Amazon Granted Resale Marketplace Patent for Used eBooks, Songs, Other Digital Content

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Amazon Granted Resale Marketplace Patent

So, want to share a Kindle eBook with your partner? Well, you can’t at the moment, unless the book’s enabled for sharing (and there don’t seem to be many of those, for some reason). But that all might change, should a patent that Amazon’s just won ever see the light of day. Yep, Amazon’s gearing up to allow buying and selling of ‘used’ digital content.

Okay, it’s not an imminent thing — it may never happen, of course — but one day consumers may be able to sell eBooks, music, movies or other digital content using an online ‘marketplace’ via the online giant’s website. The patent’s pretty clear.

Digital objects including e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc., purchased from an original vendor by a user are stored in a user’s personalized data store. Content in a personalized data store may be accessible to the user via transfer such as moving, streaming, or download. When the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user’s personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user’s personalized data store. When a digital object exceeds a threshold number of moves or downloads, the ability to move may be deemed impermissible and suspended or terminated. Additionally or alternatively, a collection of objects may be assembled from individual digital objects stored in the personalized data stores of different users, and moved to a user’s personalized data store.

Of course, that’s going to upset a lot of people, mainly people with a vested interest in keeping DRM in place, like publishers and music companies — there’s a case in the courts just now where EMI’s suing ReDigi because there’s no way to prove the original file has been deleted. The outcome of that case could well have an impact on whether Amazon sets up this sort of marketplace. Amazon may be addressing these issues with that last bit about “threshold limits” to keep track of how often a used digital file is transferred before it’s blocked.

What do you think? Should it be possible to sell your old eBooks and music? What if you’re a content producer? Do you want anyone to be able to sell off your work with no recompense? Admittedly, this already happens with used paper books, CDs, DVDs and vinyl, so the question is really how is this different?

I mean, how do you prove you deleted Fifty Shades of Grey from your Kindle/PC/storage device?!?

Dean Fetzer

News by Dean Fetzer

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for the past 21 years. After a career in graphic design, he started a pub review website in the late 90’s; He left that in 2011 to concentrate on his thriller writing, as well as offering publishing services for authors, poets and artists. When not writing - or in the pub - he can be found in the theatre, live music venues and travelling.

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Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs February 8, 2013 - 10:51pm

A used e-book is identical to an new e-book, so this is completely ludicrous and people will only buy new to support the writer or if there are no used books available. A patent being granted doesn't mean it's definitely going to happen though. I would be cool with it if a used e-book were somehow inferior to a new one and the author got a cut.