Um, no.

'Used books are to consumer books as Napster was to the music industry,' [Lorraine Shanley, a principal at Market Partners International, a publishing consultant] said. 'The question becomes, 'How does the book industry address its used-book problem?' There aren't any easy answers, especially as no one is breaking any laws here.'

And, um, there's the difference. The implication here isn't that Amazon is like Napster as much as book companies would like to create laws that would make Amazon's selling used books as illegal as the original Napster.

The parallel is useful still -- if book companies want to compete with online sellers they'll need to change their model, much as the now-legal Napster does. And let's face it, if the publishers didn't score so many big bucks with so many printings in their first edition runs they wouldn't have so much competition from themselves later. It's in the nature of a book to have licenses like we do now. Posession is 9/10ths of ownership here. If we did change laws and licenses, where would it end? You can't sell your car without permission from Ford or Honda or Saab? That's called a lease, and I really don't think you'll be successful with that plan with books. Start charging more for libraries buying books to match some sort of lending license (similar to Blockbuster and videos/DVDs, I believe)? This is ludicrous.

What really bothers me here is that people are straining to increase revenue from information by restricting the ability for the information to hit citizen's hands. We are quickly legislating ourselves into a world where you have to pay to learn anything released after about 1930 -- and who knows, perhaps that'll get some new license as well. It drives me mad. If there's one good thing in the world it's inexpensive access to books. This out of control capitalism that stresses cash before people and society is getting out of hand. The beauty of a book today is the ability to get a ton of specialized information into anyone's hand quickly. Want to make millions? Go sell software. Stay away from my books.