Amazon's Kindle

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Sven Sven's picture
Amazon's Kindle

 

Sven Sven's picture

Does anyone have a Kindle? In a [url=http://www.rabble.ca/columnists_full.shtml?x=65118]2007 rabble column[/url], Wayne MacPhail said the wireless capability used by the Kindle was supposed to be available in Canada sometime in 2008.

I'm thinking of getting one. Contrary to MacPhail's dismissive description of the Kindle's screen as being like Etch-a-Sketch, the reviewers on Amazon who have purchased the Kindle (about 3,500 reviewers) uniformly say the screen is fantastic (I can only assume that MacPhail never actually saw an actual Kindle screen). And, instead of paying, say, $15 for a paper book, you can buy the same book for, say, $9. It will hold 200 average-length books. And, you can wirelessly download your books (never have to connect it to a PC or Mac).

It also strikes me as a pretty green option for reading (no trees, no printing, no transportation, no warehousing of paper books).

I've heard that the buttons are a little clumsy to use so I'm thinking of waiting until v2.0 comes out (probably near the end of the year).

But, thought I'd check to see if any babblers have a Kindle and what they think of it...

Sven Sven's picture

Amazon.com announced the new Kindle today.  According to a story in the WSJ: "Our vision is every book ever printed in any language all available in 60 seconds," said Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos at a press conference in a New York library. To date, the company offers some 230,000 books for download.

That's quite ambitious, and likely not attainable (at least for the foreseeable future) but having broad (and instant) access to historical books would be great.

I still haven't purchased one.  Although, I've got a few friends who absolutely love theirs (particularly travelers).

Any babblers using a Kindle now? 

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

George Victor

Hopefully it would kindle an interest in actual reading, and not just represent more  conspicuous consumption among the arrived. But perhaps the struggle to attain these could be gushed over  in another forum?

Sven Sven's picture

George Victor wrote:
Hopefully it would kindle an interest in actual reading, and not just represent more  conspicuous consumption among the arrived. But perhaps the struggle to attain these could be gushed over  in another forum?

So, I take it you don't own one? Tongue out

BTW, if a person reads a lot of books, using the Kindle appears to be very cost-effective for readers, as the cost of an e-version of a book is substantially less than a version made of trees.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Bought shares, eh, Sven?

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Bought shares, eh, Sven?

Ah, no.  It just seems like a useful product (but, if the product is successful, I hope Amazon shareholders make boatloads of money). 

I've not purchased one largely because I have a pretty significant backlog of books that I want to wade through before I buy any additional books...and I want to see if people who have them really use them and continue to like them (I'm not usually an "early adopter" of a lot of technology).

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Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

A_J

I had been thinking about one, or the alternatives - I think I like Sony's virtual book more.

Not for reading books; I don't think I could part with the physical book.  But, I'm in law school and with that comes a lot of reading - which I can't stand to do off of a computer screen (plus being at a computer with the internet just creates too many distractions).  And I'm certainly not going to waste all of that paper (and money) printing everything off.

I kind of see this as a possible solution - easier to read, and able to get away from the computer.  Just copy and paste the articles I need into text or a PDF and download them to the Kindle or whatever.

Sven Sven's picture

A_J wrote:

I kind of see this as a possible solution - easier to read, and able to get away from the computer.  Just copy and paste the articles I need into text or a PDF and download them to the Kindle or whatever.

If you get one, I'd be interested to see what kind of annotation capabilities it has. When I'm reading non-fiction, I would love to be able to add electronic notes, bookmarks, and highlights to the text.  I have had an iPAQ (which uses the Microsoft Reader) for many years but the format of reading much off of such a devices makes it, for me, not very practical (but I really did like being able to annotate the books I was reading relatively easily).

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

My friend has the last generation of kindle-type machine (although it wasn't Amazon's--the make escapes me right now). My first reaction after seeing what he had was: 'printed books are done'.

Obviously not now, obviously not for the next decade or so, but soon. There's no reason for them now, and the technology will improve.

And I say this as someone who still enjoys the sound of a cork sliding and popping out of a bottle of red wine even as I know that screwtops are more practical.

RosaL

I do quite a bit of reading on my ipod touch and I find it quite congenial. The selection of books available to me at this point is not as wide as I would like but it's not bad either and it's fast. That's a major consideration when you live an hour and a half from a bookstore. (I don't count places like Coles or the local grocery store.)

