Why Your Books Are No Longer Yours

If you buy a regular old book, CD or DVD, you can turn around and loan it to a friend, or sell it again. The right to pass it along is called the first sale doctrine. Digital books, music and movies are a different story though. Four students at Columbia Law School’s Science and Technology Law Review looked at the particular issue of reselling and copying e-books downloaded to Amazon’s Kindle or the Sony Reader, and came up with answers to a fundamental question: Are you buying a crippled license to intellectual property when you download, or are you buying an honest-to-God book?

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