View Full Version : Apprentice Alf back from retirement


Apprentice Alf
01-17-2011, 10:21 PM
After more thought, and after the passage of the Canadian Bill C-11 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_C-11_(41th_Canadian_Parliament,_1st_Session)), I decided, in June 2012, that I should resume my activities.

— Alf.


[Original message:

After some thought, I have decided to retire.

While the chances of being charged with any crime, let alone convicted, for non-commerical distribution of DRM circumvention software are remote, they are not quite remote enough for peace of mind any more.

My blog remains available (trimmed of some now redundant posts), and I have given the password to some other people, so I hope that it will be maintained, but there is, as always, no guarantee.

So long, and thanks for all the Karma.

— Alf.]

GA Russell
01-17-2011, 10:43 PM
Alf, although I'm not adept enough to have used your help, I know that there are many here who will miss you. Godspeed!

TallMomof2
01-17-2011, 10:45 PM
Thanks and best of luck to you!

GraceKrispy
01-17-2011, 10:46 PM
I have visited your blog once and found exactly what I needed to figure out a problem I'd been having. I am sorry you're retiring, but I wanted to say thanks for all the info you have provided people!!

SCION
01-17-2011, 10:50 PM
Thanks for all the time and effort you put in. Be well.

chilady1
01-17-2011, 10:51 PM
Alf, on behalf of my now "freed" books and myself, THANKS for everything. You and your efforts will be sorely missed. Take care! :thanks:

primetime34
01-17-2011, 10:53 PM
Sad to see you leave what you've been doing, but I completely understand. Thanks for all you've done!

FizzyWater
01-17-2011, 11:23 PM
Sadly, this was expected, after all the recent publicity. Why do people have to ruin a good thing?!

pendragginp
01-17-2011, 11:29 PM
Apprentice Alf, you have been such a help to so many people - people who only wanted to read their honestly bought books on whatever reader they had. THANK YOU so much for all you've freely done! <hat off>

Dopedangel
01-17-2011, 11:37 PM
Thanks for all the work you did and good luck for the future.
I expected something like this the moment I saw removing Kindle drm and your tools mentioned in techmeme.
Now I am curious did you see a spike in the number of downloads and did your tools go main stream or not.

tselling
01-17-2011, 11:56 PM
Thanks Apprentice Alf, and best wishes for the future.

=X=
01-18-2011, 12:07 AM
Thanks alf you've been a great help to many

Purple Lady
01-18-2011, 12:11 AM
Thank you Apprentice Alf! You have been such a great help - removing drm is now simple. I downloaded the latest tools just in case.

FF2
01-18-2011, 12:22 AM
Thanks. You can have my "get out of jail free" card if you ever need it.

HarryT
01-18-2011, 01:04 AM
A very wise decision.

doreenjoy
01-18-2011, 02:18 AM
You're my idol!

We'll miss you.

kiwipippa
01-18-2011, 02:32 AM
Thanks for all your hard work. You helped me out when I needed it. Good luck with your next adventure - and come to New Zealand if things get too sticky where you are. It's summer here so you'd be able to relax on the beach with your liberated ebooks. :thumbsup:

taming
01-18-2011, 02:41 AM
If Alf can't move, maybe his server can :).

ChristopherTD
01-18-2011, 03:27 AM
Thanks for maintaining such a valuable resource. I bought several hundred ebooks last year, but only because I knew I could remove the DRM and keep them safe. I wouldn't have bought them otherwise!

Terisa de morgan
01-18-2011, 03:41 AM
Thank you very much, you've given us a set of very good tools. And I agree with HenryT, it's a wise decision.

pdurrant
01-18-2011, 03:57 AM
Thanks, Alf, Enjoy your ‘retirement’.

TGS
01-18-2011, 04:14 AM
Thanks for all your help. If the worst does happen don't hesitate to post widely - there are lots of people who would be happy to support you.

cadele
01-18-2011, 05:11 AM
You're my idol!

