Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apple and Amazon Take Baby Steps Toward Digital Sharing; New York Times, 9/18/14

Molly Wood, New York Times; Apple and Amazon Take Baby Steps Toward Digital Sharing:
"In the physical world, you can share a book or DVD or CD that you bought with as many friends and family as you like. You can even sell those items if you want, thanks to the first sale doctrine.
But digital media has been excluded from that doctrine, because, essentially, when you buy a digital song or movie or book, you’re being granted a license to use that media, but you don’t actually own it.
As a result, there are far more restrictions on what you can do with an MP3 than on what you can do with a CD...
So, while Family Sharing and Family Library seem like a victory at first, “to me, this is really a failure of our copyright law,” said Corynne McSherry, who heads intellectual property policy research at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“It presupposes that the content owners should be able to have that kind of control over what they buy,” she said. “Copyright law isn’t changing with our times, because what doesn’t change is that people want to be able to give someone a copy of a book or song that they legally bought.”
“The fact is,” Ms. McSherry said, “that we need Amazon or Apple to have elaborate license agreements in order to make it possible for their customers to be able to do what they should be able to do anyway.”"

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