Logos only lets your transfer book Licenses once???

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This post has 326 Replies | 5 Followers

Posts 408
Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 29 2014 7:33 PM

Tony Thomas:

Do we really own e-books?

According to this article in gigaom, we just rent them:

That is not quite legally accurate.   That article may be using common terms to explain this to its readers, but if you want to be accurate, our Logos books are not rented, they are licensed.  As long as you are not in breach of the license terms (which do not include a rental fee unless you opt to pay a monthly rental fee for the resources that provide that option), Logos would not have the right to shut off access to your licensed materials.  That applies to Kindle as well...if you read that article, the person who was shut off had violated the Kindle license terms. 

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 29 2014 7:57 PM

Erik:

Tony Thomas:

Do we really own e-books?

According to this article in gigaom, we just rent them:

That is not quite legally accurate.   That article may be using common terms to explain this to its readers, but if you want to be accurate, our Logos books are not rented, they are licensed.  As long as you are not in breach of the license terms (which do not include a rental fee unless you opt to pay a monthly rental fee for the resources that provide that option), Logos would not have the right to shut off access to your licensed materials.  That applies to Kindle as well...if you read that article, the person who was shut off had violated the Kindle license terms. 

True. The proper "word of art" is license.  However, it is still something different from "ownership" as you are only given access to the files to view in specified ways using specified software subject to the terms of the license agreement.  The fact that Logos allows you transfer its license is very unique in the publishing industry as most other licenses are non-transferrable.

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Posts 408
Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 29 2014 9:10 PM

Tony Thomas:

Erik:

Tony Thomas:

Do we really own e-books?

According to this article in gigaom, we just rent them:

That is not quite legally accurate.   That article may be using common terms to explain this to its readers, but if you want to be accurate, our Logos books are not rented, they are licensed.  As long as you are not in breach of the license terms (which do not include a rental fee unless you opt to pay a monthly rental fee for the resources that provide that option), Logos would not have the right to shut off access to your licensed materials.  That applies to Kindle as well...if you read that article, the person who was shut off had violated the Kindle license terms. 

True. The proper "word of art" is license.  However, it is still something different from "ownership" as you are only given access to the files to view in specified ways using specified software subject to the terms of the license agreement.  The fact that Logos allows you transfer its license is very unique in the publishing industry as most other licenses are non-transferrable.

Indeed, the Logos model is quite unique in allowing us to transfer licenses.  I negotiate IP licenses (primarily in the semiconductor space, but I have a great deal of experience with software licensing as well) for a living and it is quite typical to have restrictions on assignment in all license agreements.  Logos could have just as easily taken that path and written their EULA to prevent any transfers.  That said, the fact that they have been so loose in their terms was a critical point in leading to my choice to invest in their platform. I understand the business/finance considerations that Bob is trying to juggle with their terms...and believe him when he says they will do the right thing.  I realize that Logos will not for the foreseeable future be able to come out with a policy of unlimited transfers and think we are at best going to continue to get an ambiguous response.  For those that can't live with that result, the only option for the foreseeable future would be to revert to print.  Maybe someday there will be a change in the industry for the better, but for now I realize that the answer is not a simple one for us or Logos. 

Posts 14
Helen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 3:11 AM

Erik and Tony, I really appreciated both of your explanations on how book licensing works.  So here is my question though?  For someone who is considering replacing their paper library with and an electronic library like logos, how secure is our investment?  If I spend $1700 on a New International Commentary set with Logos, how secure is that investment?  If this is all a form of “renting”, how long do I get to keep the books?  Can the books, one day, be taken from me or my family?  Are there any actual guarantees with electronic books or do we need to hang on to our paper libraries for that?  

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 7:17 AM

Helen,

Bob Pritchett has answered your questions in a blog post in 2008: http://blog.logos.com/2008/10/is_my_invesment_in_e-books_safe/ (note that the clarification regarding willing your library to your family is a broken link, most probably reffering to his comment http://blog.logos.com/2008/10/is_my_invesment_in_e-books_safe/#comment-3033 ) The basic takeaway is that an electronic library is more secure than a paper one.

