If you're like me, you've got piles of eBooks wasting space on your Kindle. 50 Shades Of Grey is not exactly the type of book you read over and over again, you know? Amazon is now making plans to help customers unload their digital content, like eBooks and songs, which they no longer wish to own.
Last month, Amazon obtained a patent to enable digital resale. As the Washington Post explains, the the owner of a piece of digital content sell it from their own data storage, via the cloud, to someone else's data storage and give Amazon a cut of the profit. The original item would then be deleted from their own data storage.
But the Post warns that just because the patent has been granted doesn't mean Amazon will do anything with it; authors, publishers, musicians, and record labels likely won't be too keen about their wares being resold without them receiving a cut of the profit, too.
Columnist Lucy Mangan at the UK's Guardian is sour on the whole idea, grousing:
... [A] market is created, and authors and publishers are quite possibly cut out of it, in one fell swoop. Thus more money drains out of the book business, content dries up and frustrated readers go mad and start roaming towns, destroying everyone and everything in their paths as they search for the country's last open library. The walking unread. Zombies aside, the most frightening thing about Amazon's latest move is that it reminds us that it's all too late. It is already Amazon's world and we just live in it. Amazon already pretty much owns the print market.
The situation might not be quite so dour, as Amazon may not necessarily do anything with the patent. But for those of us booklovers (and musiclovers), this news does give us pause about how we make sure the artists we enjoy are adequately compensated for their work.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.