View Full Version : So, briefly, what do you think about the Kindle now?


Bob Russell
11-26-2007, 04:04 PM
Now that there has been time for a few reviews around the web, plus a lot of discussion and a lucky few actual units, I'm interested to know what people are thinking. Tell us if you have one, or are basing your opinion on the discussions. And in one paragraph or less, what is your current bottom line opinion? Love it? Hate it?

I'll start things off with a few of my own thoughts (subject to change over time, of course). I haven't touched one, so this is just based on what I've read.

I'm not thrilled with the DRM scheme or privacy issues, but this does look like a nice e-ink device. Of course it's got the Amazon name, and a library of books that you can buy without using a PC. I like the built-in dictionary and the ability to read the first chapter of any book before buying. Despite being "gadgety", it should bring e-books to a much wider audience, which will also help out e-books in general. It isn't likely to replace my PRS-500 Sony Reader, which I've become rather attached to (probably much like some people are attached to paper books), but I'm sure it will be a perfect choice for many readers.

jmdor
11-26-2007, 04:08 PM
I've touched one, and it has replaced my Sony reader. As a mac user, having the wireless capability is far superior to having to boot through parallels to manage content. The basic reading process is the same. The prices are much more competitive thatn Sony (at least until a couple of days ago), and I'm willing to throw $9.99 after a book rather than wait for library availability. It will hopefully improve over time, but it's a winner for me.

VillageReader
11-26-2007, 04:19 PM
I would be more impressed with it if it had standard Mobipocket capability rather than their own proprietary service. But even if they went with a more open route, until a true nextgen device comes along, I'll be sticking with my Iliad (color and speed improvements, more fluid web access, the ability to download directly from the local library, etc.)

tlrowley
11-26-2007, 04:28 PM
I absolutely love mine.

I've held off on the e-book wars for awhile - I almost bought the Sony, but their lack of support for Macs, problems with various Sony DRMs in the past, and the cost of books in the connect store all stopped me. I thought the Kindle was the ugliest thing I had ever seen, until I saw the videos on the amazon site. It's still not "Apple beautiful", but it's not terrible. The synergy between the Kindle store and wireless downloading is wonderful - and costly. It's just too easy to buy new books - almost like they want me to spend money :) The buttons on the side are too easy to hit, but if I keep the Kindle in its case, I don't find the buttons get in the way.

I'd like a nicer case, and I'm looking for a book light solution. On the amazon site, they talk about the Mighty Bright UltrFlex2 as being "custom designed" for the Kindle, but it's not a new book light? What's so special about this book light? Any suggestions on a good book light that will fit over the leather cover?

Tracey
(I guess I wasn't brief...)

azog
11-26-2007, 04:46 PM
Needs a third-party case. That case is futile. The buttons at the edges are intrusive. Get rid of the one on the right, or make it at least 50% smaller. Power switches need to be relocated to a more convenient area (I turn wireless off unless I am actively using it, and I would prefer to do a power-down rather than the sleep mode).

TallMomof2
11-26-2007, 04:54 PM
I'm really happy with my Kindle. It's easy to use and easy on the eyes. EVDO is worth the extra $ (as compared to the Sony 505) and it's fun to have web resources at my fingertips while I'm reading. I don't like not being able to read DRMed Mobi books. The side buttons really need to be changed. The case needs a little more work and, please, some other color besides black.

tsgreer
11-26-2007, 04:54 PM
I love it and it's replaced my Sony reader. As a mac user, having something that's friendly to my operation system is a nice change. I like the look, feel and usability of the device as it fits my needs perfectly. DRM isn't a big deal to me. Some minor changes could be made, but all in all, a great product and no buyers remorse for me. :)

NatCh
11-26-2007, 05:16 PM
While I have no direct experience with a Kindle, I find myself impressed by it so far. I continue to hold reservations about the DRM and privacy issues, but Amazon seems to have managed to position this thing remarkably well. My step-mother was completely unimpressed with my PRS500 last Christmas, but she's actually talking about buying a Kindle now. She wants it for read-and-toss books when she and my father travel (by RV, so space is a consideration), so the DRM isn't a concern for her. The EVDO means that she can probably get new books while they're traveling, even if she has to do so as they're passing through a large city. Perhaps the best-seller reading, RV traveler is the target demographic that Amazon has aimed for -- it's certainly one they're hitting. Overall, the device seems to be pretty solidly designed, no more than they usual level of complaint on that score, and it seems to do what it claims it will pretty well.

PHugger
11-26-2007, 06:21 PM
I'm a relatively new Sony 505 user and I think it's pretty close to being a perfect reader. Two things bug me:
The next page button needs to be larger and easier to find without looking
Stepping through the menus (TOCs) is *very* slow
Sony has the styling down. It's very good looking and by comparison the Kindle looks clunky and cheaper. The Kindle crossed a very important line IMHO. They decided to go past the basic reader functions step part way into the tablet PC market. I not surprised that the Kindle seems to have a much larger appeal to Mac users. They are used to accepting and being happy with the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store (no flames, I use Macs). The search features temp me, but they cross the line from a pure reader. Having WAN access does nothing for me. I have access to PCs and can easily add content when needed - I have no need for instant, wireless downloads. I'm a bit of a gadget nut and these Kindle extras all duplicate functions I already have and carry with me. I really hope that Amazon decides to make their eBooks available in other formats or that other bookstores/publishers get their acts together soon. I really hope the Kindle does well. We all benefit from the competition and Amazon's encouragement to publish in electronic formats is another win for all of us. I'm glad there is a new kid on the block, but I have no envy...... (c8


PCH

rlauzon
11-26-2007, 06:21 PM
Overpriced reader. Overpriced DRMed eBooks.Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works). The DRM restrictions are even higher than for other devices. I hope everyone who pays money to rent eBooks from Amazon remembers the customers who got screwed over by their Unbox service.

Unless something changes, I'm avoiding this piece of junk like the plague.

NatCh
11-26-2007, 06:23 PM
Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works).Not so far, there aren't, it remains to be seen how that will shake out eventually. :shrug:

igorsk
11-26-2007, 06:28 PM
Use the number buttons for menu navigation. Much faster than cursor buttons.

slayda
11-26-2007, 06:37 PM
Overpriced reader. Overpriced DRMed eBooks.Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works). The DRM restrictions are even higher than for other devices. I hope everyone who pays money to rent eBooks from Amazon remembers the customers who got screwed over by their Unbox service.

Unless something changes, I'm avoiding this piece of junk like the plague.

Well said!!

tsgreer
11-26-2007, 06:42 PM
...I not surprised that the Kindle seems to have a much larger appeal to Mac users. They are used to accepting and being happy with the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store (no flames, I use Macs)....

Dude, I'm not flaming, but we accept "the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store" as opposed to um, Microsoft?

tsgreer
11-26-2007, 06:44 PM
...Overpriced DRMed eBooks....