We'll miss you.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your efforts and help. But, like the song says, it's knowing when to fold them.

Good luck to you, and as someone else here has written, post widely if you need any help - many would be happy to return the favour.

You will be much missed. xx

James_Wilde
01-18-2011, 06:00 AM
Another grateful - and sad - MR member.

GeoffC
01-18-2011, 06:04 AM
Thanks Alf - enjoy your retirement in the knowledge you have had a big and valuable role in making e-reading what it is now and what it will become in the future.

Enjoy your next big adventure ... :2thumbsup....

astra
01-18-2011, 06:05 AM
After some thought, I have decided to retire.

— Alf.
Although, I have not followed your teachings and not known about your existence until yesterday, thank you so much for what you were doping.
Good luck!

mr ploppy
01-18-2011, 06:19 AM
Did he write the scripts, or just make them easier to find? The former would be more of a problem if Amazon, etc decide to update their DRM.

SolRaven
01-18-2011, 06:20 AM
Thanks Alf. You're a rock star!

unboggling
01-18-2011, 06:27 AM
Alf, we hereby promote you from Apprentice to Master. Thanks for helping. See ya around.

pdurrant
01-18-2011, 06:52 AM
Did he write the scripts, or just make them easier to find? The former would be more of a problem if Amazon, etc decide to update their DRM.

Alf himself said, in his first blog post, "I have no great knowledge of encryption systems."

So I suspect that the people who actually delve deep into the reverse engineering of DRM systems are still out there.

Fastolfe
01-18-2011, 07:30 AM
Thanks for your work Alf.

I understand your decision and I probably would do the same. But I find it rather scary that the author of a perfectly legal piece of software feels the need to distance himself from it, "just in case".

It's rather telling of how well the entertainment industry's lobbying and scare tactics are working: If you were a knifesmith, you probably wouldn't feel the need to stop forging knives just in case someone might sue you because one of your knives could be used to kill someone. You know the case would be thrown out immediately. Yet as a software engineer working on a harmless piece of software, you feel more threatened than the knifesmith. That's how biased toward corporate interests our legal system has become, and it's really sad.

Pookeysgirl
01-18-2011, 07:54 AM
Thank you Alf for everything you've done to help us! You will be missed xoxoxo

mr ploppy
01-18-2011, 08:12 AM
Thanks for your work Alf.

I understand your decision and I probably would do the same. But I find it rather scary that the author of a perfectly legal piece of software feels the need to distance himself from it, "just in case".

It's rather telling of how well the entertainment industry's lobbying and scare tactics are working: If you were a knifesmith, you probably wouldn't feel the need to stop forging knives just in case someone might sue you because one of your knives could be used to kill someone. You know the case would be thrown out immediately. Yet as a software engineer working on a harmless piece of software, you feel more threatened than the knifesmith. That's how biased toward corporate interests our legal system has become, and it's really sad.

It's more about the way they are advertised. If you said "my knives are great for stabbing people, you can slice people's heads off with them and they are very easy to hide" you would probably be looking for trouble.

One of the commercial usenet providers (can't remember which) advertised themselves as being great for downloading free music, movies, games, etc and got themselves a big fine as a result. None of the other usenet providers were affected by that.

But this is more of a "Dave's Classics" type of situation, where too much good publicity in a short period of time has been its (voluntary) undoing.

hgwlackey
01-18-2011, 09:04 AM
Thanks for all your work, Alf. It's been a great help to me this past year.

abookreader
01-18-2011, 09:06 AM
Thank you for everything you have done Alf.

DiapDealer
01-18-2011, 09:09 AM
Do whatever feels right for you, Alf.
A sincere thanks for all you've done.

elemenoP
01-18-2011, 09:16 AM
Thanks, Alf, for helping to make my ereading experience better.

eP

Fastolfe
01-18-2011, 09:49 AM
It's more about the way they are advertised. If you said "my knives are great for stabbing people, you can slice people's heads off with them and they are very easy to hide" you would probably be looking for trouble.

