Why Do Publishers Treat Customers As Crooks With Scolding Copyright Notices?

from the no-way-to-make-a-fan dept

Jeff Cliff points us to an interesting story in which writer Rebecca Blain points out just what a complete freaking downer it is to get an ebook (legitimately) and then have it dump a massive threatening copyright notice on you that assumes you’re a crook. Think of it as the equivalent of the stupid, annoying and pointless FBI warning found at the beginning of movies:

So, off I went. It was a nice evening, and I had a few minutes before bed. I fire the kindle up, select Last of the Lesser Kings, and start to read. Well, I tried to. Encountered quite a few pages of legal threats telling me how much I would be sued for if I had the sheer audacity of putting this book on more than one device that I owned. Heaven forbid if I lend it out to anyone. The amount of the violation didn’t have two, three, or four zeros. Try five or six. I don’t remember the exact amount, but I remember the complete shock and impossibility of the average person being able to pay that sum. I’m not going to open my kindle to find out again. It made me mad enough even having to type this out.

After having read the book, I can state with some confidence that this author’s book is not worth four or five digits to me, let alone six. If I had bought this book, rather than being presented to it as a reviewer’s ARC, (this was a post-publication, so it was exactly the same content a paying reader receives) I’m pretty confident I would have asked for a refund without reading the book, seeing as I wasn’t paying to be threatened.

She then followed that up with another post that actually included that copyright notice along with another random selection of notices. First, here’s a snippet of the copyright notice that led to the original blog post, from the book Last of the Lesser Kings by T.L.K. Arkenberg:

Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your personal reading on your own personal computer or device. You do not have resell or distrubition rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book. This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the South African Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or other method currently known or not yet invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.

WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission. All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental. The Licensed Art Material is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the Licensed Art Material, is a model.

The other copyright notices she looked at were not nearly as threatening, though at least some of them appear to engage in copyfraud by overclaiming their rights and ignoring the possibility of fair use exceptions. Perhaps most interesting is that a few of the books she looked at, including at least one by a “big name player”, did not include any copyright notice at all.

In the end, though, the real point is that this is not how you connect with your fans, by defaulting to assuming that they’re all trying to distribute unauthorized copies of your work. Assuming the worst of your fans likely means you’re going to have fewer fans. Trusting your fans and not scolding them tends to lead to much better results. It’s too bad so many publishers haven’t figured that out yet.

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Comments on “Why Do Publishers Treat Customers As Crooks With Scolding Copyright Notices?”

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gorehound (profile) says:

Never Buying An Ebook

I bought my first book at the age of 12 in 1968.I kept good care of my books and continued to purchase.I became a book Collector.I sought out old 1930’s and 1940’s Science Fiction Pulps, and old Vintage Paperbacks.I bought Dust Jacketed cool 1ST Edition Hardcovers.
I am proud to say I won over 1300 pieces in my Library.I can read them anywhere, sell any I want, bring them to someone’s home, or “share” them if I allowed that.
Ebooks are disgusting to a guy like me.I am a freedom loving Purist when it comes to books.I know exactly what an Ebook is and from what I see you buy and buy but you do not even own what you buy !!! You feed the greed of the big Corporate Media Companies while I sit there with a nice big smile owning my Books, loving them, and still reading them 44 yeasrs later.I use my own IPAD and that is ME, my two hands, and two eyes…………….the best Ipad Money don’t buy !
Check out a sampling of my Books here where I host my galleries of science fiction.You love old Ace Books,Avon,Pocket, ETC or Astounding Stories,Planet Stories, Wonder Stories, eTC you will see a ton of incredible cool old scifi in my personal Library.

Hope you guys enjoy this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Never Buying An Ebook

eBooks are NEVER going to replace something as wonderful as a good hardcover. That would be like trying to replace a classic car with a scooter. But a portable device capable of holding thousands or millions of books can VERY well replace paperbacks. My fiance almost never buys paperbacks anymore, she’ll read a book as an eBook, and if she likes it enough to want in her collection, she’ll then go out and buy the hardcover. If not, she’ll hit delete.

That said, she’s never paid more than $2 for an eBook and usually gets them for free. Despite what the companies think, her getting them for free means she’s reading more books than she otherwise would, meaning she’s willing to give more books a chance, meaning there’s a MUCH greater chance she’ll spend money on their products, if they’re good. So I guess the problem is, they want to get paid for the crap and don’t mind if they screw over fans in the process (by making them pay for crap).