I'm not sure I'd want to read anything difficult or complex on the ipod - for that I need to be able to underline and write in the margins. I know there are ways of doing this on the ipod but I haven't tried that yet - maybe it would work just as well. Or maybe not.

Sven Sven's picture

RosaL wrote:

I do quite a bit of reading on my ipod touch and I find it quite congenial. The selection of books available to me at this point is not as wide as I would like...

And, you have to have a hard-wire connection to the Internet, no?  At least that's how it works with my iPod and downloading music.  That's one thing I think is kinda cool about the Kindle (everything is downloaded wirelessly and the connection fees are included in the cost of the books).

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

Catchfire wrote:

My friend has the last generation of kindle-type machine (although it wasn't Amazon's--the make escapes me right now). My first reaction after seeing what he had was: 'printed books are done'.

Obviously not now, obviously not for the next decade or so, but soon. There's no reason for them now, and the technology will improve.

And I say this as someone who still enjoys the sound of a cork sliding and popping out of a bottle of red wine even as I know that screwtops are more practical.

Ha!!  There is something that is very satisfying about a paper book, isn't there!  I particularly like old hardcover books.  To read a paper book printed in, say, 1890 about events of that time gives me a closer "feeling" to the times than if I read the same words on an electronic screen.  The smell of the book and knowing that someone else read it when the content was fresh and new has the effect of making my connection with the times more direct.

With newer works, I can take or leave paper books.  But, I'll always have a goodly number of old books that I will enjoy reading from time to time.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Actually, no. The iPod Touch and the iPhone are wireless devices.

Sven Sven's picture

Lard Tunderin' Jeezus wrote:
Actually, no. The iPod Touch and the iPhone are wireless devices.

Ah.  Very cool.  I guess I'm still in the stone age when it comes to iPod technology...as I have to connect mine by wire to my 'puter to get music!

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

George Victor

 

Mr. Sven: 

"BTW, if a person reads a lot of books, using the Kindle appears to be very cost-effective for readers, as the cost of an e-version of a book is substantially less than a version made of trees."

-------------------------------------------------

The variety grown in libraries (that's a place of public access to reading materials, open to the indigent, young and old) are, fortunately, going to do far more for the society that maintains you, while costing you, the concerned taxpayer, very little.

Hell, even your own Andrew Carnegie understood that. But he also understood, like his followers back then, that an unread population would someday want more, be less generous with the practitioners of noblesse oblige.

But there I go, mentioning "public" again.  Sorry to interrupt your private musings.

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I hear you loud and clear there George.  Thank you for that thought as it was flying over my head.  I was staring straight into the cool technology, almost entranced.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

   Up until recent months I pretty much thought I would be a paper book only sort of person but as of late I've been giving some sort of electronic reader a more serious looksee.

  I can't actually see me using it to replace reading fiction as most times when I'm reading a fiction book it's somewhere like a bathtub or under a tree in the back forty.  When I read fiction it's my escape and I can't get into it the same way from digitized text then from the pages of a book. I've tried.  Many of the old classics are now available for free, Pride and Prejudice just isn't the same.    I regularly use my library for my fiction needs. 

 I do however have a few ongoing research projects that I'm perpetually working on.  The library as good as it is doesn't carry many primary sources of old Irish texts or the works of many older scholars or writers in some of the areas I'm working in.   Over the past while I've discovered that many of these older sources and texts are actually being digitized and put online for free.  There are many books whose copyright has run out and are available for the commons.  An example is one book that I was after wasn't available in the public system. It was in University library, probably in the dusty book section,  but considering that I lived 100s of kms' from said institution and would have to pay to take it out even if I  managed to get there it was a bit of trouble to get. There are also some books, like those in the reference sections that can't be taken out.    I found it online from a rare book dealer at a cost of 150 dollars.   Then to my delight I found a digitized version available for free download.  It's now on my computer which is great.  Even better it's now easily searchable, I can easily print off or cut and paste relevant versions, it's available to me perpetually and I can mark up the texts with notes and not wreck the book.  It also doesn't take up anymore room in my already way over crowded reference library.  Though my harddrive is getting pretty close to be filled. :D

  I do use many modern reference books in my work, including things like textbooks.  I do use the library as much as possible to access these books, if they even have them,  but on many occasions if it's a book that I know I will be refering back to on many occasions I end up buying a hardcopy if I can afford it.  It's the  nature of how I work. I might be reading something else a month after  reading a book and it twigs something from the other book that I want to recheck.  Sometimes it's incredibly frustrating if I no longer have the book on hand. I also barely ever read a reference or non-fiction book from cover to cover or all in on go.   I've noticed more and more that these types of books are becoming available in digitized versions at a cheaper price and getting them that way is really appealing. 

