Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bequething eBooks

Something I've never thought about before: when you die, what happens to your eBooks? Turns out, they might not be able to be passed onto your next-of-kin like the physical objects:
...with digital content, one doesn’t have the same rights as with print books and CDs. Customers own a license to use the digital files — but they don’t actually own them. Apple and grant “nontransferable” rights to use content, so if you buy the complete works of the Beatles on iTunes, you cannot give the “White Album” to your son and “Abbey Road” to your daughter.
According to Amazon’s terms of use, “You do not acquire any ownership rights in the software or music content.” Apple limits the use of digital files to Apple devices used by the account holder.
I knew something was fishy with eBooks because of the tight restrictions in loaning them out that obviously don't exist on physical objects, but this is even more disturbing. Part of the fun of building up a library is knowing that it's yours and that you can do with it what you will. Or is this just scaremongering? I have a hard time believing that someone who has a collection of 1000 eBooks won't be able to pass some of those along to his kids. After all, couldn't they just use the original account to access the content?

What do you think?


  1. interesting post. never thought of that. i will say, a good book, made out of paper beats reading it on my kindle any day. unless i need to pack light.