Our Bookshelf: Share DRM-free ebooks for free (patent pending)
What is Our Bookshelf?
Our Bookshelf is a social network where people can share their ebooks as easily as they can share print books. At the moment, most copyrighted ebooks don’t allow you to share them. This is because when you buy an ebook you don’t own the book the way you own a print book. You own a license to read it on certain devices and most of these licenses prohibit sharing. We plan to create a new license that does allow sharing, but in a way that treats authors and publishers fairly. This is a huge undertaking that your contribution will help make possible. We will start by creating a social network for sharing public domain ebooks. These ebooks are not copyrighted so users can share them freely. A lot of great books are in the public domain, including most classics. True you can find some of them elsewhere, but learning about them through your friends can introduce you to books you might not have known about or overlooked. Once the site is up and running, we will reach out to authors and publishers to adopt our new licenses that will allow sharing of copyrighted works through our site. Once an author has made an agreement with Our Bookshelf, users may upload copyrighted ebooks by that author onto their virtual bookshelf to share with their friends. Because these files will have no DRM (digital rights management), a user can get a copy of an ebook from a friend and hold onto it for as long as it takes them to finish the book. Although this means users will give non-DRM copies of their ebooks to friends, Our Bookshelf will do 3 things that will prevent copies from multiplying and spreading to the point they become a problem for copyright holders.
- Users can only borrow and lend ebooks with friends in their network. This prevents users from giving a copy of an ebook away to everyone who has an internet connection (the way most file sharing methods do).
- A user may not borrow a book from a friend’s virtual bookshelf and then place it on their own virtual bookshelf. This will prevent people who did not purchase the ebook, and therefore do not have the right to share it, from making it available to others on Our Bookshelf.
- When someone checks out an ebook from your virtual bookshelf nobody can check out that ebook from your bookshelf for 3 weeks. This will prevent one person from giving an ebook to everyone in their network at once. Copyright holders will appreciate this consideration for new releases and popular titles.
Free to use and rewards for uploading books
Our Bookshelf is completely free. Users will also gains points for the number of ebooks they upload, the number of friends in their network, the number of reviews they write, and the number of ebooks checked out from their virtual bookshelf. Users can redeem these points for coupons from participating ebook retailers.
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