Mick

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 7:38 AM

I think Logos is a great company with a lot of integrity.  They have a track record of doing the right thing in the best interests of their customers.  As a result, I would not worry about your investment. 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 8:07 AM

Helen:
If I spend $1700 on a New International Commentary set with Logos, how secure is that investment?  If this is all a form of “renting”, how long do I get to keep the books?

It is not so much renting as it is leasing. You get to keep your books and even will the whole library to an heir. What you apparently can not do is buy a resource from another user and hen resell it if you decide it is not what you need. So you have to ask yourself if you want to spend $1700 on NICOTNICNT from Logos.com and have the revocable privilege of selling it or buy NICOT/NICNT off eBay for $900 and be stuck with it until you die. 

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Posts 11306
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 8:10 AM

Some smooth answers above, that don't include guarantees.  I remember the real estate folks even in the middle of the real estate crash.  People are always hopeful.

1.  If it's for your job (e.g. a pastor, etc), it's a box of tools. And its lifetime warrenty is equal to Bob's health and interests.  He's previously stated that if Logos were to go belly-up, there'd be an aftermarket of support.  But this thread illustrates the license issue is the issue.  And  Bob 'could' be forced to sell out.

2. If it's for yourself now, and then someone else later, then you take your chances.  Bob's health, publisher contracts, industry trends, and so forth.  Buy accordingly.

3. Plus there's the spiritual aspects ... you can't share with your friends and hopefully potential or new converts.  This aspect is rather significant for non-pastors. Oddly, pastors tend to carefully stack their books on their shelves in the office, or more recently their PC, with limited sharing.  The congregation tends to 'pass books around'.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 8:14 AM

Tony Thomas:
I would not worry about your investment. 

I would caution anyone who views Logos resources as a liquid  "investment."  Your ability to cash out your investment is seriously compromised, or even non-existent.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 8:29 AM

I only view books as an investment in my education and personal development, not as a liquid asset.  For example, I get a lot more out of my Logos library than I would taking a handful college level courses that cost the same amount of money.  Books make lousy investments,  even paper ones.  If you have ever taken a stack of paper books to a used bookstore to sell,  you know what I mean. 

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Posts 14
Helen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 9:10 AM

Thanks Guys!  I feel now I have a much better understanding of how the ebook world works and it has been very helpful.  Thanks!

Posts 14
Helen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 9:29 AM

By the way ST, I understand your point about "liquid investments" and it is a good point.  But we also have to understand logos has to make a profit and pay their employees or quality will be reduced or worst case scenario, they go belly up.  The last thing we want is logos to become a trading post.  If so, all logos customers will be hurt.  

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 10:02 AM

Tony Thomas:
I only view books as an investment in my education and personal development, not as a liquid asset.

Maybe you don't plan to spend a lot on Logos over your lifespan. I view things longer term. I was not buying Logos strictly for my short life expectancy. I was lulled into believing my library could benefit others. It was Logos past practices that swayed me. 

I returned to Logos in 2008 by buying Scholar Silver 3.0 from a Canadian pastor. I then found a second-hand copy of Scholar Gold 3.0  for a great price. I sold my Silver license on eBay for more than I paid for the Gold license. Logos had no problem allowing me to resell the Silver license I had purchased used. I then upgraded my Gold license to Portfolio, Verbum Capstone, Reformed DiamondAnglican DiamondLutheran Gold, and Master Bundle, ver. 2, XL. All these (and another 10,000+ books) were purchased directly from Logos with no mention of a "one transfer" rule. 

Last week I sold my rarely used SDA Bible Commentary 3.0 Expanded Edition to someone who wanted it. This is a product Logos no longer sells on their website so they are not losing a sale. When I transferred it they said once transferred, it can not be transferred again. 

If that is not a policy change it is at least a change in practice. I want the issue of resale transfers addressed. The silence is deafening!