But aren't the Sony Reader DRM books more expensive than Amazon's DRM books?

AintLDS
11-26-2007, 06:48 PM
I like mine a lot. Some things that could be improved:

1. Case color - make it charcoal grey or black - having a few choices on color would be nice
2. Right side next page button - don't need it or make it half the size
3. Left side prev page button, make it the same size as the next page button
4. Lower volume knobs - put on the front - an Alt+some button like the sleep mode - the way they are now they rattle
5. All books shouldn't cost more than $9.99. Tom Perkin's autobiography is $16 and I'd love to read it, but not at that price
6. I'd love to be able to gift books to other Kindle owners and have them download automagically to their Kindle with a little note
7. A $299 price point would make it easier to justify the purchase to your spouse
8. Need more books - but they are off to a good start
9. Oh yeah, and include a decent sleeve or cover already!

But otherwise, I've had a lot of fun using mine. I hope this catches on!

NatCh
11-26-2007, 06:48 PM
But aren't the Sony Reader DRM books more expensive than Amazon's DRM books?
If I recall correctly, rlauzon considers DRMed e-books to be worth about $1, counting it to be a rental rather than a purchase. :wink:

rlauzon
11-26-2007, 06:52 PM
But aren't the Sony Reader DRM books more expensive than Amazon's DRM books?

But places like Fictionwise offer eBooks for less.

Once DRM is on the eBook, it's no different from checking a book out at the library. I can do that for free. For the privilege of getting it early: $1. $10 is overpriced - just not grossly overpriced like at Sony.

NatCh
11-26-2007, 06:54 PM
$10 is overpriced - just not grossly overpriced like at Sony.Sony (and most of the other e-book sellers) have dropped their prices in response to the Kindle launch. Which is a step in the right direction, anyway. :shrug:

pilotbob
11-26-2007, 07:14 PM
I own the Sony reader. If I didn't and I had to choose it would be the Kindle, due to the content available. Yes, I don't love DRM, but you have to take the bad with the good.

That said, I will not be compeled to get one. After spending $350 for the Sony reader (got it when it was first released) I can't see spending another $400 at this point. OF course, if someone outside of my wallet (not wife) wanted to get me one... I would happily accept it!

BOb

Lov2Read
11-26-2007, 07:48 PM
and have no intention of getting a Kindle. It is too locked down for me, and the price too steep considering how locked down it is. Just not impressed with anything about this Amazon e-adventure. I'll revisit it if and when a newer model comes out

PHugger
11-26-2007, 08:00 PM
Dude, I'm not flaming, but we accept "the offerings of a locked down monopoly - hardware, OS, content, and store" as opposed to um, Microsoft?
Yes Microsoft makes some OSs, some applications, and just a bit of hardware like mice and keyboards. Compare that with Apple who in addition, also makes the actual computer hardware - this is a huge difference. I'm sorry that you can't see this. PCs are mix and match commodities - Apple is take what you get and say thank you Steve. It always amazes me to find people who squawk when Microsoft bundles a browser with the OS and then jump for joy when Apple does the same thing, but worse. I guess I just like choices..... AMD or Intel, Windows or Linux and the ability to avoid DRM. Apple is very good at locking their customers into the Apple family and keeping them there - iPod, iTunes, iTunes store, or iPhone, iTunes, AT&T only, Locked down. I would just rather choose who I marry and perhaps not make such a big commitment. This is what the Kindle looks like to me - a one stop shop without choices. Don't get your jockeys in a bunch I'm just making a comparison of the Amazon marketing plans with that of Apple.



PCH

PHugger
11-26-2007, 08:06 PM
Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless
I don't believe you have to pay anything additional to use the WLAN features. It's covered by Amazon as a part of your purchase price. It seem like a great way to funnel people into their store. Not many folks would buy it if you had to pay each time you connect.




PCH

rlauzon
11-26-2007, 08:43 PM
I don't believe you have to pay anything additional to use the WLAN features. It's covered by Amazon as a part of your purchase price. It seem like a great way to funnel people into their store. Not many folks would buy it if you had to pay each time you connect.

From what I understand, if you have an eBook delivered via EVDO, you pay a fee for it. If you download the eBook yourself and put it on your Kindle via USB, you avoid this fee.

Alisa
11-26-2007, 08:44 PM
From what I understand, if you have an eBook delivered via EVDO, you pay a fee for it. If you download the eBook yourself and put it on your Kindle via USB, you avoid this fee.

For an ebook you didn't purchase through Amazon, yes. For an Amazon ebook, that's included in the price.

Barcey
11-26-2007, 08:48 PM
Overall I'm impressed with it. They've done a lot of things right with it and have some innovative new features. I'm still disappointed because I feel they're a couple of bonehead decisions away from creating a product that would appeal to a much larger market. I like all the marketing buzz they've done and I love what seems to be happening to the price of ebooks. I think $9.99 for new releases is fair and other book retailers seem to be matching it.

gteague
11-26-2007, 09:15 PM
slow. sluggish when next or prev page has a graphic. can't enlarge graphics. no place to hold it, needs options for long press or double click so buttons won't activate by accident. amazon may charge for http in the future. very few tech books from reputable publishers and such titles, even if offered, would be useless unless you can enlarge charts and table and drawings. titles are mostly too expensive at $9.99 (considering the cost of delivery) and some non-bestsellers and tech titles are outrageous at up to $200. otoh, virtually instantaneous downloads from virtually anywhere. text looks fantastic, even bad eyes can read at smallest font size in order to have more words on a page. can sample nearly a hundred thousand works absolutely free. can hold hundreds of works internally and can offload titles to amazon for storage.

you might be able to tell i still haven't made the keep/send back decision.


/guy

igorsk
11-26-2007, 09:26 PM
My Kindle didn't arrive yet -_-.

Zoot
11-26-2007, 09:55 PM
I love mine. It replaced the Sony 500. It's much faster than the Sony so I'm a bit perplexed by the people who complain about the page-turning speed as it seems pretty zippy to me. The case could be better but it only mostly sucks. The wireless delivery is awesome and will almost certainly result in my buying more books than I would have with the Sony, and probably significantly more than I would buy in paper form too (buying an ebook seems like less of a commitment than a pbook in a family where we tend to keep books forever). The DRM issues seem identical to the Sony to me.

There are many gadgets out there (the iPhone is probably not a bad example) that have lots of flash and sex-appeal and do lots of cool things, but they're things that you probably don't need to do for more than a few minutes at a time so they may only change your life so much, and after a while the newness wears off and it's just last-year's model at that point.

The Kindle (and really all the other e-ink book readers) do one thing really well, which is delivering the written word in a form that's virtually identical to ink on paper in terms of the reading experience. So ultimately it's not about the device and its bells and whistles, but about the content delivered by the device. An e-ink based reader really does get out of the way and become invisible, leaving you with just the book you're reading.