So, just because you’re a collector does not mean eBooks should be “disgusting” to you. What should be disgusting is the DRM they’re currently putting in them, and as usual, illegal, free option strips all that crap away and then eBooks become exactly what they should be: an extended free preview of a book, so you’re better informed on if you want a book to be a part of your collection or not.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

Thank you. gorehound’s slightly elitist attitude toward ebook readers is annoying.

I love a good book myself and have been going out of my way to find hardcover versions of all of Michael Crichton’s books. However, I would not balk at the idea of also having all his books on my ereader. I love the convenience.

Paper books, and specifically hardcover books, are not going to go away, but will become a premium offering. They will be for those collectors and mega fans. The idea that books should come out in the order of hardcover -> trade paper back -> ebook -> mass market paper back is going to be turned on its head. Books are shifting to ebook -> ‘whatever paper version people want’ Nothing can stop it.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

They are still disgusting to me.If I buy something I want to really own it.
And I will never have to depend on reading some file format that might not be readable in the future.
You should think about if you will even be able to read one of these books in 20 years or 50 years, ETC.
I will be dead by then but my son and what children he might have will inherit one cool and unique Collection to be Valued for many Years !!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

Hopefully by the time your son is inheriting your books my son can buy the complete works of the 20th century on a SD card.

I understand your fear of wasting money on something you don’t actual own but if its DRM free and a non-proprietary format it should be available until the end of time (or when the EMPs go off or when the earth magnetic field goes out of whack…)

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

It sounds like your problem isn’t with ebooks, it’s with DRM’d ebooks. I own a Kindle, love it, read a lot more with it now than I ever have. I have roughly 100 books on it. Not a single one has DRM. If Amazon were to remove them I could easily get them again by going to Project Gutenburg.

Yea that’s right, I don’t own a single book in ebook form that is still copyrighted. There’s so much good content out there that current writers have to compete against, I see no reason to spend money on it to find out whether or not I like their books, let alone the author. If they want me to read their stuff, they’re going to have to give away the digital, infinite goods and make a business model for me to support them another way.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

What you are describing is as Chosen Reject said, a problem with DRM’ed proprietary formats. I would also like to add that it is a problem with the insane copyright lengths we have today. If copyright were something more reasonable, such as the 14-28 years it was originally, your kids would be able to get those books in whatever format they wanted by that time.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

> eBooks are NEVER going to replace something
> as wonderful as a good hardcover. That would
> be like trying to replace a classic car with
> a scooter. But a portable device capable of
> holding thousands or millions of books can
> VERY well replace paperbacks

I agree. I love that I can read a one-off paperback on my iPad and delete it when I’m done and not have to think about it anymore. I recently moved from the east coast to the west coast and had a major headache trying to dispose of hundreds of old paperbacks that had been just taking up space before my move. Even the used book stores refused to take all but a small percentage of them. I ended up dumping most of them at Goodwill.

I still buy hardcovers from my favorite authors, but even those I get mostly from small specialty presses like Donald Grant’s editions of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

But for those books that I know I don’t want to collect and I’ll only read once, the iPad/Nook/Kindle is the best thing since sliced bread.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Never Buying An Ebook

People like you make me hate books.

To clarify, I have a huge library of books myself and like nothing more than it sit down with a good book and a cup of tea. But people like you make books sound like an elitist, Luddite sort of thing. There are lots of benefits to have ebooks, with a few downsides because content creators are currently clueless about the way the world works. That’s all.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

It’s always interesting to witness the contradiction that books are supposed to open your mind to new worlds and new possibilities, yet the medium itself is often worshipped by people who have a blind spot to their closed-mindedness towards other mediums.

Paper books are great. So are ebooks. So are video games and movies and comic books and art prints, etc. The medium is just a method for communication. The communication is what is important.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

There’s nothing Luddite about saying an older technology is better than a newer, as long as you can back it up with facts. Elitist, maybe, but again with good reason.

Try squishing a big, hairy spider with an ebook. See how well your ebook reads after you’ve dropped it in the toilet. Try lending one to a friend who comes by. Try trading a couple you’ve read for one you haven’t.

No, for all their convenience, ebooks that you’ve licensed are still inferior to hardcopy books that you own.