Had Logos not allowed resale transfers in the past, I would not have assembled a library off 15,000+ volumes or spent upwards of $50,000 building a treasure I could pass along to others, in whole or in part. I had a multi-generational view of my Logos "investment."  

So really I am not complaining about cash liquidity. I am upset with loss of freedom and  flexibility of my library....Silly me...It is not my library, it is Logos' library on my computer. 

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Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 10:24 AM

As Logos does not make money on the secondary market for their resources, it is clear that they want to limit "horse trading" as much as they can.  And it seems that is within their right as the licensor of the product.

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Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 10:33 AM
This explains Logos' position: =============================================================================================================== FROM: Bob Pritchett October 29, 2008 at 9:53 am #

"Yes, you can pass your books to your grandchildren.

"Logos already transfers licenses (for a small service fee) when someone needs to pass on their entire library. It’s happened when people die, or retire, or change roles in an organization. The technology doesn’t (at this point) support this directly, so it’s a bit of a hassle involving database manipulation, but we can do it.The bigger point is that electronic books are still a bit different: while you can pass your library along to someone, it’s not really like a paper library where you can loan or give an individual title to someone by just pulling it off your shelf. And while we’re happy to transfer libraries, and always want to do the right thing by our customers, we do not want to support people re-selling every $10 title in their large collection (purchased at 90% off retail) for $1 each.

"Sorry for the confusion."

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Posts 14
Helen | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 10:56 AM

I too wish logos could afford to allow their customers to do both buy and sale their products.  Maybe if logos was a publisher they could afford to allow their customers this freedom but they are not.  Instead they are a middle man that compiles published books into software and sales them to other people for a profit.  Publishers have to make money off the books and Logos must make sufficient money to pay their employees.  It appears to me, allowing customers unconditional rights to sale their books would cause too much of a financial squeeze on Logos. Bob has to keep logos both Spiritually and Financially sound and this may be the only way he can do that.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 11:02 AM

Helen:
I too wish logos could afford to allow their customers to do both buy and sale their products.

It may also be a matter of the contractual rights Logos holds - they likely are limited by contracts that only allow them to license the works.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1281
toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 11:03 AM

Tony Thomas:
As Logos does not make money on the secondary market for their resources, it is clear that they want to limit "horse trading" as much as they can.  And it seems that is within their right as the licensor of the product.

first of all, you are wrong. Nobody makes money on the secondary market (car manufacturers, publishers, builders, etc), with the exception of consumers and speculators. In paper book market, "first sale" doctrine states that Right Holders have no rights to regulate how the book is handled (given away, sold, rented, etc.) after the first transaction. There was a major case a year ago with someone legally buying books overseas and re-selling them in the US. Clearly, right holders want to limit it as much as they can, but the courts said for years that they have no rights (after the "first sale").

With digital it is a little more complicated. Amazon and Logos do control distribution. In the case of Amazon, it has always been stated "non-transferable license", however,  Logos for years maintained that we would be able to transfer our licenses. Legally, I do not believe there is a distinction between consumer wanting to will their library to an heir or to sell it to somebody else. A case can be made, that if one comes into legal possession of a license, he or she should be able to enjoy all rights and privileges of the first buyer.

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toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 11:15 AM

MJ. Smith:
It may also be a matter of the contractual rights Logos holds - they likely are limited by contracts that only allow them to license the works.

I am not quite sure what you mean by this. I do not believe Rights Holders have any rights beyond the first sale, so they cannot demand Logos enforcing it. On the other hand, if Logos allows any customer to transfer any collections or orders to another person, all control ultimately resides with Logos, I believe. Yes, they would not make any money on the secondary market, but it should not mean that a person who bought appropriate licenses legally should all of the sudden lose his rights to sell or transfer.

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 30 2014 11:16 AM

The secondary market for e-books is a tricky subject.  

There is no "first sale doctrine" for e-books.  They are currently treated by the law as software and governed by licensing agreements.

And based on this, it doesn't look like this is likely to change anytime soon:

http://gigaom.com/2014/06/06/should-you-have-a-right-to-sell-your-ebooks-and-digital-music/

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