I think the Kindle has a number of nice advantages over similar devices (the main one probably being the Amazon name and what that implies) but it's quite similar to the competition in terms of its ability to deliver that basic e-ink reading experience. The wireless delivery, shopping, and reference are really cool, but they aren't things one must have in order to get the full ebook experience.

I'd highly recommend a Kindle to someone who doesn't already have something like the Sony, but someone with a Sony Reader or equivalent should not feel like they're missing some grand revolution if they decide not to "upgrade".

Z.

rijker
11-26-2007, 10:46 PM
I'm a librarian, so when the topic of reading or e-books comes up, I'm usually in with both feet. To tell truth, I'm rather the budding e-book snob and when my partner ordered a Kindle the day they appeared (and sold out) I tried vehemently to pooh-pooh the decision: horrors, the drm! the proprietary format! It's just ... simply f-ugly! We had a Sony reader which he didn't really like - and I couldn't blame him really. A geek like me willingly performs any number of weird conversions and technical steeplechases to hopefully achieve the 'perfect' reading experience, the ueber-ebook.

He just wanted to read. (sigh... go figure)
Sony's byzantine software / web store, scarce supply, and non-existent customer service made that very difficult indeed for the ordinary mortal.

I chuckled to myself: but just you wait, mister. Just see how disappointed you'll be with this limited excuse for a reading device. Why, it'll be on the next UPS truck back to Amazon. You'll see!

It arrived - I was there. He opened the package, the device displayed "hello Kenneth" and already listed the books he'd pre-ordered. I knew it was over then. This wretched thing and its slinky version 2.0 grandchildren will no doubt be part of our lives for a long time to come.

We took it along for Thanksgiving and the clan loved it. Weird. It was passed from hand to hand as the younger folks eagerly downloaded the free first chapter of any book they wanted (out of 90,000 +), trials of the New York Times and Le Monde. No computer or wi-fi needed. No one , *no one* said it was ugly. No one asked about drm. Kenn's dad said, "why, you know this will probably change the publishing world forever!". Right.

In the last few days I do find myself playing with it more. There are lots of things I would improve but I feel like some corner has been turned. Maybe in its own way, it is as revolutionary as Amazon.com was in its early days. Anyway, more thoughts later, but for now, while not a convert, I'm certainly an interested observer.

JSWolf
11-26-2007, 10:57 PM
Sony's non-existent customer service? Sony actually has pretty good customer service. I have called them with some problems and they were sorted pretty well in a timely manor. I don't know where you got that Sony's customer server for the reader line and/or the Connect Store isn't there. In fact, it is there and it is good.

And as far as the screen of the Kindle being better then the screen of the 500.. it is because it is Vizplex. BUT, the screen of the 505 is better then the screen of the Kindle because Sony used a controller that supports 8 shades instead of 4. So if you want a better screen, go for the 505.

gteague
11-26-2007, 11:05 PM
Sony's non-existent customer service? Sony actually has pretty good customer service. I have called them with some problems and they were sorted pretty well in a timely manor. I don't know where you got that Sony's customer server for the reader line and/or the Connect Store isn't there. In fact, it is there and it is good.<Del>

i based my opinion on a sony vaio which is the only product i've tried to call sony about. to be fair, it wasn't a lot worse than most other tech support at other companies. any problem, restore from scratch and reboot. and it took a long long slog down auto answer phone trees to get someone who barely spoke english with that helpful suggestion. [g]

/guy

Jorgen
11-28-2007, 02:34 PM
Overpriced reader. Overpriced DRMed eBooks.Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works). The DRM restrictions are even higher than for other devices. I hope everyone who pays money to rent eBooks from Amazon remembers the customers who got screwed over by their Unbox service.

Unless something changes, I'm avoiding this piece of junk like the plague.

Agree fully (as always)!

Wireless delivery sounds cool, but it is not a feature I would pay money for.
Would I like a keyboard for searches? Yes, but only if it is a plug-in device.
I have not seen a Kindle, but it is certainly not as classy a design as, say, Sony.

Quite another thing is that I would miss Fictionwise, where I am a buywise member. Great shop with good customer service. And unlike Amazon, they don't expect to get married to me for life.

nekokami
11-28-2007, 02:57 PM
If Apple users prefer the Kindle (and I'm not convinced of that relationship), perhaps linux geeks prefer the iLiad. I love mine, anyway. :D

I think the Kindle is still priced too high for the typical reader (in developed countries, to say nothing of lower income markets). I know that's the cost of the components, but it's just too much for most people to pay for a single-function device-- even if it does include live access to Wikipedia. But I'm glad Amazon got into the market, just for the increase in visibility that this has given to eBooks.

What I'd like to see next: a deal with Powell's, or any other large pbook/ebook seller to promote a competing lower-cost less-restrictive reader/content combo. And I'm still hoping to see "book club" businesses hop onto the ebook train.

TallMomof2
11-28-2007, 07:47 PM
Quite another thing is that I would miss Fictionwise, where I am a buywise member. Great shop with good customer service. And unlike Amazon, they don't expect to get married to me for life.

You can still directly load multiformat (NO DRM) PRC files from Fictionwise. I have a couple hundred on a SD chip and they work fine.

TallMomof2
11-28-2007, 07:48 PM
If Apple users prefer the Kindle (and I'm not convinced of that relationship), perhaps linux geeks prefer the iLiad. I love mine, anyway. :D

The Iliad was just a little too expensive for me. I'm happy with my Kindle for now.

spooky69
11-28-2007, 09:11 PM
Never touched it, but here are my thoughts: I'm impressed by people's reactions, and it seems like the firmware is solid enough. Internet connectivity is a killer feature. I'm glad to hear that they got the software right, but the design of the case is impressively bad, and it looks just as unappealing as it did in what we assumed was just an early prototype. Instead of looking like a device, it looks like a machine. Whatever grave oversights led to these terrible visual aesthetics could be forgiven...if it weren't for the giant page flip buttons on the sides. What's the point of having a back/next button configuration designed for those who would grip the Kindle either by one side or both, when, in fact, they can't really hold it in either manner? I have to imagine that the giant "user-friendly" buttons were much-lauded in the design room, but their main functionality on the final product seems to be making the screen look smaller and mildly annoying early adopters for as long as they own this model. Not everyone will care about the way a product looks, but everybody will notice when a hand-held device isn't easy to to hold in your hands. I'll take another look when those buttons are fixed, but for now I'll be purchasing a Sony PRS-505.

wallcraft
11-29-2007, 12:30 AM
Really really bad cover. Scroll wheel and cursor bar are a good alternative to a touch screen. Feels cheap, may not be durable. GUI is well done.

This is my 3rd device with MobiPocket's Java Reader, and it is the best implementation so far. However, it still does not allow any choices for line or margin spacing or the option to disable text justification (which looks weird at the large font sizes). Large images get rescaled to the screen, but this slows down page turns.