  Then there's journals and articles which I use a lot most of which are available in digitized versions.  These types of things can be read on some readers as well.  My library does give patrons access to some databases where I find things I need.  

 

  Right now all of this is on my computer which works but accessing them does tie me to the computer screen and single chair.  I do get tired reading from it's screen and being in one place ALL of the time.   I don't have a problem admiting that considering getting a reader is really about desire and convenience rather then strict need.  I can make do with my computer.    It would be nice to be able to take the electronic versions of my research texts to the local coffee shop and work there. Something I already do with books or hardcopy.   It would be nice to be able to work at the table on my porch when it's a nice day out.   I do already on occasion,  but if there if there is a small breeze I spend more time trying to keep the hardcopies of the journal article I'm reading from flapping  or blowing away. :D  It would be nice to be able to be able to read the text flat on the table with my notebook right beside it,  the way you do with books in one of those University library cuby desks where you can physically lean in and pour 'over' the text instead of just peering at it on and upright screen.   I can admit that this is all really just habit for me but when I working with text on my computer I do miss the physicallity of working with books and flat paper.  I regularly use things like rulers or the top of my pen when I'm trying to work through a particularly complex section.  I can't do that easily on an upright screen. 

 

 

 

Michelle

I went to see Richard Stallman give a talk in Toronto last week, and he had some interesting things to say about the whole e-book phenomenon as it relates to copyright and digital rights management.

I don't have time to go into detail right now, but basically his position is that e-books and e-book readers are an attempt by publishers to ensure that the basic things you do with regular books - read them, lend, give and share them to others - is not possible with e-books.  

They were really hoping these e-books would catch on, because that would make it harder for people to share the way they do with regular books.  And we'll be paying for the privilege.   But luckily, e-books haven't caught on because people just don't really like them much.

I won't be getting an e-book reader any time soon.  

Maysie Maysie's picture

Sven, I think you know how much I hate to agree with anything you say, but here I go.

Having recently found out about the environmental footprint of the average printed book (a lot, wayyy too much) I've been in a bit of a crux. I love books, and reading, and libraries, and lending books to friends.

Would the environmental footprint of these new machines be that much less? Not per book of course, but the manufacturing, delivery, and eventual destruction? I'm thinking the e-books would be more, even though the advantages, in the short-term, for those rich enough to buy them, are clear. 

My cynical thought of the day is that maybe in a decade or so, like Catchfire says, or maybe in 40 or 50 years, when all of us are gone or on the way out, the e-books will take hold (if the planet's still intact that is) because the generations that aren't raised on "books=information" only will be fine to make the switch to e-books. They won't have the sentimental attachment to the tactile book experience we had, and people like us will be mocked like those who refused to get answering machines did 15 years ago, and then those who didn't switch to "invisible" answering machines did a while later. Now, it's completely normalized.

I too need to make notes, and add stickies, flag chapters as I read. But brains can be retrained to recall information in different ways, and quite quickly. The internet and email are pretty clear examples of that.

We're dinosaurs, we print-lovers. Cry 

Sven Sven's picture

Michelle wrote:

I went to see Richard Stallman give a talk in Toronto last week, and he had some interesting things to say about the whole e-book phenomenon as it relates to copyright and digital rights management.

I don't have time to go into detail right now, but basically his position is that e-books and e-book readers are an attempt by publishers to ensure that the basic things you do with regular books - read them, lend, give and share them to others - is not possible with e-books.  

They were really hoping these e-books would catch on, because that would make it harder for people to share the way they do with regular books.  And we'll be paying for the privilege.   But luckily, e-books haven't caught on because people just don't really like them much.

I won't be getting an e-book reader any time soon.  

Ha!  That is very interesting.  And I hadn't thought of that.  I think it's pretty much impossible to share e-books with others.

