Dutch ebook resale site Tom Kabinet has to close because, at least at the moment, it cannot prove that all the books offered for sale on the site have been legally obtained, an Amsterdam court ruled Tuesday.
Tom Kabinet, which allows sellers to upload ebook files to the site, has been online since June last year. It asks sellers to verify that the ebooks being uploaded were legally obtained, via a declaration in which they also state that they will erase their copy after the upload. That, however, is not enough, according to a court.
The verdict of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal is a mixed bag for Tom Kabinet, because it also ruled that it is legal to offer a platform on which legally obtained ebooks can be resold. However, as Tom Kabinet also potentially provides a “relatively simple and lucrative opportunity” to resell illegally obtained ebooks and has no way to guarantee this will not happen, the site will have to close for now, the court said in a news release.
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Judith Mariën, one of Tom Kabinet’s founders, said that despite the mixed verdict, it is “good news” that the court ruled that the site’s business model is essentially legal.
In the coming days Tom Kabinet will try to find a way to keep the site online by toughening up the process to filter out illegally obtained ebooks, which can possibly be done by checking the digital watermarks of all incoming ebooks as well as of those in the database, Mariën said.
Link to the rest at PCWorld