CCDMan
11-29-2007, 10:46 PM
Overpriced DRMed eBooks.Fees up the wazoo to use the wireless (when you are in an area where it works).

Overpriced? Compared to what? Comparing to what you want them to cost, or to what you think they should cost, does not count (except to you as a potential buyer). Pricing on every damn thing in the world (except government regulated items) is determined by one thing and one thing only. MARKET FORCES.

What wireless fees? No fees unless you exceed an amount that no way would you exceed just buying books. Oh, and BTW, I am pretty rural and wireless works here fine, although too slow to browse well, but as I have said many times - IT IS NOT A BROWSER (or an email device) - that is clearly an experimental and very secondary function and one should not buy it for that purpose. It's a READER.

In fact, I think Amazon may have made a mistake by opening the wireless for anything but book selection and purchase since this invites comparison to devices that are clearly designed for browsing and/or email and therefore will be much better at those things than the Kindle.

Back to my thinking on the device as an owner (which is what I think the thread author had in mind):

Bad cover
Not great battery life
Still a little buggy (likely fixed by firmware updates at some point)
A bit pricey (device, not the books)

Otherwise pretty much all good - it is replacing my PRS-500 except for the Sony books on that that I have not yet read (only a couple).

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 04:37 AM
Overpriced? Compared to what?

Compared to other DRM-encumbered products on the Internet.

Pricing on every damn thing in the world (except government regulated items) is determined by one thing and one thing only. MARKET FORCES.

Correct. The market has set the price at $1 for disposable content.

HarryT
11-30-2007, 05:08 AM
But aren't the Sony Reader DRM books more expensive than Amazon's DRM books?


Don't waste your breath trying to debate DRM with Lauzon. He believes that if you gave away DRM books free, they'd still be overpriced.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 05:55 AM
Don't waste your breath trying to debate DRM with Lauzon. He believes that if you gave away DRM books free, they'd still be overpriced.

As usual, you don't read what I post. Free is the fair market price for DRMed content.

Since DRM eliminates your First Sale rights, you do not "buy" DRMed content - you rent it. It's no different than borrowing a book from the library. Borrowing a book from the library is free. Therefore, the fair market price for DRMed content is free.

HarryT
11-30-2007, 05:59 AM
I don't have any "first sale rights". That's an American legal concept. I do not live in America.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 06:05 AM
I don't have any "first sale rights". That's an American legal concept. I do not live in America.

And that means something because....???

HarryT
11-30-2007, 06:09 AM
You said that it eliminates my first sales rights. I'm just saying that I don't have these rights which you claim that I do. Your argument is therefore invalid.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 06:41 AM
You said that it eliminates my first sales rights. I'm just saying that I don't have these rights which you claim that I do. Your argument is therefore invalid.

I will point out that this thread is about the Kindle.

And since the Kindle is a U.S. only offering, U.K. laws are irrelevant.

CCDMan
11-30-2007, 11:26 AM
Compared to other DRM-encumbered products on the Internet....The market has set the price at $1 for disposable content.


You must mean music. You sure can't mean books. You simply cannot compare a 5 minute song to a book. The very idea is laughable.

Other DRM content such as music or movies is OTHER DRM CONTENT and is totally and completely irrelevant to this discussion. Hmm, I bought my last car for 27K, I guess I should be able to buy an 18 wheeler for about the same price.

Free is the fair market price for DRMed content.

Which market? Fair market price in the legitimate market is set by that market and that has been set by the market for DRM BOOKS (mostly Sony and Amazon at this point). People are willing to pay that. People ARE paying that, by the tens of thousands they are paying that. The legitimate marketplace for DRM books is Sony and Amazon and the like. It is not Pirate Bay or peer-to peer networks any more than Bubba in the alley behind the bar is the legitimate marketplace for weapons.

There is White market and Black market. They coexist nearly everywhere there is a market.
Price in one may affect prices in the other (or may not) but they are never the SAME prices. One just has to decide which market one shops in. This a moral decision more than an economic one. So are you gonna buy or are you gonna steal? I can't speak for others but I will buy legitimate if the price is acceptable to me or not buy at all if it is not - stealing is not an option.

If you are saying that thieves are setting the market price then everything everywhere has a "correct" price of zero (or maybe 10-20 if you get caught). Just because there are lots of thieves does not make thieving right.

Now don't get me wrong, I think DRM is dumb and it is not helping the industry and they could almost certainly sell more content and make more money w/o it. That does not translate into a justification for stealing content. If one wants to change the system, the way to do it is to patronize sellers like BAEN. I have done that. I probably have 5 times more BAEN books on my readers than all the DRM content combined.

Alisa
11-30-2007, 01:43 PM
If folks don't mind, I'm going to drag this thread back to the Kindle for a minute. I got mine yesterday and so far I'm finding it very comfortable to use. I'm not having trouble hitting buttons. Getting content on and off is very easy via the store or USB. The only negatives so far: I'm still waiting on the files I sent to free.kindle.com yesterday afternoon and my first book from the store had three typos. They were all of the same variety: two words run together. It was odd since a spellchecker should have caught all of them.

gregr209
11-30-2007, 02:04 PM
I got my Kindle yesterday and have only played with it for a few hours. So far I love it. However the things I don't like about it are -

The cover is horrible!!!!!!!
When I hand it to people they push buttons they shouldn't
The 'back' button sucks

The things I love -

The screen is awesome!!!!!!
Reading in bed is easy and a joy
Navigation is easy thanks to the 'little wheel'
Buying books is sooooo easy...in fact to easy :-)
Sample chapters are awesome!!!!!! In fact I spent my entire commute this morning reading sample chapters

Just my 2 cents so far!

Greg

kacir
11-30-2007, 04:23 PM
You simply cannot compare a 5 minute song to a book. The very idea is laughable.
Think about it.
Many people listen to that 5 minute song many hundred times. You do not usually re-read most of books.

Which medium gives you more hours of enjoyment?
One book that takes 10 hours to read.
or a 2 minute song that you listen to at least three hundred times?

I know that it usually takes longer time to write a book than to make a recording (especially nowadays), but again think about those countless hours the musician has to spend learning to play a guitar ...

CCDMan
11-30-2007, 04:50 PM
Think about it.
Many people listen to that 5 minute song many hundred times. You do not usually re-read most of books.
Which medium gives you more hours of enjoyment?

The point was that they are apples and oranges and cannot be compared with any accuracy. Both digital downloads, but that is where the similarity ends.

CCDMan
11-30-2007, 04:55 PM
The cover is horrible!!!!!!!

Agreed! They need to look at the Sony.

When I hand it to people they push buttons they shouldn't

I would be afraid they would not give it back! <g>

The 'back' button sucks

Yeah, why do we even need one?

