View Full Version : Ethical question about adding DRM removing in ePubFixer

02-21-2011, 09:29 PM
I created a app to easily edit an ePub TOC, Margins, Reading order or Editing in Sigil and having it restore the TOC that was lost.

Now a lot of retail books are not prefect and do need some tweaking, so removing the DRM is required to edit them.

I honestly think DRM is stupid, and remove it for each book I own. But I do understand the "illegality" and moral dilemma involved.

Now I have found a .NET port for the python script used to remove the Adobe DRM, and have been working to integrate it into my program. But I am not sure if I should release it.

I was thinking of doing a normal build without it, and people wanting to remove the DRM will have to build them from the source. Because there is no dependency to python, I fear that it may be too popular, because of the ease of use. So making people have to build there own might be a deterrent for some.

But I personally hate when people do that, even if the required program is free to download. Not everybody will want to install another program when there are alternate ways to do it.

So this is my dilemma, what do you think I should do?

02-21-2011, 09:50 PM
Yeah, I think just because you can, doesn't mean you should...
It's there for a reason, as much as I hate it, I think the general population, don't care, and the ones that do already know how, so you should leave it alone

02-21-2011, 10:34 PM
While I share your sentiments, I don't think YOUR software should "aide and abet" in this endeavour!

There's other software for that; IMHO your software should concentrate on what it does best, fix non-DRM'ed ebooks!

Plus, directly assisting in DRM-removal is a quick way to surface into the limelight... :snicker:

02-22-2011, 12:03 AM
Writing and distributing DRM-removal software might be legal in Canada today, but it may not be forever if a DMCA-like law gets passed. Also. you would be at risk of prosecution any time you visited (or passed through) the US.

The only approaches that make sense are the effectively anonymous stand alone DRM-stripping tools and 3rd-party (anonymous) plugins. Note that plugin interfaces need to be for more than DRM-removal.

02-22-2011, 01:22 AM
Since you pose it as an ethical question, rather than a legal one ... to my way of thinking, it is probably, at the very least, ethically superior to putting the drm on the file in the first place. But ethics and commerce don't seem to mix very well.

02-22-2011, 03:53 PM
Well, I seem to be in the smallest minority position, but I think you should do one thing well. I think it's better to let people do their own DRM removal, and let them keep up with those changes, instead of you trying to track DRM problems as well as your own improvements.

02-23-2011, 01:48 PM
I am of two minds on this issue. On the one hand I think you should concentrate on what the program is meant to do. Play to your strengths so to speak. On the other hand as someone who despises DRM but is not a programmer I would not necessarily be able to do my own DRM removal and would appreciate if the program did it for me. When I think about it though there are DRM removal tools and plug ins already available so maybe that would be a non issue after all.