< Ali Reza Hayati

The Problem With E-Books
500 words. A 3 minute read.

I spend parts of my day reading books. I read a lot of books in my life. Actually I started reading books since I learned how to read. I also have a great big library of different books in my room. The thing with my books is almost all of them are printed. yes I know printed books are not good for mother nature and lots of trees should be cut to produce paper needed but e-books are also dangerous.

First of all, I don’t use proprietary software so I won’t use lots of service like Amazon Kindle and so. I don’t pay with credit cards so I can’t buy books online unless the service allows me to download the book and transfer the ownership of it. If the service allows that, I can ask a friend who uses credit cards to buy online stuff to buy a book for me and then give me the downloaded book. Lots of services only give you permission to read the book and you won’t be the owner of the book and also only the person who bought the book can read it.

With printed books, I can own the book I bought. I can sell it later or lend them to a friend but almost all of the e-book services don’t allow me to transfer ownership of the book I bought so I won’t be able to lend the book to someone or sell it later. Printed books allow me to buy anonymously and pay cash instead of credit cards.

Printed books don’t restrict the use of it. I won’t sign a license or any agreement. I pay and own the book. There’s no privacy policy for it that can violate my rights to own my information or any tracker in it. Printed books are pure information. There’s no service that tracks how much of the book I read or when I read or when I bought it.

With printed books, you know what you’re using. You won’t use software while reading a printed books so you won’t worry about whether it’s proprietary or free (as in freedom). With printed books, you’ll read paper. You won’t need any hardware so you won’t worry about backdoors or tracking devices in it.

With Printed books, you can make copies. Some of them will legally give you right to distribute (all or of some parts) it. This will specially will come in handy when publishers distribute the book under free culture licenses like Creative Commons. Also sometimes law gives you right to copy, modify, and redistribute the content (or some parts of it) no matter the copyright of the book says otherwise or not.

Printed books are better. Of course if there was an online service which could give us same opportunities as printed books, I would use but I couldn’t find any service till now that respects our privacy and information rights. If you know any, please send me an email message (PGP key).

13 Oct 2019 #software, #privacy