The screen is awesome!!!!!!
Reading in bed is easy and a joy
Navigation is easy thanks to the 'little wheel'
Buying books is sooooo easy...in fact too easy :-)

Agree of all of the above. As far as those folks that don't own one and say they hate it anyway........ I hope you enjoy reading on paper. As for me, I ain't ever going back to paper if I can avoid it and I am getting damn tired of listening to opinions about a device from all manner of jerks who have never tried one!

Now if you will excuse me, I have a book to read (actually, about 10) <g>

azog
11-30-2007, 05:23 PM
Yeah, why do we even need one?



The quote is in reference to the BACK button; apparently the forum won't allow me to attribute multiple quotes.

In any event, I wondered about that BACK button, too, but quickly learned to use it. When I look up a word in the dictionary, the BACK button brings me back to where I was reading. There are other uses for the button as well, but that is a primary thing for me. Otherwise you'd need to set a bookmark, and then go back to the bookmark, which is pretty tedious.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 05:32 PM
You must mean music. You sure can't mean books. You simply cannot compare a 5 minute song to a book. The very idea is laughable.

No. I don't mean books. I mean eBooks.

Which market? Fair market price in the legitimate market is set by that market and that has been set by the market for DRM BOOKS (mostly Sony and Amazon at this point).

Which libraries offer for free today. Fair market value is set.

Alisa
11-30-2007, 05:55 PM
The library has set the price of "free" (or rather a small cut of your tax dollars) to be able to read the book with less convenience. Sometimes it's a little less convenient. You have to go to the library during their hours, find the book, check it out, bring it back, etc. Sometimes there's a lot less convenience. It may be checked out. There may be a list. If it's popular you may have to wait for months. The fair market price for the book you want on demand is a different matter.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 06:02 PM
The library has set the price of "free" (or rather a small cut of your tax dollars) to be able to read the book with less convenience. Sometimes it's a little less convenient. You have to go to the library during their hours, find the book, check it out, bring it back, etc. Sometimes there's a lot less convenience. It may be checked out. There may be a list. If it's popular you may have to wait for months. The fair market price for the book you want on demand is a different matter.

A paper book, by its nature as a physical object, is scarce.

An eBook, by its nature as a logical object, is not scarce. The number of eBooks can grow to meet checkout demand for no cost. So any "wait for availability" is something that is artificially imposed by someone.

Alisa
11-30-2007, 06:15 PM
A paper book, by its nature as a physical object, is scarce.

An eBook, by its nature as a logical object, is not scarce. The number of eBooks can grow to meet checkout demand for no cost. So any "wait for availability" is something that is artificially imposed by someone.

Paper books are not "by nature" scarce. In fact they're often over produced. The reason they may be scarce at the library is that the "free" library book is actually paid for by tax dollars which are scarce. They can't buy enough copies to give everyone access on demand. There are usually way more copies in existence that the library could have if they had the money for it.

Library ebooks are "scarce" based on how many simultaneous checkouts the library has authorized. So yes it is artificially created. If libraries could offer unlimited downloads for "free" then ebook publishers would either raise the prices astronomically or not release the ebooks.

sfernald
11-30-2007, 06:19 PM
I love my Kindle so far. I think I love the access to content most. Every night when my wife would watch tv I would sit with my laptop and surf the web. Now I use my kindle instead. It gives me access to the same tech articles I like, and in addition, I now find I read many other types of content, such as the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, Salon and of course whatever novel or short story compilation I may be working on. I've noticed the quality of the content I'm consuming on the Kindle is much higher than I consume just from the web. The Kindle does a great job of supporting the different types of writing I like. Also, it is more portable and easy to hold than my laptop. And of course the screen is much better for intensive reading sessions. To improve it, I think they should make it smaller like the PRS505 and more attractive. I prefer quality metal to plastic any day. The big thing though is the display. They need to keep improving that display. Make it larger, with more contrast (most important), and higher DPI and of course an even faster refresh. I think new Kindle releases should follow the display technology. When a new display comes out that is markedly better than the last, then by all means, release another improved version of the Kindle please. I can always sell my old one on ebay.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 06:23 PM
Paper books are not "by nature" scarce.

All physical objects are scarce by nature.

Library ebooks are "scarce" based on how many simultaneous checkouts the library has authorized. So yes it is artificially created. If libraries could offer unlimited downloads for "free" then ebook publishers would either raise the prices astronomically or not release the ebooks.

Since you agree that the scarcity of eBooks is artificial, how do you justify paying $10 for something that costs nothing to duplicate?

Nate the great
11-30-2007, 06:25 PM
Paper books are not "by nature" scarce. In fact they're often over produced. The reason they may be scarce at the library is that the "free" library book is actually paid for by tax dollars which are scarce. They can't buy enough copies to give everyone access on demand. There are usually way more copies in existence that the library could have if they had the money for it.

Library ebooks are "scarce" based on how many simultaneous checkouts the library has authorized. So yes it is artificially created. If libraries could offer unlimited downloads for "free" then ebook publishers would either raise the prices astronomically or not release the ebooks.

He meant scarce as in a finite supply, or "if I have this copy, then you don't". neither of which apply to digital media such as mp3 or ebooks..

Alisa
11-30-2007, 06:32 PM
Since you agree that the scarcity of eBooks is artificial, how do you justify paying $10 for something that costs nothing to duplicate?

I don't think $10 is usually justifiable but I believe free is too cheap. It's about what the people who produced it want me to pay and whether that is reasonable. I'm hoping that ebooks create a more direct relationship between producers and consumers once there is not need for the traditional gatekeepers to the manufacturing process.

Alisa
11-30-2007, 06:33 PM
He meant scarce as in a finite supply, or "if I have this copy, then you don't". neither of which apply to digital media such as mp3 or ebooks..

They apply if you choose to obey the fair use rules and only use what you paid for.

pilotbob
11-30-2007, 07:22 PM
All physical objects are scarce by nature.
Since you agree that the scarcity of eBooks is artificial, how do you justify paying $10 for something that costs nothing to duplicate?

Apparently you never wrote a book. While it costs nothing (not really nothing since you need a PC, storage space, etc... but I digress) to create the container of the work, creating the story took effort and that is worth more than nothing.

As a software developer I have a similar issue. To "develop" a product itself can take many man years plus all the training of everyone on the team including developers, testers, writers, product managers, etc. However, once it is complete and we have the deployable files it takes maybe $1 a CD to create the container for what was perhaps millions of $'s of R&D cost. Are you going to say that the software is "worth" $1 cause that's what it cost us to create the CD copy the customer gets?

BOb

Nate the great
11-30-2007, 07:32 PM
They apply if you choose to obey the fair use rules and only use what you paid for.


Let me clarify: Digital media is only as scarce as the electrons it is made from. Everything else that makes it scarce is a mutually agreed upon fiction.

I wasn't trying to defend Rlauzon, only explain how he was using the word scarce. For the most part, I do not agree with him.