Amber (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Never Buying An Ebook

Hardcover books are always better? That is a matter of opinion. I like the fact that ebooks take up no space in my house. If a book I want isn’t available in electronic format, I find myself looking at the size and weight of the book and considering how much space it will take. Sometimes I decide it’s not worth the cost of ownership. Ebooks have almost no cost of ownership.

That being said, a person owning a hard copy of a book has rights that a person “owning” an ebook does not. If the ebook holder follows the rules the publisher would like her to, that is. πŸ™‚ (Big if on that one…)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Never Buying An Ebook

There isn’t much difference between books and ebooks.

What truly sucks is the publisher’s sense of entitlement. They distorted everything. Now you don’t buy an ebook, you license them. They have the power that would be equivalent to entering your house through force and taking back the book you paid good money for. God help you if someone else reads even one letter of your copy.

Counterfeit physical objects may be worse than genuine, but in the digital world, the pirate’s product is actually better than the publisher’s. By orders of magnitude.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Helluva big jurisdiction

The publisher’s physical location is in South Africa which is why it says South African Copyright Law applies. However, I suspect since it’s on the Kindle and likely to be a person in the US using it, then the FBI would be involved.

Then again, it could simply be that the FBI has nothing better to do than go around looking for people copying e-books from publishers located in other contries in violation of countries Copyright Laws.


They have been doing this to movie collectors since the first days of VHS! To my knowledge, no movie collector is serving time or making monthly payments on a quarter million buck fine for making a copy of a dvd for their own use. This whole silly business started with the practice of pasting stickers with the same threat on 35mm prints shipped to theaters in the 1970’s apparently to frighten projectionists who were planning to somehow copy the prints they were showing. And it only further lowered the esteem in which the FBI was held. The first thing I do when copying a dvd is delete this insulting “warning”.

Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

foreboding recursion

Was there a scolding notice before the scolding notice telling customers not to reproduce the scolding notice? Cause you might be on the hook for telling people about it if there is… or maybe this notice refers to itself since it is within the book it references.

Of course there’s a certain amount of doublethink involved to put up a notice requesting people not acknowledge the existence of the notice, but still expect them to be beholden by it.

Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

Re: foreboding recursion

And now that I think about it I’m surprised we haven’t seen the kind of copyright warnings on this content that we do on professional sports broadcasts which try to intimidate people who would discuss or relate the events that transpire to others. I mean, they almost have more claim to the events than sports leagues do since, at least in fiction, they aren’t facts.

That’s right folks, I’m opening the world up to a whole new copyright troll spoiler lawsuit liability. You’re welcome.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Overreach fail

Actually regarding the PS3 that is not correct, the older “phat” PS3’s can be legally “jailbroken” at any time. You just cannot use the PlayStation Network after it occurs.

Though I have both types of Playstations at the office (3 actually), 2 of then are fully using linux (slackware & an inhouse hacked *nix for snort) and one of them is NOT a “phat”. The other is used as a pristine stock PS3 (with updates as they occur)and stress relief gaming πŸ˜‰

Sony can come and try to stop me doing this at any time. I wont remove the ‘jailbreak’, and they would have a very very hard time of stopping me. Think 0% or less!

As for jailbreaking the xbox? Why bother, it has the computing power of a 2009 Pentium (or less). Great for playing HALO and using for a doorstop at other times.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Overreach fail

To sue anyone for anything a few things have to happen.
Firstly you need to be AWARE of them doing it.

People keep saying there is no such thing as a perfect crime, that’s correct since a “perfect crime” can ONLY occur if someone knows the crime has been committed. if no-one knows.. no crime.

Jailbreaking itself is not a crime, and if it was the Government would initiate proceedings against the alleged criminal, Sony can only initiate civil proceedings no matter what they try to scare people with. And if for some stupid reason the Govt tried to charge you and prosecute then SONY would be a bystander like anyone else, actually they might be classified as an informant, or ‘victim/witness’ which mean they can do even LESS than a standard bystander. (This is why the MPAA/RIAA et.al hate the idea of criminal trials)

So Sony needs awareness, they then need evidence of the fact (which means the dangerous and expensive world of discovery, forensics, and depositions), they then need to understand and either stop or mitigate any and all defences that might arise. And there are a fair few defences on all this.

Then after all that they need to prove damages. And convince a court (or jury) that those damages are fully due to the jailbreak. In Australia (where I am) there are no statutory or punitive damages so that’s even worse for them since they get even less money.

