JavaScript (so you can’t just right click on the image and save it). Obviously, none of this actually stops someone who’s applying even a little effort.

Digital Pirate says:

Re: Just printed out a whole book!

Attention Author’s Guild: Using Amazon’s new service, I just gleefully printed out an entire book, using the workaround of taking a screen shot of every page. It sure beats paying overinflated prices for the damn book! I won’t mention the title, but I will say that I enjoy getting things for free, and therefore will continue to print out as many books as I please!

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just printed out a whole book!

Whether or not this is true, I’d say it’s highly unlikely that anyone will lose a single actual sale due to the practice you just described.

First, it’s not at all easy to view more than a few pages of any book within Amazon’s system. You could do it, but it’s pretty damn good at catching anyone trying to cheat the system and view more than a few pages (five, I think).

Even if you could figure out how to work around that issue, it’s going to require redoing the workaround every few pages.

Add to that the need to take a screenshot, and then print each page, and you’ll be wasting a hell of a lot more in terms of the value of your time than by ordering the damn book and paying the fee. In fact, if the book is long enough, and you’re using an inkjet printer, you’re probably paying nearly as much just in ink and paper costs.

So, I’m guessing you’re just trolling, but if you really believe you’re getting a book for “free”, you should think again.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...