Alisa
11-30-2007, 07:38 PM
Let me clarify: Digital media is only as scarce as the electrons it is made from. Everything else that makes it scarce is a mutually agreed upon fiction.

I wasn't trying to defend Rlauzon, only explain how he was using the word scarce. For the most part, I do not agree with him.

I understood him and i disagreed with how he characterized the resource of a "book".

bingle
11-30-2007, 07:38 PM
As a software developer I have a similar issue. To "develop" a product itself can take many man years plus all the training of everyone on the team including developers, testers, writers, product managers, etc. However, once it is complete and we have the deployable files it takes maybe $1 a CD to create the container for what was perhaps millions of $'s of R&D cost. Are you going to say that the software is "worth" $1 cause that's what it cost us to create the CD copy the customer gets?


This is the part of the equation that's changing, though. Currently, that's the way it works - people have to pay for a copy of everything in order to subsidize the massive up-front costs of the product. But the fact of the matter is that it's easy and free to copy certain products, and that's not going to change.

Someone earlier said that the free market didn't include things like The Pirate Bay - except, it does. If you set up an apple cart next to the guy with the "free apples" sign, you're not going to be doing a lot of business. It may not be fair, or even legal, but the invisible hand doesn't seem to care. Consumers know how to easily get free copies of books and music and software and movies. If you want to make money off of those things, you'd better find a way that doesn't involve selling copies.

To clarify, I'm not advocating piracy. But if you're planning a business that revolves around intellectual property in this day and age, you need to keep piracy in mind (and YouTube, MySpace sample tracks, fan fiction, Open Source, and all the other legal ways of distributing content for free.)

Alisa
11-30-2007, 07:41 PM
If you set up an apple cart next to the guy with the "free apples" sign, you're not going to be doing a lot of business. It may not be fair, or even legal, but the invisible hand doesn't seem to care. Consumers know how to easily get free copies of books and music and software and movies. If you want to make money off of those things, you'd better find a way that doesn't involve selling copies.

Though I'm curious to see how that would change if the sign said "Stolen Apples".

ginolee
11-30-2007, 09:43 PM
I think, like stocks, people will be willing to pay what they think a piece of digital content is worth. If they think a particular item is overpriced, less people will buy it and over time the price will come down or the product will be discontinued.

With Amazon and Kindle, the ability to preview the first chapter or so of an ebook will help people to determine more accurately whether they are willing to pay for the rest of the ebook.

I think it shows an incredible naivete to assert repeatedly that digital content ebooks are each worth a dollar a piece because the cost to distribute is close to nil. This shows a profound ignorance of the work involved in producing the digital content as well as marketing it.

Gino.

rlauzon
11-30-2007, 09:55 PM
As a software developer I have a similar issue. To "develop" a product itself can take many man years plus all the training of everyone on the team including developers, testers, writers, product managers, etc. However, once it is complete and we have the deployable files it takes maybe $1 a CD to create the container for what was perhaps millions of $'s of R&D cost. Are you going to say that the software is "worth" $1 cause that's what it cost us to create the CD copy the customer gets?

I'm saying that to equate the price of a pBook to the price of an eBook is meaningless. The vast majority of the price of a pBook has to do with the physicalness of the pBook: the paper, the printing, the distribution, etc. None of those costs exist with an eBook.

The price of an eBook should cover the costs of creating the work, divided over the number of copies made. That price should be very small.

Liviu_5
12-01-2007, 12:14 AM
The price of an eBook should cover the costs of creating the work, divided over the number of copies made. That price should be very small.

What are these costs? What are the costs of creating a book by a bestselling author that makes tons of money vs the costs of creating a book by an obscure author that sells 400 hc's?? Books are not widgets, so there is no such a thing as the cost of creating a book.

The market is determining the price of an e-book and right now the discrepance between the offer and the bid is so huge that the commercial e-book market is just a drop in a bucket. Personally I just do not see the bid (the price people are willing to pay for e-books in general as a mass not few enthusiasts like us here) coming up, and the laughed at NYT futurist that estimated the price of e-books for large scale adoption to be 0$ may be quite right.

Personally I paid up to 15-20$ for select e-books (though only drm-free e-arcs from Baen or convertible lit books) and I wouldn't pay more than 1$ for a non-convertible drm book, but I just do not see large scale adoption of e-books at current prices

pilotbob
12-01-2007, 12:27 AM
This is the part of the equation that's changing, though. Currently, that's the way it works - people have to pay for a copy of everything in order to subsidize the massive up-front costs of the product. But the fact of the matter is that it's easy and free to copy certain products, and that's not going to change.

I assume when you say "copy" you are talking about functionality and not implementation... such as Open Office which is free (as in Libre) vs MS Word which is not free.

Or, are you saying that since MS Word can be coppied easily it is ok to copy it?

BOb

tklaus
12-01-2007, 02:56 AM
Since you agree that the scarcity of eBooks is artificial, how do you justify paying $10 for something that costs nothing to duplicate?

You're not paying for the cost of production, any more than you are paying for the cost of the paper in a physical book. You are paying for all of the hours of hard work that the author put into producing the words.

petermillard
12-01-2007, 06:28 AM
I think, like stocks, people will be willing to pay what they think a piece of digital content is worth. If they think a particular item is overpriced, less people will buy it and over time the price will come down or the product will be discontinued.
Gino.

Interesting analogy; if more people buy a particular stock the price rises (demand) whereas if more people buy a pbook, we'd expect the price to fall (economies of scale, retailer competition etc...) - I wonder which direction we'd expect the price of a poplar eBook to go in? And why would a low-selling (unpopular?) ebook be reduced in price, given the near-zero cost of storing and distributing digital content?

I agree, though, that books (e or p) are only 'worth' what people are willing to pay for them. Just to bring the music analogy back for a minute, Radiohead (a popular music group, m'lud...) recently released an album available as download only, and let people pay what they liked for it; the average turned out to be something like 2.90 (~ $6 USD) and the headlines in the press were of the 'most fans download album for free' variety. It' not as simple as that, though. Maybe people downloaded the album just to see if they could. Maybe they downloaded it and didn't pay because they were planning to buy the 40 ($80) boxed set anyway - or maybe it was a terrible album, and people just didn't want to pay for it?

Either way, 1.2 million downloads at $6 a pop is still a nice piece of change - and possibly more than the band would have earned had they released the CD through their record company. Here's the thing, though; musicians don't earn that much from 'content' sales - their main income comes from selling 75/ticket concerts and tours (and yes, I'm aware that I'm generalising). But if you write books, there's not much else you can do. Sure there are signings and readings, but I don't think they attract the same sort of crowds as a pop concert.

I've wondered for a while if we'd ever see CD and download sales almost as a 'loss leader' for concert ticket sales and in that same vein, if eBooks (or parts of) will be regarded as a loss leader for books. And maybe Amazon's 'first chapter free' approach with the Kindle is a step in that direction.

Sorry, this thread seems to have rambled off-topic a bit...