Thinking about my book habits, the vast majority of books that I purchase are not recirculated (I would guess that I lend to others maybe a half-dozen, at most, books a year).

As far as e-books not catching on, I think that may be true, in part, because most people who read books have, historically, always read paper books.  But, younger people may be more inclined to use an electronic format.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Sven Sven's picture

Maysie wrote:

Sven, I think you know how much I hate to agree with anything you say, but here I go.

Well, we'll just keep that a little secret between us, okay? Tongue out

Maysie wrote:
 

Having recently found out about the environmental footprint of the average printed book (a lot, wayyy too much) I've been in a bit of a crux. I love books, and reading, and libraries, and lending books to friends.

Would the environmental footprint of these new machines be that much less? Not per book of course, but the manufacturing, delivery, and eventual destruction? I'm thinking the e-books would be more, even though the advantages, in the short-term, for those rich enough to buy them, are clear.

I would like to see an objective analysis of that very question.  Intiutively, I think that if a person buys a relatively small number of books, then paper books may be more eco-friendly.  But, if a person, over a few years, buys 100 or 200 (or more books), then buying a single machine rather than all of those books may be more eco-friendly.

Maysie wrote:
 

My cynical thought of the day is that maybe in a decade or so, like Catchfire says, or maybe in 40 or 50 years, when all of us are gone or on the way out, the e-books will take hold (if the planet's still intact that is) because the generations that aren't raised on "books=information" only will be fine to make the switch to e-books. They won't have the sentimental attachment to the tactile book experience we had, and people like us will be mocked like those who refused to get answering machines did 15 years ago, and then those who didn't switch to "invisible" answering machines did a while later. Now, it's completely normalized.

I too need to make notes, and add stickies, flag chapters as I read. But brains can be retrained to recall information in different ways, and quite quickly. The internet and email are pretty clear examples of that.

We're dinosaurs, we print-lovers. Cry 

Well, it's obvious that I didn't read this before I responded to Michelle's post...but I think we're on the same page there.

I love the feel of a book--not necessarily modern paperback books but well-made hardcover books.  That's why a lot of my book purchases are of (relatively) old used books.  There's "something" about the touch and the smell of sitting for hours with an old leather-bound book.

But, I think that in coming generations, paper books will be a thing of the past...and the remaining paper books will be artifacts from a different time.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

RosaL

Michelle wrote:

I went to see Richard Stallman give a talk in Toronto last week, and he had some interesting things to say about the whole e-book phenomenon as it relates to copyright and digital rights management.

I don't have time to go into detail right now, but basically his position is that e-books and e-book readers are an attempt by publishers to ensure that the basic things you do with regular books - read them, lend, give and share them to others - is not possible with e-books.  

They were really hoping these e-books would catch on, because that would make it harder for people to share the way they do with regular books.  And we'll be paying for the privilege.   But luckily, e-books haven't caught on because people just don't really like them much.

I won't be getting an e-book reader any time soon.  

 

Well, it's a bit like digital music, I suppose. It is possible to share on certain platforms and I imagine it will get easier. And there are plenty of free e-books - a lot of classics, for example. 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

RosaL wrote:
Michelle wrote:

I went to see Richard Stallman give a talk in Toronto last week, and he had some interesting things to say about the whole e-book phenomenon as it relates to copyright and digital rights management.

I don't have time to go into detail right now, but basically his position is that e-books and e-book readers are an attempt by publishers to ensure that the basic things you do with regular books - read them, lend, give and share them to others - is not possible with e-books.  

They were really hoping these e-books would catch on, because that would make it harder for people to share the way they do with regular books.  And we'll be paying for the privilege.   But luckily, e-books haven't caught on because people just don't really like them much.

I won't be getting an e-book reader any time soon.  

 

Well, it's a bit like digital music, I suppose. It is possible to share on certain platforms and I imagine it will get easier. And there are plenty of free e-books - a lot of classics, for example. 

