Digital Content and the New Reality of Long-Term Rentals

Has it soaked in that you can never simply give a digital book, movie, CD, or any other kind of electronic item to someone else once you buy it?

Amazon, Apple, Google (sorry, Alphabet with Google’s recent name change), and other such companies have no mechanism for you to give that digital property–property bought with hard-earned money–to your brother, mother, child, friend, or even a stranger and worse even have policies specifically prohibiting such “theft.”

Billion dollar industries have decided that I cannot give that movie or book to someone else, if I so choose. Our government–supposedly representing We the People–has backed the businesses again and again, this being only one of the most recent examples.

You can buy, but you can’t own. I can never give my library of 5,000+ iTunes purchases to someone else. 

Actions and realities such as this are one more reason people don’t trust the current government and don’t trust businesses.

Regardless of the costs associated with content, big companies–not authors and artists–get the overwhelming vast majority of the money. A $50 book might (!!!) generate $1 in income for the author. Digital content is cheaper–they say again and again. Not allowing gifting, as could easily happen easily and legally (How do you think Half Price Books stays in business?) with regular hard copies, only generate more “free money” for those who already have all the money.

And yet, given the never-ending stream of taxes placed on property, houses, cars, and other such means of shelter and transportation, “long-term renting” applies in other circumstances, even when said items are fully paid for.

Money complicates.

I hesitate to see a day that might come when I will not allowed to pass any of my books on to someone else, someone with the desire to learn and live.