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Publishing News: Amazon’s used ebook store?

Amazon's used digital marketplace patent, a data-for-content exchange experiment, and Baratunde Thurston says there's hope for publishing yet.

Amazon prepares to enter the used digital goods resale fray

The headline news this week was Amazon being awarded a US patent for a “secondary market for digital objects,” which according to the patent abstract, include “e-books, audio, video, computer applications, etc.” — so, pretty much anything.

Todd Bishop reports at GeekWire that “[t]he patent, originally filed in 2009 and granted on Jan. 29, covers transferring digital goods among users, setting limits on transfers and usage, charging an associated fee, and other elements of a marketplace for ‘used’ digital goods.” He also notes Amazon’s approach of limiting the number of transfers of used objects to “maintain scarcity.”

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