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    It does not have to be ‘to own’ because web changes the nature of distribution. In fact the idea ‘to own’ is closer to Tsundoku [1] than actual reading, and that is a bad thing.

    A good corollary to look at, though not perfect, would be a blogpost.

    No one other than the original writer owns the blogpost they have written. Both the copyright and right to distribute it online. We all get to read the post because the author chooses to publish, distribute and broadcast it on the open web through their friends and networks. I never get to ‘own’ their post but I appreciate reading it.

    So what’s important here is that the authors never have to give their rights away for distribution. The machinery is cheap and available immediately. Some writers even make money off of it, but then intermediaries come into the picture again. It is just that the power to own the titles and control the distribution doesn’t concentrate over to a handful of greedy folks who later use that clout to influence public policy.

    I think we need a new model for books on web that is similar for books but also one that makes sure that the original author gets to keep the rights to their book. A model that is not a catalyst to boost sales and premium of dead tree books. IMO, we win by making the life of the writer simpler and our own.

    Web can be a great neutral agent for that!

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsundoku