The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights

Kobo Books today published The eReaders Bill of Rights (the Kobo Perspective).

It has some good insights, including:

We have always believed that your books are your books, and you should be able to take them where you want. You shouldn’t be shackled to a platform or tied to a device. If another service or device or reading experience comes along, you should be able to bring your books with you. We think it’s your right as a reader.


If there’s one thing you take away from reading this, it’s that where you buy your ebooks matters a lot more than you might think. Do you know the DRM format of your eBooks? Do you know your Rights and whether your retailer believes the same things you believe? If so, awesome. If not, you could be chaining yourself (and your books) to one retailer or one device forever.

Underlined emphasis in the original.

They don’t name names, but I will: Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook.

The Kindle is a system unto itself, as I think most people know. And the Nook uses a mutant form of Adobe DRM no other device can currently use.

Kobo Books reminded me of a post I did earlier, which I am reprinting after the break.

The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights

This was inspired by a big bunch of Samples I downloaded from Amazon’s Kindle Store. These are not specific to Kindle format. All eBook formats suffer.

People like lists of ten. I have nine here as a work-in-progress minimum.

1) You have the right to a proper cover.
a) The cover should be the same as on the current printed edition.
b) The cover should be large enough to fill at minimum a five-inch screen.
c) A thumbnail of the cover shown for sales or library software purposes should be the same cover as in the eBook.

2) You have the right to a Table of Contents (TOC).
a) The TOC should have links to the matter inside the book so you can jump to each part.

3) You have the right to proper formatting by default.
a) Formatting should mirror a proper printed book.
b) Paragraphs should have indents without spaces between paragraphs.
c) Only after such proper default formatting should a reader be able to mix things up via a device’s software settings (typesize, spacing, margins — in other words, reflow overrides).

4) You have the right to highlight passages.
a) Sharing highlighted passages should be optional, opt-in, and protect privacy.

5) You have the right to set Bookmarks.
a) As many as you damn well want!

6) You have the right to Copy passages.
a) Copyright holders have the right to restrict this to one paragraph at a time to make piracy too time-consuming.

7) You have the right to legible illustrations.
a) They should be zoomable or several sizes should be available via linking.

8) You have the right to proofreading.
a) Any eBook with more than ten typos should be refundable as defective.

9) You have the right not to be assaulted by screens of blurbs when starting a book.
a) Blurbs are unnecessary in eBooks — they’ve already been bought!


Filed under Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Bookstores, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, eInk Devices, Friction, Kobo Reader

3 responses to “The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights

  1. Pingback: Libros y Bitios » Blog Archive » Los derechos del lector (digital)

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention The eBook Buyer’s Bill of Rights « Mike Cane's xBlog --

  3. Pingback: E-book, la rivoluzione digitale e i lettori: alcune idee per discuterne « GRUPPO/I DI LETTURA

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