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Apple Now Lets iOS Users Send Gifts from iBookstore

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Replying to:  I'll tell you why they didn't before now.. by Yama Gama   Dec 18, 2013, 10:28 AM

Re: I'll tell you why they didn't before now..

by T Bone    Dec 18, 2013, 7:28 PM

Just because a book is distributed electronically as a e-book doesn't mean that there is no distribution cost.

Also, the text of the book itself may not be copyrighted, but there are often many study materials such as marginal notes, commentary, essays, introduction etc, and these study materials are copyrighted.

If all you want is the text of the book itself with nothing else, then the Project Guttenberg or Google Books is free and easy to obtain. Most readers however want the study materials, especially if the text in question is an old one. Very few people feel comfortable reading something like Shakespeare or Milton or even Dickens without at least some explanation or commentary.

In addition, a text may be copyrighted, however it is a translation, the translation may be copyrighted. For example the Bible....the text of the Bible itself, in its original languages is not copyrighted. However a Bible translation IS copyrighted because it is an original work. And a Bible commentary is an original work, and hence copyrighted.

If someone has gone through the trouble of writing a commentary on Shakespeare or Dickens, it is not unreasonable for him to expect to be paid for his work, whether it is distributed in print or electronically.

So it really is not a reasonable position to simply say that if a book is in the public domain it ought to always be free.

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