Logos on Kindle
A friend linked me to an ongoing discussion about reading Logos Bible Software books on the Kindle. That discussion took a major turn I didn’t expect: a number of commenters are arguing that exporting Logos books to be read on the Kindle is a violation of the Logos EULA—and, even worse, is outright theft.
This is Logos co-founder Bob Pritchett’s response:
Logos does not yet have an official position on putting books on the Kindle.
We definitely do not support your distributing or re-selling the books, but we design our software around a "purchase once, use anywhere" model—for the original purchaser. Personally, I’d like us to have an "Export to Kindle" feature built right in.
I have no idea who this will antagonize or not. Some publishers, for example, are happy to support "buy once, read anywhere," others are not. (We can’t even enable some books for iPhone access because of publisher restrictions.)
So at this point, there is no official policy but your own interpretation of a complex stew of licenses / fair use / legal precedent / etc. You won’t make me upset if you read it on a Kindle yourself; I would consider it inappropriate to give the content to someone else, to share licenses, to redistribute the content, etc.
I hope we’ll have better support for e-ink e-book devices in the future, and we’ll probably have to adjust that support to varying (and changing) publisher opinions.
I found that candid and helpful, and I hope Logos is able to do what he suggests. As for the more formal legal demands that we all need to abide by, here’s a thought: the Kindle is capable of surfing the web. Most book publishers have allowed Logos to use their materials on Biblia.com. Why would reading that material on the Kindle, just getting it there through a slightly different means than over the web, be wrong?
My more basic argument for my continuing to export my Logos books to my Kindle device reflects what Bob said. I paid for individual rights to the electronic texts of a number of books. I did so in order to read these books on whatever screens I could, even and especially my Kindle. I do not let others borrow, let alone have, these books. I purchase a book once, and I use it anywhere, just like the Logos model dictates.
It may take a number of years for these issues to shake out across the publishing industry. My bet is that we will reach a non-DRM model like that now used for most MP3s. Buy a book in any electronic format, and you can read it on nearly any major device. And type of device—laptop, desktop, tablet, e-ink reader, cellphone, brain implant chip…