Well that's the thing isn't it: Alf never advertised his software as something to pirate books with as far as I know. He presented it as a tool to free your legally-purchased books from the artificial shackles of DRM, ensuring you'll never lose them when Barnazon & Borders goes under, and allowing you to read them on any device you chose, as it is your right.

He never said "here, use this to make clear copies of DRMed books to distribute far and wide for free." Of course, everybody knows you can use it for that and everybody knows many do, but then everybody knows you can stab someone with a pocket knife and that's never stopped anybody from manufacturing pocket knives.

mr ploppy
01-18-2011, 10:03 AM
He presented it as a tool to free your legally-purchased books from the artificial shackles of DRM, ensuring you'll never lose them when Barnazon & Borders goes under, and allowing you to read them on any device you chose, as it is your right.



That in itself is illegal in some countries, and is definitely against the terms of purchase on Amazon and probably other sites too. Distributing tools to circumvent copy protection would also fall foul of the DMCA in America and the DEA in England.

DiapDealer
01-18-2011, 10:12 AM
That in itself is illegal in some countries, and is definitely against the terms of purchase on Amazon and probably other sites too. Distributing tools to circumvent copy protection would also fall foul of the DMCA in America and the DEA in England.
Allow me to translate the above into more thread specific (and appropriate) language.

"Thanks Alf... you will be missed. But you've probably made a wise decision. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Much respect,

Mr. Ploppy"

HarryT
01-18-2011, 10:15 AM
Well that's the thing isn't it: Alf never advertised his software as something to pirate books with as far as I know. He presented it as a tool to free your legally-purchased books from the artificial shackles of DRM, ensuring you'll never lose them when Barnazon & Borders goes under, and allowing you to read them on any device you chose, as it is your right.

He never said "here, use this to make clear copies of DRMed books to distribute far and wide for free." Of course, everybody knows you can use it for that and everybody knows many do, but then everybody knows you can stab someone with a pocket knife and that's never stopped anybody from manufacturing pocket knives.

Unfortunately, that's not the point. Although removing DRM for personal use MAY be legal in the US, the development and distribution of DRM removal tools is unquestionably NOT legal.

It's a stupid law, but it is the law, and Alf is very sensible to be wary of it. I would be, too, in his position.

Witchbaby
01-18-2011, 10:25 AM
Thank you!

pdurrant
01-18-2011, 11:01 AM
It's a stupid law, but it is the law, and Alf is very sensible to be wary of it. I would be, too, in his position.

I've finally decided to actually go and look it up in the UK laws. Of course, this is only my interpretation of the legislation. IANAL, and I might have got things wrong, so don't rely on this, but:

Removing DRM from ebooks for personal use is apparently illegal in the UK, but a civil offence, not a criminal one, just like ripping a CD. "The following persons have the same rights against B [the person circumventing DRM] as a copyright owner has in respect of an infringement of copyright (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/296ZA)"

Getting hold of DRM removal software for your own use, however, seems to be legal (see clause b below), but (somewhat to my surprise — I had thought only commercial distribution was a criminal offence), it might be an offence to distribute DRM circumention software, even non-commercially (clause d):

"(1) A person commits an offence if he— [...] (b) imports otherwise than for his private and domestic use, or [...] (d) distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,
any device, product or component which is primarily designed, produced, or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/296ZB)"

I think it would be possible to argue that ebook DRM removal software doesn't affect prejudicially the copyright holder. Certainly in my case I've bought far more* ebooks than I would have if I'd not been able to remove DRM from them. And perhaps the experience of publishers who've never used DRM, or have moved to not using DRM would also be good evidence for that.

On the other hand, conviction leads to imprisonment for up to two years... so I don't think I'll be doing any mass distribution.

It is a remarkably strange law. In the UK, mass distribution of the software might be a criminal offence, but downloading the software isn't against the law at all. Using the software is illegal, but only in the same way that copying a CD into iTunes is illegal.

