Lexink, a software company that lets consumers buy and sell “used” digital media, is positioning itself as the publishing world’s answer to illegal book downloading. Lexink’s tool called “Unloder” works like a used book or music store. Users can buy and sell their old MP3s, digital videos or eBooks in exchange for a credit.
Once these items have been sold, they disappear from the seller’s computer and the seller is given credit for future purchases within the site. Buyers can shop a database of used digital titles to spend these credits. Publishers are paid through Unloder.
In a press release, Lexink owner Alexandre Despallieres says that “illegal downloading will continue, but creative solutions like the Unloder can help stem the tide of loss to media producers while providing savings to buyers who want to buy and sell eBooks.”
This is pretty interesting. On the one hand, some people prefer to buy books in used bookstores or from Amazon resellers or eBay sellers for a cheaper cost and the publishers don’t see any of that money. On the other, a used book usually comes with bent pages and underlined notes and is actually “used,” making them less attractive to some book buyers. If used digital copies look exactly the same as the new releases, I am not sure this is good for publishers. What do you think?