 There's also computer software and movies. If you know how to do it and are wishy washy on the legalities you can get pretty much anything that's been put out in a digital format.  Even the best digital technology that the industry puts out to stop the reprinting seems to get cracked pretty quickly.    I see the same thing happening with ebooks if they get more popular.     Many not free ebooks have been 'cracked' already though it's mostly just the really popular ones.  Just take a jaunt into bittorrent world.  For instance I just found Naomi Kleins-Shock Doctrine, cracked and ready to wing to my computer if I so desire.  After that I could share it with anyone using numerous different digital avenues. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

There is a lot more in the pleasure of the text than just the content: tactile sensations of good crisp paper stock; the sound of turning a page and the crack of a spine; the sound and feel of scribbling notes in the margins and underlining favourite passages (possible, incidentally, with the kindle--it saves pdfs over top of your e-texts, sans sounds and feels); and, finally, there is the visual reminder of what you've read on your bookshelf--how you organize it (author? title? subject?) and the memory that you actually picked up a copy of Plato's Republic at one point (did you finish it? even start it?). I revel in all of this.

 That said, the book is done.

It will start in less than 10 years when university students start buying their textbooks for their kindle. And, once a generation of scholars have been bred to use it and weaned off the cardboard (surely to start with the heartless science students and soulless engineers) they will begin to get their Cosmo zinecasts and Oprah gutentext subscriptions every month. Chapters will close all its brick and mortar megastores and retreta to high street storefronts. Used book stores will profit from an increasingly socially insulated population that wears too-thick eyeglasses and too-courdoroy skirts. Ikea manuals will be delivered in cheap USB keys that make no sense and don't fit in the regualr USB slots. Like their vinyl cousins in the recording industry, high-priced, cloth-bound books will appear in trendy, gentrified hipsterhoods for consumption by a pseudo-elite demographic. 'It's how Conrad was meant to be read, man!' Libraries will burn and no one will care. Soon, monochrome graphics of 'books' will become popular vintage badges sported on handbags, trucker hats and the logos of major media corporations. The novel, such as it was in the heyday of Balzac and Tolstoy, will be read during the time slot in church basements usually reserved for madrigal choirs and bridge night. And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Sven Sven's picture

Oh, Catchfire, that was good.  Made me smile.  Made me sad.

I have an old (c.1890) 2.7m-tall oak "barrister bookcase" which is filled with my treasures.  One whole shelf is devoted to Twain, another to American Indian studies, another to Minnesota history, and the rest of the shelves to a smattering of various fiction and non-fiction works.  We have many, many books that don't fit into that bookcase but those are my favs.

Even when I'm not reading them, just having them in the room with me is a comfort, like sitting quietly with an old, faithful dog.

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Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

Maysie wrote:

Sven, I think you know how much I hate to agree with anything you say, but here I go.

Having recently found out about the environmental footprint of the average printed book (a lot, wayyy too much) I've been in a bit of a crux. I love books, and reading, and libraries, and lending books to friends.

Would the environmental footprint of these new machines be that much less? Not per book of course, but the manufacturing, delivery, and eventual destruction? I'm thinking the e-books would be more, even though the advantages, in the short-term, for those rich enough to buy them, are clear. 

I think it depends on a number of things:

- How many new books you buy. If you buy a lot, then the footprint of the e-books would likely be more, but otherwise not. I mostly buy used books, which have very little footprint, so this is a non-issue for me.

- The durability of the reader, both actual (i.e. how much physical punishment it can take) and resistance to obsolescence. If the manufacturers change the specs every few years and don't provide a firmware update, you'd be stuck buying a new one quite frequently anyway, and the footprint of the manufacture of electronic devices can be fairly significant.

I'm sticking with the dead trees for now.

George Victor

Catchfire:

"Libraries will burn and no one will care."

-----------------------------------------------

Were you burped on the Gothic novel, Catch? The 19th century romantic?If it came to pass that no one cared about the sight of burning libraries, the manner of their reading, the medium, would not matter a tinker's damn.

 

I think Agent 204 speaks for the less euphoric, pragmatic, ass-out-of-the-pants majority: 'I'm sticking with the dead trees for now." Sensible.

And if you really like that one you get out of the library, buy a nice paperback next year for the re-read. It won't have the odour of a leather-bound edition, but it'll leave you with enough for a couple of 40 ouncers of the best.

Unless money is no object, of course, and one can rhapsodize about the minutae of life without the aid of a crown royal. 

KeyStone

I'm not sure how big this is going to get.
If you really want to save money, you go to the library. 