Basically for Sony to prosecute one individual, or even a heap they need to look at all aspects of what that would entail, both financially, timewise, and more importantly if it will affect their shareholders (negative publicity is a big thing nowadays)

I haven’t even mentioned the appeal process, and the fact that you cannot get money out of a stone.

The best course for Sony in this situation, and it is still not really in their corporate best interests, is to stop the commercial jailbreaking (like Apple did). Oh and the rest of the world other than the USA does not have the problem with your DRM legislation either. 380mill in USA versus 2bill (in developed world) means there future and current market is not beholden to US weird statutes. Why else do you think the US Government is trying to change the world in their legal image πŸ˜‰

[I hope this makes sense.. Its 5:08am on Saturday morning here and I’ve been up all night, and Fri was a public holiday too. Blah I need a new life]

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Overreach fail

That first line in Australia is actually a wrongful act on the part of the publisher/seller/author since there is no such thing as a non-refundable purchase AFTER the fact.

Companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and Autodesk found that out the hard way when they try to enforce US EULAs under Australian (or any countries) Consumer laws.

Though Interestingly if I am not mistaken, even in the USA, stating that as the first line and then saying that you cannot do all those things means you have no chance of NOT accepting the contract as written meaning in a dispute over copyright because you allegedly have breached the EULA you would be able to have the defence that the contract itself was not binding since you did not agree to it and could not get back your side of the consideration thereby nullifying all terms and conditions that are part of that contract.

EULA’s Only work because you use the software, if you open the shrink wrap, read the EULA and then give the software back and receive your money (otherwise they could face other civil actions) without using it. Everything is sweet. This way there is no ability to say NO to the offer and consideration (contracts are two sided, NEVER one sided)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Overreach fail

The Warning doesn’t have to be completely valid. They can say whatever they want in the warning and it doesn’t matter. If it came to a court case would they try to use it against you, of course. But they don’t really need it. They got everything they need written into the laws they bought. The purpose of the warning as I said earlier was to SCARE PEOPLE who don’t know better. If they thought people would believe it they would write that copying the e-book had a 100% chance of giving you terminal cancer. It’s written by lawyers who lie. It’s what they do.

Mike says:

Always been this way

Pick up just about any book, flip to one of the first pages with a copyright notice and something similar is there. It’s usually very noticeable in children’s books.

But, like software EULAs, because space is not at a premium, publishers and publishers’ lawyers can get much more verbose in their license restrictions or copyright statements.

mischab1 says:

Re: Re: Always been this way

Heh, look at that. My Oxford Essential Dictionary says:

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written premission of Oxford University Press, Inc.

I’m writing words right now. I must be in violation. πŸ˜›

Mega1987 (profile) says:

If those guys don’t want their works be copied, have some fan arts/fics or be sold second-hand in anyway possible.

then they should not publish it to the public.

The fine? It’s too much for a average person to have in a year. Only a freaking high-class can pay for that fine without any impact on their livelihood.

The imprisonment? almost or in the same level of rape, homicide and other grave offenses to human lives.

Anonymous Coward says:


Why Do Publishers Treat Customers As Crooks With Scolding Copyright Notices?

Maybe because they forget to take their meds and are now completely out of their minds.

Seriously, threating your best customers like trash is not going to win anone’s hearts and minds.

Thankfully there are alternatives like:

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe THAT'S the answer...

The warning says you can’t copy it without expressed written permission right? So maybe people need to start requesting written permission for everything. I mean if a bunch of people start requesting written permission every time they see one of these sorts of things and flood them with requests maybe they will get tired of receiving them and stop this nonsense. Perhaps someone could develop an app of sort for this. Some sort of publisher contact information database that would allow you to look up the contact information for a publisher and then generate a request that could be sent via email and/or printed and mailed through the postal service.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hmmm

There is a distinct difference in the right to reproduce or copy something and the rights to distribute it. Making copies of things for your own person that you never give to anyone is copying without distributing. However when you take those copies and give or sell them to someone else you are then distributing. When you make an unauthorized digital file available for download, you violate the copy part when you upload it to the server and the distribution part when it’s made publicly available. The person who downloads it then violates the copy part when they download it but you don’t.

Steve R. (profile) says:


After a while the endless mind numbing display of these messages becomes “invisible”. Not only do they become another irritant to be avoided, but the message not to do something becomes lost.

