Sunday, November 10, 2013

Public letter about extending First Sale To Ebooks

To ( CopyrightComments2013 AT uspto DOT gov

As an author, I am dismayed by the erosion of copyright protections for content creators.

It is just, right and fair that "First Sale" is trumped by the copyright ruling that prevents duplication, publication, and distribution of copyrighted content.

One argument we see by librarians and ebook consumers is that all they want is the right to "lend" an ebook the way they used to lend a paperback or hardback.

They already have that ability under the law. All they have to do is physically hand over their loaded e-reader.

Most people wouldn't lend a paperback to a close friend who lives on another continent because of the real world cost of mailing the work through the postal services. The cost of postage was a natural protection against the abuse of "lending". Similarly, librarians in lending libraries don't mail hardbacks to patrons who cannot spare the time to visit their local lending library.

Lending loaded e-readers ought to be fine. Making multiple unauthorized coies of a digital work (even temporary copies) in the course of transmitting a work from the party who paid for a license to read the work to a party who did not pay for it in order to save postage and to save friends the cost of buying their own license..... should not be legal.

If it IS made legal, e-books ought to cost more than the paper product because of the additional risks of abuse and exploitation. E-Books are a convenience, and consumers have always paid a premium for convenience. Also, service providers have traditionally been paid a premium for taking a risk. 


Rowena Cherry


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