Hmm... I suppose a round-robin or even small tree distribution of the software might, therefore, be legal in the UK. A gives it to B and C. B gives it to D and E and C gives it to F and G. And so on....**

Downloading the software isn't illegal. The "such an extent" in clause (d) would be unnecessary if any amount of distribution was illegal. And any one person has only given it to two people.

It would be a lot simpler if publishers would just wise up and drop DRM completely.


* I didn't buy any DRMed ebooks from (IIRC) 2005 until early 2008, when the scripts first started to appear.
** I'm irresistibly reminded of a certain Tom Lehrer song, but I'm not sure it's suitable for this forum!

mr ploppy
01-18-2011, 11:25 AM
I think it would be possible to argue that ebook DRM removal software doesn't affect prejudicially the copyright holder. Certainly in my case I've bought far more* ebooks than I would have if I'd not been able to remove DRM from them.

So have I, but the purpose of DRM is to lock people into one device using one digital content supplier, so it is obvious that people with a vested interest will not want it to be easily removed.

It would have been the film industry that lobbied/paid for the laws about circumvention of copy protection, but now that they are here other content producers will want to take advantage of them.

While it is only a tiny minority of people buying content from the wrong sites I don't think any of them would really care, but if it became much more mainstream (eg through popular sites bringing it to people's attention), it would seriously affect profits.

Penforhire
01-18-2011, 11:44 AM
Another thanks for your work! I totally understand your concern for your own freedom.

Sydney's Mom
01-18-2011, 12:06 PM
Thank you for all your work. I understand your concern, and hope it nevers comes to pass. We all can look forward to another encryption system, thanks to the big mouths.

HarryT
01-18-2011, 01:01 PM
Thank you for all your work. I understand your concern, and hope it nevers comes to pass. We all can look forward to another encryption system, thanks to the big mouths.

That's unlikely. Adobe can't change the ePub encryption system without breaking all the devices that are out there.

wvcherrybomb
01-18-2011, 01:08 PM
:thanks: Thank you for all your help. I would do the same thing in your position. Wishing you much happiness.

redbees
01-18-2011, 01:08 PM
Thanks to you and your confreres for your help and hard work.

I especially appreciate your recent post clarifying/detailing proper tools and procedures. With your assistance, I am now able to back up my ebook purchases and can read them on two different brands of ereader. This has led me to purchase *more* books, secure in the knowledge that I will have continued access to them, unaffected by the vagaries of the ebook marketplace.

Much appreciation for your efforts, and best wishes for the future.

frquixote
01-18-2011, 01:39 PM
Thanks very much for all your help. Your work and that of your predecessor and compatriots have made ereading a much more viable option by helping us protect our investments in the ebooks we have "licensed." Its unfortunate that you have to "retire," but it is understandable.

Poppaea
01-18-2011, 01:42 PM
Thank you so much, Alf and good luck to you always!!!

mr ploppy
01-18-2011, 02:01 PM
That's unlikely. Adobe can't change the ePub encryption system without breaking all the devices that are out there.

What was the reason for updating the Adobe DRM circumvention scripts?

HarryT
01-18-2011, 02:07 PM
I don't know. Is there a "change history" in the script? That might tell you.

KevinH
01-18-2011, 02:25 PM
What was the reason for updating the Adobe DRM circumvention scripts?

If I remember the posted change notes properly, there was a a fix to support OpenSSL as a possible replacement for PyCrypto to help support Mac OS X and Linux (and it can be used on Windows too), some interface changes to allow its use via import - probably not that important unless you want to use it as part of some more complex system, and a bug fix to deal with international book names in the encryption.xml file which is important and needed. I believe the original scripts are part of the tools and you could of course diff the versions.

animedude01
01-18-2011, 02:44 PM
Just wanted to add my thanks.

Disappointing that you had to be forced into and early retirement.

Xanthe
01-18-2011, 03:06 PM
:thanks:

Sorry that you're being forced into an "early retirement", but understandable.

Caltsar
01-18-2011, 03:33 PM
Thanks for all your work!

