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Amazon poised to sell “used” ebooks

Storm's A Comin'

This article from Publisher’s Weekly has been making the rounds and it should be discussed. As an aspiring novelist and future creator of digital content I am pretty concerned about what it could mean. “Used” digital files means nothing from that files perspective, what this seems to do is essentially hijack the rights away from the creator. It has the potential to be a big mess; I’m not the only one concerned. Let’s hope Amazon is listening.

Amazon’s business model has long been dependent on resellers of used books and other merchandise. But a U.S. patent that Amazon Technologies in Reno, Nev., received last week indicates that the mega-retailer has its sights on digital resale, including used e-books and audio downloads. According to the abstract, Amazon will be able to create a secondary market for used digital objects purchased from an original vendor by a user and stored in a user’s personalized data store.

Boston-based ReDigi opened the first marketplace for pre-owned digital music, which it launched in late 2011, redigi.com. Once a lawsuit that Capitol Records filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan over the way it handles music downloads is behind it, ReDigi plans to expand into e-books and other digital items. In a press release issued yesterday, ReDigi commented that “the Amazon patent is further proof that the secondary market is the future of the digital space and that there is no turning back.”

Barnes & Noble Closing 200+ Stores

Barnes & Noble to shut 200+ stores in the next 10 years

This link has been popping up everywhere, but I wanted to share it here as well. It seems Barnes & Noble will be closing 200+ stores over the next 10 years (Another link HERE in case you’re not a WSJ subscriber.) This is being reported as a strategic move, and they aren’t giving up, etc – still it’s an interesting development.

This isn’t necessarily bad news; book sales are up. What I’m wondering is with the closing of so many big box stores we couldn’t see a resurgence in independent booksellers stepping in to fill the gaps that a big box store has left. A small book shop can operate with significantly less overhead than bloated big box stores, and I’d imagine there is still and will continue to be a market for books sold via foot traffic. (Also, I love indie book shops and hope they never go away.)