For the rest of us yuppies, buying a book isn't always so much about reading the book, as it is about filling the bookcase with just the right mix of intellectualism, eclecticism and nostalgia so that our friends can be ever so impressed when they come by and see our collection of books, the majority of which we haven't quite gotten around to reading - but they just look so darn good in the bookshelf.

RosaL

KeyStone wrote:

I'm not sure how big this is going to get.
If you really want to save money, you go to the library. 

 

Well, yes, if you live anywhere near a reasonably well-stocked library. The rest of us have to find other ways. 

triciamarie

But what about interlibrary loan? Here we can get almost anything for $2, including a lot of stuff from university libraries -- though not the NFB library, although other systems do it, piss me off! Other places I have lived the ILL service is (was?) free. I have had titles brought in from as far as Halifax.

George Victor

Anywhere in Ontario is free from Cambridge Library. Some of the best of the oldies are preserved out there in the small towns. They can't afford to buy too many new titles yearly.

Sven Sven's picture

Another commentary on the Kindle from [url=Slate[/url]">http://www.slate.com/id/2214243/]Slate[/url].

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Amazon removes Paid-For Content From Users' Kindles

Quote:
George Orwell always had a fine ear for hypocrisy. Even so, quite what he would have made of last week's Kindle debacle, in which Amazon was accused of tactics reminiscent of Big Brother, is unclear. When it emerged that the company had secretly deleted copies of Orwell's novels from people's Kindle ebook readers because of a legal issue, the irony was too delicious to ignore: the writer who best charted authoritarian attitudes in 1984 and Animal Farm had become the victim of a sort of eerie censorship.

It turned out to be a copyright issue - MobileReference, the company that sold the copies, did not have the rights to use Orwell's work; the ebooks had slipped through the net and Amazon was trying to erase its mistake.

The removal was enough to set off angry customers and, despite the company's efforts to try and explain the mix-up, the outrage continued.

"Being able to pull the books out of your paid-for and legal library doesn't sound right," wrote one puzzled user on the Kindle Boards website. "Once it's sold, they no longer own the rights to that copy, or at least, that's what I thought."

 

sachinseth sachinseth's picture

the new kindle is pretty good minus the whole 1984 parallel thing.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

This goes back to the Orwellian "digital rights management" conspiracy that [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/babble-book-lounge/amazons-kindle#comment-98... Stallman was talking about.[/url]

Bill C-61, to revise the Copyright Act, is currently the subject of public hearings in Canada. It is a scary piece of legislation.

Quote:
...Bill C-61's protection of technical measures embedded in works will permit rights holders to further lock down content and may force consumers to buy multiple copies of content they already own.

The problem stems from the way the government has chosen to implement the [url=http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/]WIPO treaties[/url]. The [url=http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wct/]WCT[/url] and [url=http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wppt/]WPPT[/url] require that ratifying countries provide adequate protection against the circumvention of "technical measures" used to control the use of works. These technical measures commonly come in the form of technical protection measures (TPMs) and digital rights management (DRM) information.

TPMs are electronic "locks" embedded in works to prevent access to or use of content. TPMs are most commonly used to prevent copying of CDs and DVDs and are used to lock cellular phones. DRM information identifies the work, the author of the work, the owner and information about the terms and conditions of use of the work. The most commonly encountered DRM systems provide the terms of use for music and videos purchased through iTunes which, among other things, place restrictions on the number of computers a work can be copied onto.

The WIPO treaties permit a country to make it illegal to circumvent technical measures only if the purpose is to infringe copyright. If there is no infringing purpose, then there is no violation. This is the approach New Zealand has taken.

Unfortunately for consumers, Bill C-61 is more like the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which makes it illegal to circumvent technical measures for any reason, regardless of whether or not the intention is to infringe. This means that if a person circumvents, removes or bypasses a technical measure embedded in a work, then there is a copyright violation and potential liability, even if the intended use is permitted under the Act (such as under the fair dealing provisions).

Recently, content providers have been moving away from using technical measures to prevent copying so that a CD, video or electronic book could be freely copied onto other devices and computers. By choosing to provide blanket protection for largely ineffective technical measures, the government is arguably going too far, and could make people who merely want to place a copy of a CD or DVD on their iPod or computer into infringers.

With protected content, a consumer could have to buy multiple copies of a DVD to have one for both a DVD player and an iPod or computer. The worst part may be that circumventing or bypassing a technical measure to make a copy of a CD for personal use makes the $500 cap on damages inapplicable.

