Did Your Kindle Book Suddenly Disappear?
Why We Need NFT Books #1
Did you know that if you purchase a kindle book, you don’t actually own the book?
Many don’t realize this. And many that do, don’t care. They don’t realize the negative implications of this.
If you read this article, you can see a great example of where this goes wrong.
The quick summary here is that Amazon had some bootleg copies of Animal Farm and 1984 being sold on their marketplace.
In the middle of the night, they wiped all the books from hundreds of kindles in order to protect the author’s IP.
Now, before you call Amazon a hero. Think about this a little deeper.
They wiped all the books. No warning whatsoever.
It’s one thing to take the books off the marketplace to keep people from buying them. That’s a good thing.
Filing suits against the bootleggers? That’s a good thing too.
Wiping books from your user’s devices without their knowledge? That is unnerving.
Now, they haven’t done a widespread deletion of a book since 2009, but through that event, they showed their cards.
We all know how easy it is for them to do it now.
As Amazon has become more and more politically biased, it scares me. What happens when a book is published on Amazon and it turns out it’s not “woke” enough? And Amazon pulls the trigger and wipes it.
All it will take is one occurrence of some extreme book to be wiped. Maybe even one that 99% of society would agree needed wiping.
But when that happens, the floodgates will open. All of a sudden it will be “ok” to wipe books whenever they are considered “dangerous.”
We are already seeing widespread book banning across schools. Is it really a far-reach to see Amazon banning books too?
I could bash Amazon’s centrality all day. But let’s get to the solution already.
The Kindle Killer Solution
Let me introduce: NFT Books
So with NFT Books, that widespread deletion is impossible.
It’s as if you walked into a used book store or Barnes n Noble and bought a book. If it’s a bootlegged copy, there is nothing they can do about it. They can’t send a swat team to confiscate the book in the middle of the night from you.
Right? They can’t do that…right?...right?
NFT’s are even more secure than that! Every swat team in the world couldn’t get an NFT Book back.
How Does This Stop Bootlegging?
There is the killer question. With NFT Books, if someone were to get a hold of a bootlegged copy, then they could still publish the NFT Book; just like today.
But if something like that happened, I’d argue it should just be handled in a better way than Amazon did. Here is one random example off the top of my head:
“Woa, this copy of 1984 on our marketplace is a total bootleg. Let’s take it off our marketplace and then using our public blockchain records, let’s figure out who owns a copy of the bootlegged book.
We can tell them it was a bootleg and then buy a copy of the actual 1984 and send it to them for free. We can ask them to burn the bootleg copy, but we can’t force them to.”
Something like that I think would suffice.
See, the NFT Book itself is decentralized. Which means no one can take it away.
The book marketplaces or publishers can still have some control over what is on their sites. To follow standard copyright laws, they actually need to be able to take down books that infringe copyrights.
However, they shouldn’t have the power to remove books that have already been purchased.
So, that’s reason #1 for why NFT Books helps to solve this issue of not owning your digital book.
Now the question is how to we do this while also maintaining IP protection for our authors?
What is Decentralized Encryption?
Another key aspect specific to Spatium Stories is our Dragon Protocol.
We are creating a brand new decentralized encryption process to protect an author’s IP while keeping the books decentralized. We are calling it the Dragon Protocol.
I won’t go into it too much right now; I’ll save that for another day.
All that to say we are 100% dedicated first and foremost to the author and protecting their work. But we also believe people will discover some way to cheat.
One of the most sophisticated and trusted digital rights management systems is Adobe, and there are tons of tools out there that break their system too.
But decentralizing books is not the only thing that makes NFT Books stand out.
Introducing: Rare Books
Reason #2 is that NFT Books offer something else beyond reading a book.
See, with NFTs there is value in being able to prove ownership and publication.
Everything is public on the blockchain.
Authors can publish rare editions of their books just like in real life.
And if a bootlegger published that same book with the same cover, it really wouldn’t be the same.
It would be an obvious fake. Easily verified via the blockchain.
Not to mention, with modern-day technology, you could build a system that scans all your books on the marketplace to ensure it’s not a bootleg before you actually publish the NFT Book.
So Are All Our Problems Solved? No :/
At the end of the day, in our current system, it’s still so easy to find bootlegged copies. I can google “1984 pdf” and it’s literally the first link.
Do I believe NFT Books will end ebook piracy?
I think it can get us in the right direction and can help cut back on piracy, though!
We think our Dragon Protocol will be able to protect an author’s IP and make it really hard for pirates to evade the flames.
I also think NFT Books solve a lot of other problems that Amazon and other big publishers have.
But I’m sure people will still find a way to steal.
I was a TA in college and we had some pretty sophisticated software for detecting cheating. A common tactic for cheaters would be to copy another student’s code but change all the variable names.
Our software could detect that.
We would set up demos for the harder-to-detect assignments and ensure the students knew the material. Sometimes we would strategize for half of our weekly meetings on how to catch cheaters.
Our professor finally put a stop to it. He said:
“At the end of the day, a cheater will always cheat.”
They will find a way.
He told us we were doing good, but at some point, you just can't catch everyone, and putting too much effort into catching cheaters will hurt everyone else. And the cheaters will still probably cheat anyways.
So with NFT Books, will we still have bootleggers out there?
But can we make it better for everyone else?
Because with NFT Books, nobody can take your book away. And that is very very powerful.
If you liked this article, make sure to subscribe. I’m doing a series on why we need NFT Books and this is only the beginning!