All digital media is subject to unlicensed copying, including ebooks. Without protection, the industry would collapse. Whether it's considered "buying" or "licensing" -- the fact remains that what you're paying for is ONE copy of the product.
If you buy a regular old book, CD or DVD, you can turn around and loan it to a friend, or sell it again. The right to pass it along is called the "first sale" doctrine. Digital books, music and movies are a different story though. Four students at Columbia Law School's Science and Technology Law Review looked at the particular issue of reselling and copying e-books downloaded to Amazon's Kindle or the Sony Reader, and came up with answers to a fundamental question: Are you buying a crippled license to intellectual property when you download, or are you buying an honest-to-God book?I certainly don't think epublishers are out to fleece anyone, but YMMV.