[url=http://www.mcinnescooper.com/index.cfm?cm=News&ce=details&primaryKey=229...

Theree cheers for Globalization!

ETA: Actually, I forgot that C-61 had died on the order paper when the last election was called. But the Harpocons are determined to revive it, and there is pressure from Big Media to make the new bill (not as yet released) even more draconian.

500_Apples

There's something nice about having a library though.

As long as your library is made up books you actually read and not books you bought to impress, it provides a sense of what kind of person you are.

Same thing with DVDs.

I also like the feel of a book.

I won't be buying a kindle anytime soon, as new technologies tend to improve very rapidly, I'll be forced to buy a new one negating any ecological impact. Imagine having a  6inchx4inch first generation MP3 player for example. Ewwww.

500_Apples

Catchfire wrote:

And, once a generation of scholars have been bred to use it and weaned off the cardboard (surely to start with the heartless science students and soulless engineers) they will begin to get their Cosmo zinecasts and Oprah 

zzzZZZzzzZZZzzz

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

I'd like to know what's so environmentally unfriendly about books. They are made from a renewable resource (wood) and they are recyclable, or can be used for fuel.

Whereas electronic devices are made from coltan and other metal ores extracted from the earth, as well as plastics and glass. They contain toxic chemicals. They require vast amounts of energy to recycle, to the extent they can be recycled at all. They run on batteries, which are non-recyclable hazardous waste, and have probably the highest energy input-to-output ratio of any form of electricity.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree, a book is kind of like a bicycle: we hit upon one of the best ways to perform a necessary service already, but 'progress' made us move past it. Except, like Maysie says above, there are massive complications with the way books are currently produced: bleaches, mass production, repeated 'new and improved' editions of old classics, and the pulp industry in general. There's nothing wrong with the book itself, but like with all things, capitalism poisons anything it touches.

Sven Sven's picture

M. Spector wrote:

I'd like to know what's so environmentally unfriendly about books. They are made from a renewable resource (wood) and they are recyclable, or can be used for fuel.

Whereas electronic devices are made from coltan and other metal ores extracted from the earth, as well as plastics and glass. They contain toxic chemicals. They require vast amounts of energy to recycle, to the extent they can be recycled at all. They run on batteries, which are non-recyclable hazardous waste, and have probably the highest energy input-to-output ratio of any form of electricity.

I've never seen a comparative analysis.  Would be interested to see one, though.

I do know that with my laptop, I do not subscribe to any paper periodicals or newspapers any more (although I do have some paid online news subscriptions).  The result is that I don't have mounds of paper around that house that periodically need to be shovled out the door.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

G. Muffin

Sven, there was an article in a recent New Yorker about the Kindle 2.0 and I'll try to find it online.  Basically, it didn't sound all that satisfactory.  For one thing, did you know that page numbers are lost when you download so an index is useless?  I think they've got a long, long way to go before I'd give up regular books. 

 

ETA:  Here it is:  http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/08/03/090803fa_fact_baker

 

Sven Sven's picture

G. Pie wrote:

Sven, there was an article in a recent New Yorker about the Kindle 2.0 and I'll try to find it online.  Basically, it didn't sound all that satisfactory.  For one thing, did you know that page numbers are lost when you download so an index is useless?  I think they've got a long, long way to go before I'd give up regular books. 

ETA:  Here it is:  http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/08/03/090803fa_fact_baker

Thanks, G. Pie!

I still haven't purchased a Kindle.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Apple's Kindle Killer?

Quote:
The tablet is rumoured to be any size and scale between the iPhone and the MacBook laptop. Some have described the tablet as a "Kindle-killer", potentially usurping the Amazon Kindle and other electronic book readers. It would be billed as a solution for people who work a lot on the move but don't want to carry a laptop. What experts believe would set the tablet apart would be that, instead of a keyboard, it would use a touch-sensitive screen. Kahney said: "Apple will totally rejig the computing experience. You won't manipulate a keyboard and mouse any more but rather use an intuitive touchscreen. It will very tactile. It will be a whole new paradigm."