Laws tend to be complied with to the extent that they reflect societal norms. Admonitions, such as compliance with industry defined copyright, will be increasingly ignored by the “customer crooks”. In the extreme – respect for the law (as a concept) will be treated as a joke. If the content industry wishes to have real compliance with the law by the “customer crooks” they need to stop their massive land-grab and acknowledge the rights of the “customer crooks” to the use of their (“customer crooks”) content.

nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile) says:

Unfair Contract Terms

I’d be interested in seeing this tested in a UK court, EULAs have already been proved to not have the legal backing (due unfairness in terms and not being able to agree before purchasing).

Since you cannot agree to the terms before you purchase – the contract should be unenforceable.

This also applies in many other legal areas that people wouldn’t expect – such as private parking tickets.

Steve R. (profile) says:

Re: Unfair Contract Terms

Seems that the US continues with the philosophy that the seller somehow defines the rule of a “sale” to the exclusion of any rights that the buyer may have.

If the seller insists that the buyer is entering into a contract, then they should have an authorized representative present at the point-of-sale so that the buyer can truly negotiate. Of course, they won’t – too expensive – they would say. If that is the case, then all EULA/TOS should be voided.

Anonymous Coward says:

So I guess you’re offended easily? If something tells you “don’t do this or this will happen” and you have no intention of ever doing so, why would you be offended? I read instruction manuals all the time that say things like don’t use this appliance in the bath tub, I’m not offended I think it’s funny that they felt it necessary to include it. Obviously the reason these types of warnings are included is because people do stupid things like, attempt to use a hair dryer in the bath tub, or copy movies and offer them up as torrent downloads.

Baldaur Regis (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This might be a little too obvious, but drop something electrical into a bathtub and something will happen. Every time.

I’ve made endless mix tapes, copied VHS tapes, ripped DVDs, and something also happens every time: nothing.

Conflating an immutable law of nature with a man-made restriction on human behavior is ridiculous. Copyright warnings carry the same weight as old men yelling “Get off my lawn!”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Less, because typically the old man at least has a rifle and can cause physical harm if you continue to “infringe” on his lawn.

Copyright warnings carry less weight, because the most they can do is sue you for damages, which they then have to prove, and then they get some money, assuming you have any, which I’d bet most people don’t, considering the outrageous fines they impose. So basically, they drag you through civil court, pay legal fees, and all they get is a piece of paper with some words on it saying they are trolls, and you get to go on doing exactly what you were doing before.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Except you left out the part where you you lose a boat load of money defending it or they get a court to seize your property and auction it off to pay off the judgement. And the fact that they have now added this to criminal laws so they can actually get the D.A. to bring charges against you.

Leo T. Lyonne says:

The Copyright Cartels are Dying and ...

the closer they are to extinction, the more aggressive and comically exaggerated their flailing becomes and the louder and more anguished their bellows and bleats sound their alarm.

Those are unambiguous signs of their forthcoming extinction.

The general population is uniting in its contempt for these leeching low-life throwbacks to the dark ages and cannot wait to see them vanish from existence. The future promises to be much brighter without them.

In a final frantic charge by the losers, expect future devices to include nuclear devices designed to detonate and annihilate the reader and everything for 200 miles around, should the reader repeat a 2-word phrase from it mentally or aloud.

Or, just don’t buy anything (audio/video/print) from any member of the Copyright Cartel and starve the sleazy fuckers to death (revel in the screams of “I’m, Dying!” as they dissolve like the Wicked Witch of the West and fade from existence).

Copyright Cartel members are blood-sucking leeches that exist only to feast on your money.

The Copyright Cartel members produce nothing and add zero value to human life. In fact, they lower the quality of life for mankind. And they will therefore, be eliminated.

No-one said evolution was pretty,

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Copyright Cartels are Dying and ...

I don’t think this has anything to do with their being close to extinction or not. This has more to do with lawyers making grand claims and threats written in legalese (whether they legally viable or not) in an attempt to scare people in to acting the way they want. It’s the same tactic they use in cease and desist letters. They threaten all kinds of stuff that they can’t necessarily support legally because they can and since most people don’t really know the difference, many simply believe it all and comply with it JUST IN CASE. Words are cheap and if they can scare a substantial amount people into doing what they want, it’s accomplishes it’s goal regardless of whether what it says is legally correct or not.

Not an Electronic Rodent says:

Re: The Copyright Cartels are Dying and ...

the closer they are to extinction, the more aggressive and comically exaggerated their flailing becomes and the louder and more anguished their bellows and bleats sound their alarm.