Freeshadow
01-18-2011, 03:36 PM
all important facts been said already, so just a
+1 on the best wishes

notsure
01-18-2011, 04:10 PM
I hope said "retirement" includes ingesting many fancy alcoholic beverages that come with little umbrellas while sitting under a parasol on a sunny / hot beach somewhere!!

Thank you kind sir for all your efforts.

:hatsoff:

KarenH
01-18-2011, 04:43 PM
Thanks for all you've done - your efforts are greatly appreciated. I'm sorry you feel the need to retire, but I understand your reasoning completely. Good luck!

jocampo
01-18-2011, 05:23 PM
After some thought, I have decided to retire.

While the chances of being charged with any crime, let alone convicted, for non-commerical distribution of DRM circumvention software are remote, they are not quite remote enough for peace of mind any more.

My blog remains available (trimmed of some now redundant posts), and I have given the password to some other people, so I hope that it will be maintained, but there is, as always, no guarantee.

So long, and thanks for all the Karma.

— Alf.

Sorry to hear that. You are still very welcome here as any other user.

I know maybe this is too personal, but did you receive any pressure from anyone or any company against what you were doing?

Wish you the best!

Fastolfe
01-18-2011, 05:27 PM
Distributing tools to circumvent copy protection would also fall foul of the DMCA in America and the DEA in England.

Ah yes, you're quite right, I forgot about those.

I can't believe the DMCA has been around for 12 years. Ever since its inception, I've always considered it in the same league as the Volstead act: it's retarded, nobody wants it and it's going to be repealed some day. As a result, I pretty much ignore it and carry on thinking in pre-DMCA mode, hence my comment.

Oh well, hopefully the DeDRM project will be relocated to a non-US country with sensible laws and free people to work on it.

Joyful
01-18-2011, 05:32 PM
I just wanted to add my best wishes to you Alf!
And many, many thanks!!

Joyful

NNolan
01-18-2011, 05:40 PM
Just want to add my best wishes for your "retirement" and sincere thanks for your web site.

sabredog
01-18-2011, 06:14 PM
All the best Alf. For those who were geographically restricted, the tips and tricks offered on your site were a boon.

LaurieGator
01-18-2011, 06:37 PM
Thank you for all of the wisdom that you have passed to us :-)

I understand your reason for retiring and wish you the best of luck!

I hope we will still see you around Mobile Reads, even if under another name!

voracious71
01-18-2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks for all you've done:thanks:.

Bindi
01-18-2011, 09:08 PM
Alf - Thanks so much for all of your help. You've helped me save several hundred old books. Because of the your tools, I've also been able to purchase more new books and new ereaders than I would have otherwise.

sadievan
01-18-2011, 09:52 PM
Thanks Alf for all you've done. You will be missed.

Apprentice Alf
01-19-2011, 03:31 AM
I know maybe this is too personal, but did you receive any pressure from anyone or any company against what you were doing?

I haven't had from any contact from anyone or any company. No one has put pressure on me to stop.

Intellectually, I believe it to be an irrational worry. But that doesn't stop me being worried about it.

— Alf.

idraw22
01-19-2011, 06:31 AM
Altho I haven't been here long, I've been to your page a couple times,and read a few things that make me hopeful about losing all my drm-ed books. Live long and prosper!:bookworm::thanks:

JSWolf
01-19-2011, 09:20 AM
What was the reason for updating the Adobe DRM circumvention scripts?

The reason was that a new version of ADE was released and the script to get the key was thus broken. So that had to be updated. It was updated and the program to strip the DRM was also updated. Then the script to get the key was again updated so the program to strip the DRM also had to be updated.

There have also been changes to support OpenSSL as an alternative to PyCrypto. Also, to make it compatible with Calibre as a plugin.

Sydney's Mom
01-19-2011, 12:20 PM
I haven't had from any contact from anyone or any company. No one has put pressure on me to stop.

Intellectually, I believe it to be an irrational worry. But that doesn't stop me being worried about it.

— Alf.

