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Why eBooks are a Dead End

With Kindle still wearing some of the residual hype, Gizmodo took a look at the DRM issues involving the Sony Reader and the Kindle. Broken down it basically points out that thanks to DRM and restrictive licensing you don’t have a lot of rights when it comes to your ebooks on the Reader or Kindle. But then again you don’t have a lot of legal rights when it comes to your physical books either. As customers who had bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows early found out when J.K. Rowlings machine hunted them down and demanded that they return the copies unread.

Customers don’t have a lot of rights with entertainment media these days. Book publishers are just less likely to go all Ming the Merciless on them, because there’s no reason for it and it doesn’t pay. Move books to ebooks though and the paranoia really takes off once they’re in the business of selling a product that can be copied with ease. But ebooks themselves are a dead end. The Kindle is a very chance and expensive way to digitally reproduce something that doesn’t need to be reproduced.

The only advantage of the Kindle is that it allows you to access a large number of books with a click. Its advantages are that it is quite expensive and pointless. Most people read one or two books at a time and there is a romance to owning books that a piece of plastic can’t capture, something that even the writers pumping the Kindle know quite well. An ebook is no substitute for a book and never will be.

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