Copyright Cartel members are blood-sucking leeches that exist only to feast on your money.

You mean like this? :p

DanZee (profile) says:

Federal prosecution

Well, some people have commented that the FBI will never put someone in jail who copied a book, but that may not be true in the future. There was a Wall Street Journal article recently that said about half the “crimes” the Justice Department prosecuted in the last 10 years were of people who broke a regulation that many of them didn’t even know existed. The article spotlighted a maintenance guy who was convicted of a felony and has found it difficult to get work because of it all because he pumped out a flooded basement and broke an EPA regulation.

The Feds love to convict people, and they love to go after easy cases, especially those folks who can’t afford the expense of a federal trial. Real criminals are too difficult to catch.

So if you’re caught copying a book, you might very well be facing 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine!

'Totally think you're all idiots' says:

Re: Ironic

Those who download “Pirated” ebooks DO get that message because the copyright page is still there in the version they downloaded. It doesn’t just magically disappear…

I think everyone is blowing this out of proportion. If it doesn’t apply to you, ignore it. It’s ridiculous to get so upset about this yet when it comes to something that actually MATTERS everyone becomes a sheep and shuts up to meekly go along with it.

Personally if someone becomes so offended, upset or heated about something that supposedly doesn’t apply to them, I think it indicates that you are an actual offender of it. “I think he doth protest too much” anyone?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The major purpose of warnings at the beginning of movies

No I think it’s generally a part of their business strategy to try to annoy and ultimately alienate every one of their customers to the point that they actually lose their business for good so that they can then justify more and more draconian laws to make them feel better about themselves. Just like some people go shopping to cheer themselves up when they feel down, the Content Cartels shop for laws.

TasMot (profile) says:


No, No, No, you’ve got it all wrong. They are not threatening you, they are educating you. You know, teaching you all the correct rules about what you can and can’t do with your newly borrowed book.

Oh, wait, you don’t actually need their permission to use any little snippet of the text, there is fair use after all (at least for the time being in the US – against their wishes of course).

Well, they are mostly teaching you the correct rules. At least the correct rules as they see it. Now just stop whining and pay them two or three more times for that same book and shut up, they are trying to enjoy their caviar.

Thomas (profile) says:

Good Grief...

Is this threat shown in all books you buy from Amazon and download to the Kindle? I’ve been interested in the Kindle, but when I read that Amazon can suddenly and without explanation, remove any book you purchased I decided it wasn’t worth considering the Kindle seriously. If I order a book from B&N or Amazon and it gets delivered via UPS/USPS to my house, then there is no way for B&N or Amazon to suddenly take it away without breaking and entering and getting past Angel, my 90 pound territorial German Shepherd, plus winning the contest against a Glock 9mm.

Rebecca Blain (user link) says:

Re: Good Grief...

No. Amazon does not add anything to the ebooks you purchase. The notices and everything contained within are at the discretion of the writer / publisher.

As listed on my second blog post, there were quite a few ebooks that had no copyright notices included in them at all. (And all of them were acquired through Amazon or were available for purchase on amazon.)

But, yes, they can take books away that were loaded in through their system. If they do take the book, they have to refund you the full price of the book, regardless of whether or not you’ve read it. They usually recall books due to copyright infringement of some sort or another, from what I understand.

Amber (profile) says:

DRM on ebooks Is Stupid

I just thumb my nose at ebook DRM. It is ridiculously easy to decrypt most ebooks, so I just decrypt them and do what I want with them. It sucks that when you purchase an ebook for only slightly less than a hard copy you have almost no rights. They can take it off your device at any time, they tell you that you can’t sell it or loans it or give it away. Screw them. I’m going to keep doing exactly what I want. What I want isn’t to start selling copies to make money. That, to me, is morally wrong. But I’m going to “loan” copies to my friends and family if I choose to. If the publishers don’t like it, that’s too bad. They should realize that the world is expanding, not shrinking. DRM is an attempt to shrink, not to the original boundaries of real books, but even smaller — limiting the buyer’s rights even more. That’s just asinine. A person would be attracted to a career in publishing books if they are smart and love books. How could such a group of smart, book-loving people have come up with the current system? It’s mind-boggling. They should hire a group of librarians to help them update their policies. I think librarians really get it about books. They know they are not free, and don’t expect to get them for free, but that people should be able to freely read and share. I read a study recently that people with ereaders read more. A lot more. Reading in America is on the rise. With all this reading going on, why put stumbling blocks in the way? If reading is really increasing, they are going to surely make more than enough money if they make things easier, and let people share with each other. Technology could solve the problem of being able to lend a book to one and only one person, and have the rights transfer back to the original owner. If they had such a mechanism, I would surely use it because it’s not in my nature to go around breaking rules. Unless they are really, really stupid. Imaging being able to get a book back that you loaned out at the click of a button! I think there’s a lot of people like me who would happily live within a system that would give them the rights they currently have.