So, Kindle. Haven't seen one in the flesh (different continent) but from the pictures I have seen, and other people's responses to it, I like it. I think it'll do well. Even the look is growing on me - striking, perhaps, rather than atractive. As for the negative comments from the ebook 'old hands' (and please don't take this the wrong way - I mean no offense here) well, the more they complain about what it doesn't do for them, the more I think it's probably meant for me; it's a mass-market device, and I'm pretty sure my needs are more mass-market than most on this board. PDF support? Closed loop? Clunky browser? As long as it works, I don't care. Expensive? Don't buy it - it's only worth what people are prepared to pay for it.

My two-penneth. Cheers, Pete.

rlauzon
12-01-2007, 06:46 AM
What are these costs? What are the costs of creating a book by a bestselling author that makes tons of money vs the costs of creating a book by an obscure author that sells 400 hc's??

Hardcover sales are irrelevant in eBooks.

According to the people in the publishing industry who have spoken on this, the author gets about $0.70 per book. I figure that $2 of the price of a single book represents the costs in creating the content.

schulzmc
12-01-2007, 09:52 AM
And now this thread has been almost completely hijacked.

How about you guys start a new thread on this (because it is an interesting discussion) and let this one go back to brief "now that I've had mine a few days" reactions?

gregr209
12-01-2007, 04:19 PM
And now this thread has been almost completely hijacked.

How about you guys start a new thread on this (because it is an interesting discussion) and let this one go back to brief "now that I've had mine a few days" reactions?

I'll get back to the point. I have now had my Kindle for 2 days now. Used it yesterday in my commute to San Francisco on BART. I read the SF Chronicle which was an okay experience. Reading the paper on the Kindle or any ereader isn't the same.

I have noticed that my battery level is now less then half after 2 days. Yesterday I kept the wireless off most of the day but that quick discharge is somewhat concerning me. My Sony Reader wasn't a worry at all.

One other quick point was on my return trip home yesterday on BART I had a couple question me about what I had in my hand and after explaining it to them they were all jazzed up about the idea of reading off the Kindle and were amazed at how the screen was so readable. Needless to say, I didn't get much reading done on my way home last night :-)

Greg

azog
12-01-2007, 04:40 PM
I'll get back to the point. I have now had my Kindle for 2 days now. Used it yesterday in my commute to San Francisco on BART. I read the SF Chronicle which was an okay experience. Reading the paper on the Kindle or any ereader isn't the same.

I subscribed to the 14-day trial of the NYT, and am inclined to agree. I'm not sure if it's just the implementation, or if it's just me. Reading newspapers in a browser, while obviously quite different from the Kindle, is at least somewhat closer to reading paper editions. Not sure if I'll continue beyond the trial.

I have noticed that my battery level is now less then half after 2 days. Yesterday I kept the wireless off most of the day but that quick discharge is somewhat concerning me. My Sony Reader wasn't a worry at all.

Hmph, I'd keep an eye on that. I got my Kindle on Nov 23, and read about 300 pages (along with the obligatory playing around with features and stuff), and last night (Nov 30) was the first night I needed to charge it, when it hit 25%. That's a good week of fairly solid reading.

hidari
12-01-2007, 04:59 PM
\\
Well Said Bingle welcome to the real world. IF the sign says Stolen Apples or Free apples the fact is the name of the game has changed.

The music industry is having to adapt to it and The Publishing industry and authors will have too as well. May make life harder for Publishers and Authors but.. The invisible hand does not care. The beauty of it is now the consumer has more say as opposed to before where the consumer had most of his "choices" shoved down his throat...and the choices were few. Granted the internet creates a lot of JUNK but then so do publishers and many authors....




This is the part of the equation that's changing, though. Currently, that's the way it works - people have to pay for a copy of everything in order to subsidize the massive up-front costs of the product. But the fact of the matter is that it's easy and free to copy certain products, and that's not going to change.

Someone earlier said that the free market didn't include things like The Pirate Bay - except, it does. If you set up an apple cart next to the guy with the "free apples" sign, you're not going to be doing a lot of business. It may not be fair, or even legal, but the invisible hand doesn't seem to care. Consumers know how to easily get free copies of books and music and software and movies. If you want to make money off of those things, you'd better find a way that doesn't involve selling copies.

To clarify, I'm not advocating piracy. But if you're planning a business that revolves around intellectual property in this day and age, you need to keep piracy in mind (and YouTube, MySpace sample tracks, fan fiction, Open Source, and all the other legal ways of distributing content for free.)

schulzmc
12-01-2007, 05:10 PM
My Kindle came this morning and I've had a few hours to use it. Here are my initial reactions:

The cover is not as bad as expected - in fact, I like it. It (with Kindle inside) is about the same size as the Moleskine journal I use, and they sit together perfectly in my pack. When reading I leave the Kindle in the case and fold the cover back. With my index finger between the back and folded over front cover, my other fingers behind, and my thumb resting on the right side next page button, I can easily read one handed. I also may add some velcro to make it more secure - but so far, so good.

The device is amazing - I won't repeat all the other positive comments about the ease of use of the store, ability to look up a word, etc. Basically, the device does what it should: it allows me to carry around the four books I am reading right now and read them comfortably when and where I want. The fact that I have Time in there is an added bonus (although I would rather have some different magazines, when the selection gets better).

On the negative side there were a couple of surprises. I was hoping the ability to use a larger type face would allow me to leave my reading glasses on my desk. While it is possible to read with a larger font without my glasses, I find using glasses and the normal font size more pleasing for reading. The other thing that I was surprised to find is the white case makes the screen look gray. Just for the heck of it I took some black electrical tape and "framed" the display and it looked much better against that background. (I didn't leave the tape on there, of course.) Makes me wish they had chosen black for the case.

All in all, I think I have a new best friend.

DaleDe
12-01-2007, 05:29 PM
On the negative side there were a couple of surprises. I was hoping the ability to use a larger type face would allow me to leave my reading glasses on my desk. While it is possible to read with a larger font without my glasses, I find using glasses and the normal font size more pleasing for reading. The other thing that I was surprised to find is the white case makes the screen look gray. Just for the heck of it I took some black electrical tape and "framed" the display and it looked much better against that background. (I didn't leave the tape on there, of course.) Makes me wish they had chosen black for the case.

All in all, I think I have a new best friend.

I suspect that your glasses include astigmatism correction. this is why your will find the reading not a pleasant without them.

Dale

HarryT
12-02-2007, 10:41 AM
What are these costs? What are the costs of creating a book by a bestselling author that makes tons of money vs the costs of creating a book by an obscure author that sells 400 hc's?? Books are not widgets, so there is no such a thing as the cost of creating a book.


