Microsoft has decided to close its e-book store, which will make the books acquired through this service disappear. That is, users can no longer read the eBooks they have purchased.
“The company will reimburse the amount of the books to the users.”
When a user buys an e-book through an online store, they are not buying the book forever, but rather the access and right to read the text. This access can be withdrawn at any time and for any reason, according to the terms and conditions of sale of Microsoft and all major e-book stores.
The firm has decided that its e-book store is not profitable and that it is not worth keeping it up and running.
Even so, Microsoft has announced that it will reimburse customers for the acquisition, although it does not mean that users will see their library disappear. This decision to return the amount spent on the book shows that, really, the Microsoft eBook store was not making big profits.
Other companies that offer the same service as Amazon, Apple, Google or Kobo work in the same way. What the user buys is an authorization to access the copyright of the books, not the ability to own them forever.
This means that, by acquiring access to certain electronic books, the user can not give them to others, nor can they give them. Something that does not happen with books in physical format, of course.
These restrictions in eBooks are due to the massive piracy that haunts the electronic reading market. The books that are sold in these types of stores are encrypted with copyright, to protect the income chain of all the actors that participate in this process. From the authors to the electronic stores, through the editors.