Anonymous Coward says:

If publishers persist in treating customers as crooks then there is therefore only one possible answer, based on what the industry shills like to claim.

We are all crooks. Each and every single one of us freetarding idiots.

Therefore we must pirate. For the alternative is too horrific to behold – the possibility that the industry shills might be wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anyone offended by this is a idiot! My McD’s coffee cup tells me contents hot, my shopping bags tells me not to give it to babies. Unless you plan yo send this to people, which has always been illegal with eBooks unless you delete your own copy, you’ll be fine. Let publishes post a warning, who freaking cares. If you aren’t doing anything illegal than just ignore the warning, sounds like this person who posted from what you’re quoting from should’ve taken meds. You aren’t supposed to copy music or movie too. I’m not an asshole and I’m willing to pay for what I watch, read, and listen too. I ignore the warnings because I’m not stealing. If everyone was honest there wouldn’t be warnings on entertainment products and if everyone was smart my coffee would tell me it’s hot.

Mackenzie says:

Think About It

I’m an ebook author, and think about it, do you know the daily fight we have trying to keep our books from being pirated? The notice isn’t there for any law abiding citizen, it’s there for those who believe they have a right to steal our work and post them illegally, or resell them illegally. So if you purchase the book, with the intention of reading it and NOT re-posting, sharing or re-selling it, you have nothing to worry about. Why do people always make such a big deal out of an ant hill when things are really quite so simple? buying the ebook and re-selling it, or sharing it has always BEEN illegal. It’s not something they just come up with yesterday. If you wish to be a reviewer, or continue to be a reviewer you need to grow a thicker skin and dont freak out over something so small. If the notice offends you then I’m sorry to say you are a crook.

abc gum says:

Re: Think About It

“If the notice offends you then I’m sorry to say you are a crook.”

When did being offended become illegal? I missed that one.

“Why do people always make such a big deal … “

It is concern about where this will lead. These concerns are valid. Possibly you overlooked them.

“So if you purchase the book, with the intention of reading it and NOT re-posting, sharing or re-selling ..”

Good example. In the past, copyright addressed the issue of copying. Now it attempts to cover much more ground, including but not limited to things like the secondary market. You want to arrest little old ladies at their garage sales? What’s even worse is the attempt to stop someone from allowing others to read their ereader.

I could see justification for additional limitations upon en ebook vs real book if the price were significantly lower, but that is not happening. Possibly the customers will decide the convenience is not worth the limitations or they will simply ignore them.

The customer is always right – unless you can get the cops to taze their ass whilst your lawyer steals their money.

pauleee says:

THE ILLUSION of it all.

OH JUST SHUT THE F UP, ALL OF YOU…none of it matters anyway. In fact, nothing in life really matters because it’s all just an illusion, a big fat dream. SO CHILL – we’ll all be gone faster than anyone realizes. πŸ™‚

here’s what i am going to do:

the MISTAKE writers and publishers are making in these threatening notices (that truly don’t threaten or scare anyone) is that when you TELL SOMEONE NOT TO DO SOMETHING — like right now DO NOT THINK OF A FLAT TIRE ON A CAR!! — NO DO NOT THINK OF IT. (yeah, that worked didn’t it?)

you MAKE people think of doing it… PERIOD.
and no one likes to be threatened…PERIOD.
and no one likes to be talked down to….PERIOD.
and it’s human nature to rebel…PERIOD.

So with that said… when i publish my first eBook here shortly i am going to do something no one else is doing…. I am going to encourage people to COPY IT AND GIVE IT AWAY… and you know what will happen? That PERMISSION i give them will make them WANT to buy it and honor the work i have done. And yes there will be some that will take it and give it out but hey, they were going to do it anyway. So i made it possible for them not to be a thief and have guilt.

that’s my 3 cents

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