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Monday, June 25, 2012

Fear the Coming Used Ebook Market

"Changes aren't permanent - but change is" - Rush, "Tom Sawyer"

Did you know there is absolutely nothing preventing you from reselling ebooks? As the ebook movement gains steam, I can imagine someone knocking together a good used ebook retail site.

Think about it. It happens with books. How are ebooks different?

That's right. They're digital. Which means a single copy can be sold again and again. But I guess you already know that.

How would you feel if some site had an endless supply of your ebooks to sell, and you didn't get $.01 in royalties? There are ways to try and combat this, of course. DRM, for example. But no one likes DRM except pirates. Because they like to defeat it.

So a used ebook site is one thing. An honest used ebook site is quite another. Afterall, can you prove you bought this ebook you wish to resell?

I don't even want to think about this. I'll leave it to the lawyers. But, mark my words, this will happen. We didn't move from a static paper model to a static digital model. The shake-ups will keep coming for some time. You might want to send the kids to law school with all that book money you're making.

A GalleyCat article from six months ago kinda agrees with me. So there....