It might also prove the launchpad for an "iTunes for newspapers", allowing commuters to read news on screen instead of in print. Even magazines might be reproduced convincingly on the high-resolution screen. Kahney said: "Instead of reading a review of a band, you could have audio and video embedded and listen to them and watch them being interviewed."

wage zombie

M. Spector wrote:

I'd like to know what's so environmentally unfriendly about books. They are made from a renewable resource (wood) and they are recyclable, or can be used for fuel.

Ebooks are a lot cheaper environmentally to ship/distribute/copy.  Most of the publishing costs (excluding promotions) just don't exist with ebooks.

I don't know if this is enough to offset the enviro costs of kindle production, but it's there.

The bid advantage i see to paper books over ebooks is that the ebooks create access barriers.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

In any discussion of the environmental impact of books (paper vs. electronic) I think it would be important to take into consideration both the commerical market for used (paper) books, and the way (paper) books are circulated informally. I wish I could easily find a reference on the number of readers whose hands an average book passes through (I did hear mention of the figure on a CBC radio program once, but did not take note of the figure... and my attempts to google the information were met my a tsunami of studies on Library book circulation and discussions of readers per copy of periodicals from a marketing perspective), I do remember being quite surprised at how high the number was. Tie that figure in with the access barrier wage zombie has mentioned and it may affect the analysis of the environmental impact. I would also question if Ebooks would (or even could) be "passed-along" in the way traditional books are.

wage zombie

As electronic data ebooks have a much higher capacity to be passed around than traditional books.  They can be transferred to someone far away, which is inconvenient with paper books.  Also when someone passes an ebook along they still retain their own copy, and they can duplicate that copy as much as they want.

The only reason that ebooks do not seem easy to transfer for some is that the publishing companies are trying their damnedest to put copy barriers in place.

If we could get these copyright issues sorted, ebooks would be far, far more sharable than paper books.

Polunatic2

Quote:
 Contrary to MacPhail's dismissive description of the Kindle's screen as being like Etch-a-Sketch
While I too have not yet held a Kindle, I understand that the "etch-a-sketch" analogy is meant to be positive and not dismissive. The technology is supposed to eliminate glare on the screen because it doesn't use back lighting. 

autoworker autoworker's picture

Fahrenheit 451 would become redundant on a Kindle.  At what temperature does a computer screen burn...in Celcius? What does Ray  think of it, for that matter? Does anyone know? Has any one asked him?

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

The Free Software Foundation, an activist organization dedicated to protecting the freedoms of computer users has named the Amazon Kindle "the Swindle".    Here's why:

Quote:
"The Amazon kindle provides convenience, but at the cost of freedom. When you purchase a kindle, you must agree to use the Digital Restriction Management (DRM) system. Since all of the Kindle ebooks you purchase from Amazon are in their proprietary DRM format, you are also promising to not share them with friends. And, because you promise to not circumvent the DRM, there is no way to move them to another device or a computer. You are locked into the Kindle and you are locked into Amazon. If you try to move them to a new ebook reader or a computer, Amazon can end your service and remove access to the books you have already purchased.

It seems that Amazon only cares to oppose DRM when they can profit from it, such as when they advertise their MP3's as "Play Anywhere, DRM-Free Downloads." The same is not true for Kindle ebooks. Perhaps if they were honest they would advertise their ebooks as "Play Only Here, DRM-Laden Kindle Ebooks."

Read more at "Defective by Design", the Free Software Foundation's campaign opposing DRM-laden devices.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

A further illustration of what's wrong with the Kindle (Swindle?)  and other DRM (Digital Restrictions Management)-laden devices.

Quote:
Amazon has paid $150,000 to settle a lawsuit that claimed the online retailer illegally deleted copies of George Orwell's 1984 from its Kindle eBook readers.

The lawsuit was initially filed by a student and a fellow Kindle buyer back in July, in the US District Court in Seattle. It claimed Amazon didn't have the right to delete digital content that had been purchased by consumers for use on their Kindles.

This summer, Amazon acknowledged it deleted certain purchased eBooks from the Kindles after learning that a third party who had posted the books didn't have the legal rights to do so. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos later apologised for the deletions, describing the matter as "stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles."

The settlement reveals that Amazon offered consumers whose books had been deleted a new free digital copy as well as $30. The reimbursement made it unlikely for a judge to certify a class-action, the plaintiffs claim in the settlement.

The rest here

So Amazon has the power to be a kind of "electronic Farenheit 451 police" on your Swindle should you happen to buy one.

 

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