Tom Kabinet and the Dutch Publishing Association have been at odds with each other with the concept of used e-Books. The two sides of been battling in court for the past few months and a verdict was supposed to occur on December 23rd. Due to the Christmas holidays the judgement has been postponed until 13 January 2015.
The Amsterdam District Court ruled in July that Tom Kabinet can stay open for business during a legal battle against the Dutch Publishers Association. The publishers believe Tom Kabinet infringes on copyrights and they may have a point. Their own research suggests 90% of all eBooks that are listed on the site are pirated and that criminals are reselling books they download from torrent websites.
The big argument that Tom Kabinet is employing is a 2012 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which ruled in a dispute between Oracle and UsedSoft that the trading of “used” software licenses is legal and that the author of such software cannot oppose any resale.
The Tom Kabinet business model is acting as a facilitator between buyers and sellers. The take a cut of each transaction and embed a digital watermark in the book, so publishers are verify the book has been officially resold. The website functions only in the Netherlands, but is hoping that if it beats the court, it can expand into other countries in 2015.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.