Richard Stallman warns of the dangers for users of electronic books
by admin ·
Richard Matthew Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation, published an essay The Danger of E-Books, which he calls attention to dangerous restrictions on freedom to impose on users, some manufacturers of electronic books.
In particular, the purchase of paper books:
- You can pay by cash, anonymously.
- After buying the book belongs to you.
- No need to sign any license that restricts the right to use the book.
- “Format” of the book is known to all that read it, do not need any proprietary software.
- The book can give, lend or sold to anyone.
- The book can be scanned and copied. At least, physically there is a possibility, and in some cases it is not even contrary to the law.
- Nobody has the right to destroy your book.
Compare this, for example, buying books on Amazon (conditions of sale of electronic books in them are pretty typical):
- Amazon requires users to authenticate to buy the book.
- In the conditions of sale for some countries indicate that the user does not own a copy of the book.
- To buy the book, the user must accept the license, limiting his rights.
- The data format is kept secret, and the book can be read only by proprietary programs that restrict the user experience.
- Of ways to pass the book to another person is only a possibility of “borrowing” another user Amazon. And then only for a limited time and not for all books. Can not be any present or resell the book.
- You can not copy the book because of the built-in “reader” of DRM (TSZAP) and because of the prohibition in the license, which puts even more restrictive than the laws of copyright.
- Amazon has the ability to forcibly remove a book from the device over the Internet. They took advantage of this opportunity in 2009, removing thousands of copies of George Orwell’s “1984.”
While manufacturers of electronic books impose such restrictions, e-books are, according to Stallman, a step backward technologically. Stallman calls to fight this policy until the complete failure of electronic books, while manufacturers will not change its conditions.
Stallman says that the producers of books, such restrictions need to explain the material support of the authors. However, he considers what to look for ways to support the authors without such restrictions to the readers, especially now that the vast majority of revenues are still not the authors, and publishers. Some of the possible ways he wrote elsewhere. For example:
- Collect a special tax and distribute it among the authors according to their popularity.
- Embedded in a “reading room” to easily and simply transfer donations to the author.