Amazon and Apple patents could lead to digital-content swapping

Amazon recently gained a patent to set up an exchange for sharing digital material, and Apple has filed for a similar patent, raising the possibility that consumers will be able to share used e-books and other digital content, potentially driving down the price. "In the short term, it's great for consumers," said Bill Rosenblatt, president of technology consultancy GiantSteps. "Over the long term, however, it could seriously reduce creators' incentive to create."

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