BYU suspends Kindle program over legal concerns

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  • Caitly
    June 27, 2009 1:58 p.m.

    how is this any different from buying a book and circulating it? Amazon should try setting up a different kind of account for libraries where they pay a yearly fee, let's get real they'd probably make more money since a library would have to replace broken Kindles way more often than someone on their own.

  • Texas Librarian
    June 25, 2009 3:48 p.m.

    Fair use and copyright law does not appear to apply in regards to the Kindle owner. The Kindle manual states "Digital content will be deemed liscensed to you under this Agreement". This is what publishers were trying to push through congress with the Millenium Copyright Act. It is the same as a EULA or software liscence, you purchase a liscense to "use" the software as dictated by the seller, you do not "own" the software. Copyright and Fair Use are irrelevant to the Kindle consumer because they are purchasing a liscens to use the device and the content. They do not recieve ownership rights. This scenario is remeniscant of the movie industry in the 1940's. Movie studios in Hollywood controlled massive theater chains, until the Supreme Court Paramount decision said that it violated antitrust laws and forced them to sell their theatres. It is easy to invision a not to distant future when Amazon and Google Books monopolize the distribution channels for books. They will then dictate the terms of how individuals can use the texts in thier liscensing agreements which are not subject to Fair Use or related laws.

  • Random Librarian
    June 24, 2009 5:18 p.m.

    My coworkers and I have just run afoul of this exact thing. Amazon often changes their mind on what you can and can't do with their Kindles. Part of the problem is that one download can be put onto multiple Kindles. Digital copyright is even more stringent and mind numbing than you ever run into with traditional print resources. It will take Amazon making a decisive ruling or lawsuits against libraries to really figure out what is going to happen. Many libraries have been circulating Kindles for years.

  • Fair Use and "Verbal" Permission
    June 21, 2009 6:35 p.m.

    Two points:

    1. Dear "Shouldn't be a problem": Under the "fair use" provision of federal copyright law, certain persons can copy a limited amount of text or images. A critic can quote a few lines in an article about the book, for example, or a teacher could quote a few lines in a textbook. No way would the "fair use" doctrine allow anyone to reproduce an entire book or article without the copyright owner's permission.

    2. The BYU attorney who referred to BYU's having obtained "verbal permission" for its Kindle program is misusing the word "verbal," which means something that involves words, whether written or spoken. He meant to refer to "oral permission," which refers to spoken (as opposed to written) permission.

  • great service
    June 17, 2009 11:05 a.m.

    i think this is a great service from the library, and many other libraries are doing this without having amazon come down on them over legal issues. it is nice that byu wants to be completely honest, and i appreciate that, but if they even got verbal permission, i say go for it. many libraries are doing it without even that much.

  • Shouldn't be a problem
    June 17, 2009 5:59 a.m.

    It seems like this would be covered under the "fair use" doctrine. If a library can buy a book and lend it out without permission, I don't see why they couldn't buy an electronic copy of a book and lend it out. I guess lending the hardware may be a different story, but I doubt that would be an issue in this situation.

  • solarraven
    June 17, 2009 12:29 a.m.

    This sounds like the legal people at BYU became concerned. Amazon does not seem to have raised any objections

  • l
    June 16, 2009 11:36 p.m.

    It doesn't say why Amazon's permission is needed. The only reason it's needed is to avoid a lawsuit. It's not that BYU would actually be liable if it went to trial, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be sued over it.

    It's the same reason why students at BYU watching a movie or TV show with a couple of friends on a laptop in the lobby of campus housing will be asked by the RA to turn it off, since they are supposedly providing a public performance, which is contrary to copyright law.

  • WOW
    June 16, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    It is about time for someting like this. WHen you can download books onto your PC or your Pocket PC, then why not this route.

  • uncannygunman
    June 16, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    I guess it never occurred to me that libraries (or anyone else, for that matter) would need permission from the publisher to loan out reading materials. Sounds like more copyright hooey to me.

    Let the information free!

  • John Pack Lambert
    June 16, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    The 7:05 commentator is right that this article never gets to why the Amazon permission is needed.
    Basically, it has to do with use of equitment issues. Amazon would want everyone to get a Kindle and download the books themself, so if you provide the service to people in competition to Amazon, you are undermining the likelyhood of selling the service.
    I am not sure I am making my point, and I do not fully get it myself. From the end of the article it appears that the whole issue is related to the terms of use agreement that comes with the purchase of the Kindle.

  • rightascension
    June 16, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    yeah, why is Amazon's delicate sensibilities an issue in this?

    Congratulations to BYU libary courage. This is the shape of things to come.

  • BYU prof
    June 16, 2009 7:54 p.m.

    This is the first I've heard of this, but it sure would be great. I currently gave 2 books from interlibrary loan and asked for a third today. As long as the books were available, I'd use this all the time.

  • Anonymous
    June 16, 2009 7:05 p.m.

    The article doesn't say why Amazon's permission is needed.