I don't think it is irrational at all. In the tax arena, really smart people think up a tax shelter. Everyone uses it. Then it appears in the Wall Street Journal. It takes the IRS about 3 days to retroactively ban it.

Of course, the Wall Street Journal is a different publication. I want to apologize to you, as a user, for making your life difficult.

Harmon
01-19-2011, 07:51 PM
Unfortunately, that's not the point. Although removing DRM for personal use MAY be legal in the US, the development and distribution of DRM removal tools is unquestionably NOT legal.

It's a stupid law, but it is the law, and Alf is very sensible to be wary of it. I would be, too, in his position.

I think there's some wiggleroom for legal development/distribution under the DMCA. It is arguable that what Alf was doing - developing the tools and putting them on the internet in a non-commercial setting, together with warnings concerning use - is okay. There are some free-speech aspects to writing & posting software code that could provide a defense under the First Amendment.

But most people wouldn't want to be the one to test the limits. Alf was willing, for a while, bless him, but I don't blame him at all for calling it quits at this point.

That, of course, is one of the basic problems with the DMCA - it operates in terrorem to prevent people from doing things that it doesn't, at bottom, actually forbid. We'll probably never know, because it takes someone who is willing to wind up a martyr to put the law to the test.

EDIT: Seeing Alf's later posts, it's clear that this is exactly what has happened to him.

Piper_
01-19-2011, 08:27 PM
Bless you for all you've done, Alf. I'll continue to whisper you a blessing each time I'm laid up, unable to read to myself. The ability to listen to TTS on my Kindle books is priceless beyond words.
Thank you. :heart:

Barcey
01-19-2011, 10:23 PM
I hope your retirement is like Brett Favre and you'll be back next season! (minus the photos of course :D ).

Ken Maltby
01-20-2011, 03:06 AM
Well at least it's not as bad as it is for those who make circumventing DVD user restrictions easy. You could have been forced to live and work in some Caribbean paradise and be paid for your efforts, like they are.

Hmm... there may be a slight flaw in my logic there?

Here's hopping you have a warm tropical retirement, with cool ocean breezes.

Luck;
Ken

pdurrant
01-20-2011, 03:27 AM
Well at least it's not as bad as it is for those who make circumventing DVD user restrictions easy.

Apart from the raid on his home (http://w2.eff.org/IP/Video/Johansen_DeCSS_case/20000124_johansen_statement.html), and a year in court facing charges that could have lead to two years in gaol before finally being acquitted (http://w2.eff.org/IP/Video/Johansen_DeCSS_case/20030107_eff_pr.html)? I can see why Alf has 'retired'.

Ken Maltby
01-20-2011, 04:59 AM
Apart from the raid on his home (http://w2.eff.org/IP/Video/Johansen_DeCSS_case/20000124_johansen_statement.html), and a year in court facing charges that could have lead to two years in gaol before finally being acquitted (http://w2.eff.org/IP/Video/Johansen_DeCSS_case/20030107_eff_pr.html)? I can see why Alf has 'retired'.

That we are all subject to overzealous or malicious prosecution by some who
think (or have reason to believe) they own the legal systems of the world, is
indeed a valid reason to reassess the public positions we may take, and our
resulting exposure.

My post was more to offer some hope and perspective. The reference to
the situation regards DVD restrictions, was pointing to such as "AnyDVD"
and others in similar circumstances. Not such as the DVD user you made
reference to in your post.

Luck;
Ken

speedlever
01-20-2011, 01:26 PM
Just noticed this thread.

Thanks Alf! You have my gratitude for your excellent work which allows me to read the books of my choice on the device(s) of my choice... and ever it should be that way.

Angst
01-20-2011, 01:44 PM
Thanks for all your work. Your instructions were always straight forward and easy to understand.

paola
01-20-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks Alf - so available, so sorely missed!

NickC42
01-20-2011, 04:37 PM
I agree that Alf has done a great job in making snooks accessible - thanks from me.

