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3 Reminders About Ebook Legal Rights

By Andrew Lu on December 26, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You may not pay attention to the legal rights for most Christmas gifts you receive. But if you're one of millions who received an ebook for the holidays, knowing about the legal rights to ebooks is particularly important.

That's because purchasers of ebooks can be more aptly compared to renters and licensees than outright owners, reports the Los Angeles Times.

So unlike your TV or sweater, there are legal restrictions over what you can and cannot do with an ebook. Here are three reminders about an ebook owner's legal rights:

  1. You can't give it away. When most people read a good book they want to share, they'll give their copy to friends and family so that they can read it too. But with an ebook, you won't have this same ability to transfer the book, as there are many restrictions in place regarding transferability. So a friend or family member will probably have to read the book on your device, or buy their own copy of the ebook, if they want to read it at all.
  2. You can't use it on different devices. If you own an Amazon Kindle and an Apple iPad, you may be interested in transferring some books in your library from one device to another. But you'd better check the fine print on your ebook licenses first. Just as you can't give away your ebooks to others, you are generally restricted from transferring ebooks from device to device.
  3. You can't resell it. Remember how you used to hold a garage sale to sell all your used books? As you may be able to guess, you won't have this same ability to sell your old ebooks.

There are many differences between buying paper books and ebooks. Aside from the look and feel of a hardcover or paperback book, you should also realize the legal differences too.

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