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I can't buy your book. The licesne is absurd.

3 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Jun 9, 2008 7:35 PM by Bill Venners

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Jonathan Feinberg

Posts: 8
Nickname: jfeinberg
Registered: Dec, 2007

I can't buy your book. The licesne is absurd. Posted: Dec 17, 2007 10:33 AM
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I wanted to buy the PDF copy of the Scala book.

I first had to register, which was odious, and took too many steps, but navigable at least.

But then I had to agree to the terms of an absurd "eBook license", which denies me the ability to transfer the right to read the book in question to another party under any circumstances. I would never agree to such a ridiculous license. Are you going to make people agree not to sell their used copies of the paper book, as well?

Anyway, I'd love to buy the book, but can't as long as that license applies.


Bill Venners

Posts: 2244
Nickname: bv
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: I can't buy your book. The licesne is absurd. Posted: Dec 18, 2007 2:04 PM
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> I wanted to buy the PDF copy of the Scala book.
>
> I first had to register, which was odious, and took too
> many steps, but navigable at least.
>
We're working this week to make the checkout process less cumbersome. You'll only need to give us an email address and password to register, and not need to verify the email. If you make a purchase that will validate your account, i.e., that you are indeed a real person not a script. You'll then be able to login to Artima with your email, and later if you wish add a nickname. So the nickname will be optional. This had been in the works for a long time, but we didn't quite get it finished prior to the release of the Scala book.

> But then I had to agree to the terms of an absurd "eBook
> license", which denies me the ability to transfer the
> right to read the book in question to another party under
> any circumstances. I would never agree to such a
> ridiculous license. Are you going to make people agree not
> to sell their used copies of the paper book, as well?
>
> Anyway, I'd love to buy the book, but can't as long as
> that license applies.
>
I actually was considering making the license such that you can transfer ownership, in effect, when you purchase it, but if you did so would need to destroy all copies you have after the transfer was made. This way you could buy the eBook for someone as a gift, for example. But I didn't have time before our release to discuss that with the lawyers. So that may happen in the future, but for the meantime, it is licensed for use by the person who purchased it.

We aren't going to make people agree not to sell their used copies of the paper book, nor could we. The difference between these two is that someone could much more easily make electronic or print copies of the eBook than the paper one. And a used eBook is pretty much as good as a new one. Thus eBooks are licensed to individuals, whereas the paper books will be sold, not licensed.

What I tried to do in the license is give that individual the freedom to do whatever I could imagine they might want to do to effectively read and use the eBook. They can store it on as many computers as they want, print it in whole or in part so they can read it on paper, etc. The main caveat is that all those things must be done for that individual's own personal use.

John Nilsson

Posts: 1
Nickname: 56228
Registered: Jun, 2008

Re: I can't buy your book. The licesne is absurd. Posted: Jun 8, 2008 6:33 PM
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Odd license. I don't think it's even valid. Not sure how "Fair Use" applies to this in the USA. But I know for a fact that in Sweden your copyright doesn't cover my right to give copies to friends or family.

Not sure what that means for the license. Is it wholly invalid such that I have no right to download a copy in the first place or does it just mean that those parts of the license doesn't apply to me?

Bill Venners

Posts: 2244
Nickname: bv
Registered: Jan, 2002

Re: I can't buy your book. The licesne is absurd. Posted: Jun 9, 2008 7:35 PM
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Hi John,

> Odd license. I don't think it's even valid. Not sure how
> "Fair Use" applies to this in the USA. But I know for a
> fact that in Sweden your copyright doesn't cover my right
> to give copies to friends or family.
>
> Not sure what that means for the license. Is it wholly
> invalid such that I have no right to download a copy in
> the first place or does it just mean that those parts of
> the license doesn't apply to me?
>
I'll ask legal about Sweden, but they definitely signed off on the license. By the way, the original poster of this thread, Jonathan Feinberg, ultimately came to the conclusion that our license is not "absurd" in that it is consistent with others in this area:

http://www.artima.com/forums/flat.jsp?forum=106&thread=220890#290393

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