Incidentally, an amendment has just made it legal to circumvent DRM in limited circumstances:
(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format
See http://www.copyright.gov/1201/

Hopefully they'll further amend the act to allow fair usage as they have for mobile phone hacking in the same ruling. Unfortunately it might take them another 3 years. Not sure how it affects other countries such as the UK.

Nick

Harmon
01-20-2011, 09:10 PM
Incidentally, an amendment has just made it legal to circumvent DRM in limited circumstances:
(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format
See http://www.copyright.gov/1201/

Nick

Interesting. Clearly intended to force publishers to enable the read aloud function in some fashion for the visually impaired. (I dunno what the specialized format thing is all about.)

What struck me as I read the whole thing is that the ultimate effect of the DMCA will be that "fair use" will come to be defined by bureaucratic regulation, for all practical purposes. Note how the exception for video snippets does not extend to incorporation in commercial videos, even though it would be "fair use" under the copyright act, if only the commercial enterprises could get around the DRM legally. Eventually, the courts will start to defer to the Librarian of Congress on such matters, and decide that "fair use" means what the Librarian allows, and nothing more. The DMCA will become so entwined in the economy of digital media that DRM will never go away.

Kumabjorn
01-21-2011, 04:58 AM
@Harmon

I may be guilty of over analysis, but I read your posting as indirectly saying that DRM free content will in essence be considered public domain, since nothing has been done to protect it from free distribution? Hence, any commercial endeavor in the realm of publishing will be forced to deal with DRM or running the risk of illegal rampant distribution?

EowynCarter
01-21-2011, 10:35 AM
I'm counting on the fact the e-readers are becoming more mainstream. Non techy users will have more problem with DRM than the people who know how to get rid of these. And will complain, unlike the tech-savvy people how just get rid of drm and shut-up.
DRM cost in licensing, in support. Makes users unhappy when it prevent them to read. And is totally inefective in preventing piracy.
Hopefully, the publishers will comes to their senses, like the music industry did, and we'll see DRM free.

dboggny
01-21-2011, 10:41 AM
You made my life easy and you will be sorely missed. Thanks Alf

Harmon
01-21-2011, 07:31 PM
I may be guilty of over analysis, but I read your posting as indirectly saying that DRM free content will in essence be considered public domain, since nothing has been done to protect it from free distribution?

Hmm. That's not what I intended to imply, but I see how you inferred that, and it's an interesting question. I don't see that as a legal outcome, though. I think that copyright law will continue to protect what it protects now, for the copyright owner, regardless of DRM. However, over time, the copyright act will cease to protect the public's fair use rights, except to the extent that those rights are written into administrative law by the Librarian.

Hence, any commercial endeavor in the realm of publishing will be forced to deal with DRM or running the risk of illegal rampant distribution?

That's a potential outcome, in any event, at least in the eyes of the publishing industry. It seems to me to be the foundational concept for the DMCA.

Terry851
01-22-2011, 12:47 PM
I am another thankful user of your contributions to the e-reading scene. You have helped me liberate my Kindle and enabled me to read what I want, where I want. Please enjoy your 'retirement', knowing that you have made a difference to many people's lives!

Thank you, and peace!

bZkindle
01-22-2011, 07:25 PM
thanks for getting our books out of their prison!
sorry to hear you go...

cian
01-23-2011, 06:13 AM
I'm counting on the fact the e-readers are becoming more mainstream. Non techy users will have more problem with DRM than the people who know how to get rid of these. And will complain, unlike the tech-savvy people how just get rid of drm and shut-up.

I think what is more likely is that it will give Amazon a HUGE advantage over the competition. Ironically what the publishing industry are doing is making Amazon far more powerful than they already are, which is going to cause them huge problems in the future.

Leep
01-23-2011, 06:02 PM
I can only add my thanks as well. The fact that you have been willing to take a chance with your blog has been a significant benefit to many of us who just want the opportunity to read our books on whichever device we choose. It is definitely understandable that you sense a need to stay under the radar, so to speak.

Again, many thanks

graycyn
01-29-2011, 05:17 PM
I would also like to add my thanks. Now I can happily support my favorite authors without having to worry that someday I might not be able to access my books.

ProfCrash
01-30-2011, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the easy to follow advice. It is appreciated.

astrodad
01-31-2011, 10:38 AM
Thanks Master Alf! You've done an incredible service to all of us fans of ebooks.

journey711
02-03-2011, 03:37 PM
So where does a NON-techy person go to try to learn how to do this????? Rats!! All the good stuff is gone before I even know it is there.

ProfCrash
02-03-2011, 03:39 PM
The blog is still up. Alf is not adding to it any more and is no longer associated with the website.

FF2
02-03-2011, 05:18 PM
Actually, the tools were very recently upgraded.

ProfCrash
02-03-2011, 05:19 PM
Alf said he handed the password to the site to someone else. (winks)

ie he retired but the site is in good hands.

pdurrant
02-03-2011, 05:52 PM
Alf said he handed the password to the site to someone else. (winks)

ie he retired but the site is in good hands.

I believe some_updates is still doing work on the tools. I think he lives in Canada, where distributing drm removal tools isn't (yet) illegal.

GeoffC
02-04-2011, 06:27 AM
So where does a NON-techy person go to try to learn how to do this????? Rats!! All the good stuff is gone before I even know it is there.

Google is our friend, just ask the 'right' questions.....

journey711
02-11-2011, 08:37 AM
Ohhhhhh That Question!!! Thanks. Actually easier than I thought. Of course the instructions are excellent.

pdurrant
02-11-2011, 08:44 AM
I believe some_updates is still doing work on the tools. I think he lives in Canada, where distributing drm removal tools isn't (yet) illegal.

And some_updates has just posted another bug-fix update to Apprentice Alf's blog.

sadievan
02-11-2011, 11:38 AM
And some_updates has just posted another bug-fix update to Apprentice Alf's blog.

Thanks

Carol

duhhuh58
03-09-2011, 08:29 PM
ok, i'm brand new and alf retires. how do i find the blog?

Dopedangel
03-09-2011, 08:37 PM
ok, i'm brand new and alf retires. how do i find the blog?

you have the name and you have google

ProfCrash
03-09-2011, 08:39 PM
google Apprentice Alf

pdurrant
03-10-2011, 04:27 AM
ok, i'm brand new and alf retires. how do i find the blog?

[EDIT] I see I'm late with the info. And Dopedangel and ProfCrash were more polite, too.

Bilbo1967
03-10-2011, 04:34 AM
ok, i'm brand new and alf retires. how do i find the blog?

He's called Apprentice Alf. There is a web site called Google.

Add the two together!

pdurrant
03-10-2011, 04:35 AM
He's called Apprentice Alf. There is a web site called Google.

Add the two together!

I'm pleased to see I'm not the only one caught out by the turn of the page. :)

GeoffC
03-10-2011, 04:43 AM
I'm pleased to see I'm not the only one caught out by the turn of the page. :)

It happens to me frequently - and I wonder if the forum page doesn't refresh properly ....

Bilbo1967
03-10-2011, 04:46 AM
I'm pleased to see I'm not the only one caught out by the turn of the page. :)

It happens to me frequently - and I wonder if the forum page doesn't refresh properly ....

Yep - me too!

At least the person who asked the question can't complain about a lack of answers.

IcecreamLtDan
03-10-2011, 05:42 PM
Nevermind.

GeoffC
03-11-2011, 06:30 AM
Nevermind.

OK, if you insist ....

duhhuh58
03-11-2011, 08:58 AM
thanks everyone, found it!

DJHARKAVY
03-12-2011, 10:48 AM
Someone is still working at it.

The hypothetical tools have been updated at least once since Alf retired...

pdurrant
03-12-2011, 10:54 AM
Someone is still working at it.

The hypothetical tools have been updated at least once since Alf retired...

I think some_updates is still active, as it's not illegal where he lives.