I take it that you've never had a book published? Publishers do all sorts of work that's not immediately obviously to those who've not gone through the mill. Firstly, most books are submitted to the publisher are in no fit state to publish; the publisher employs an editor to basically get it into shape. Once it is in shape the publisher's marketting and publicity machine swings into action, and that varies drastically between a book by a "big name celeb" and "Joe Nobody".

Aside from the actual printing costs (which are pretty minimal) all these costs apply equally to eBooks as they do to pBooks.

jasonkchapman
12-02-2007, 10:51 AM
Once it is in shape the publisher's marketting and publicity machine swings into action

Just as a point of interest (because you can never hear too much about how weird the publishing biz is):

Marketing often gets involved before the editor even accepts the book. Most of the majors run the book past the sales folks, crunch some numbers, and decide whether they think it will make money. Once the editing process begins, those same numbers determine things like initial print run, position in the upcoming catalog (front page for winners, mid-list, also-offered), how much to spend on the cover, how many review copies to send out to which reviewers.

The initial assessment from marketing can impact the book's entire future before the publisher even buys the book.

Liviu_5
12-02-2007, 11:21 AM
I take it that you've never had a book published? Publishers do all sorts of work that's not immediately obviously to those who've not gone through the mill. Firstly, most books are submitted to the publisher are in no fit state to publish; the publisher employs an editor to basically get it into shape. Once it is in shape the publisher's marketting and publicity machine swings into action, and that varies drastically between a book by a "big name celeb" and "Joe Nobody".

Aside from the actual printing costs (which are pretty minimal) all these costs apply equally to eBooks as they do to pBooks.

I agree with most of the above except that printing costs and inventory carrying costs are not that minimal (after all there is a reason printing on demand is not that successful a business), so there is a significant difference between let's call them the practical costs of publishing an e-book vs a p-book.

However my original point was that the huge variable in creating a book is the author compensation which is determined by the market (or the perception the publisher has about the market) and that variability simply means there is no such a thing as the "cost of production" of a book unless you want to talk about the practical aspects only and that is sort of meaningless. Books are not interchangeable widgets. A book that sells 1M copies is just not the same as a book that sells 400 copies whatever the format.

Ultimately the price is determined by bid and offer, and right now for e-books the offer is very high (for whatever reasons justified or not) to what the bid is, hence the pathetically low dollar value of the e-book business compared to the print book business.

And again my opinion is that this is not going to change whatever new devices are introduced since people just do not want to pay that much for digital content (again for whatever reasons justified or not). The offer need to come way down for the e-book market to take off.

bingle
12-03-2007, 09:32 PM
I assume when you say "copy" you are talking about functionality and not implementation... such as Open Office which is free (as in Libre) vs MS Word which is not free.

Or, are you saying that since MS Word can be coppied easily it is ok to copy it?

BOb

I'm talking about illegal copies of software, not legal workalikes.

I'm not saying it's OK to copy MS Word. I'm saying that people will copy it, OK or not. The same with music and movies and books. So if someone wants to make money writing ebooks, they had better come up with a different way of doing it.

HarryT
12-04-2007, 05:01 AM
I'm not saying it's OK to copy MS Word. I'm saying that people will copy it, OK or not. The same with music and movies and books. So if someone wants to make money writing ebooks, they had better come up with a different way of doing it.

I'd like to think rather better about people. Most people, I believe, take the view that just because it's possible to copy an eBook doesn't make it morally justifiable to do so.

If one follows the line of reasoning that because one can steal it, people will do so, nobody would buy a car because they could just go out and steal one. Stealing a car is not technically difficult, after all. Want a new TV? Break into your neightbour's house and steal theirs. You'd have to be stupid to pay for a TV when you can steal one for free. Wouldn't you?

I'd like to think that most people know the difference between "right" and "wrong" and will regard taking something without paying for it as wrong.

Alisa
12-04-2007, 01:33 PM
I'd like to think rather better about people. Most people, I believe, take the view that just because it's possible to copy an eBook doesn't make it morally justifiable to do so.

If one follows the line of reasoning that because one can steal it, people will do so, nobody would buy a car because they could just go out and steal one. Stealing a car is not technically difficult, after all. Want a new TV? Break into your neightbour's house and steal theirs. You'd have to be stupid to pay for a TV when you can steal one for free. Wouldn't you?

I'd like to think that most people know the difference between "right" and "wrong" and will regard taking something without paying for it as wrong.

This was my point with the whole "Stolen Apples" vs. "Free Apples" in a previous post. I think when it comes to digital products, whether it be software, video, music or books, people have a hard time seeing it as the same kind of theft as pocketing a CD in a shop. I believe that if people really got that, they'd be far less inclined to steal. They think of it as free or "sharing" which are much more kindly concepts.

hidari
12-04-2007, 03:14 PM
your point is well stated Alice. However..The problems is it is Digital. I think that is how the dynamics of the system have changed. To most minds, Stealing a CD or book from a store is stealing; however, copying or sharing a CD or an ebook is not.

For people over 25 that may make sense. But the Youth borrow, copy, and share digital CDs books ad infinitum...



This was my point with the whole "Stolen Apples" vs. "Free Apples" in a previous post. I think when it comes to digital products, whether it be software, video, music or books, people have a hard time seeing it as the same kind of theft as pocketing a CD in a shop. I believe that if people really got that, they'd be far less inclined to steal. They think of it as free or "sharing" which are much more kindly concepts.

azog
12-04-2007, 03:49 PM
You know what's kinda funny. Just recently there have been some blog headlines about Amazon and their DRM-free music service:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/03/wal-mart-amazon-ratchet-up-anti-drm-pressure/

I wonder why the contradiction between their music service or their Kindle service?

rflashman
12-04-2007, 04:21 PM
I've come to strongly believe that copyright is socially dead. As a society we only believe it is a crime to sell what is not yours (a store selling stolen content for example), but socially we have accepted that non-financial duplication is not a crime. You cannot find anyone left in our society who has not at some point copied a document, song, or video and felt bad or guilty about it.

Content creators (books, movies, music) will gain income through distribution convenience (easier to buy from Amazon than go find a site to download from) and directed marketing (you buy what is marketed to you), etc.

What the industry stupidly sees as lost sales (pirate sites, bittorrent, copying, sharing, etc.) becomes nothing but the same loss they had when people borrowed content (books, videos, music albums). They probably would never have made these "lost sales" in the first place and as market prices adjust to practical realities, the consumers flock to what is most convenient.

Look at cable. We all have the option to put an aerial up and be entertained for FREE. But we all pay instead $100-200 a month for cable because we want a zillion extra channels (a zillion extra content). But according to nielsens ratings, what do we watch every night? The same shows that were available free. We just wanted the 'option' to occassionally wander beyond the limited selection of over-the-air content. Sure the networks experienced some loss due to so much content now being available (some people really wanted that secondary content). But they survived, and the viewers got the benefit of expanded content that they never would have gotten in the first place (insert your favorite unknown cable channel here).

Amazon, in a way, is offering a model of this. Expanded content through self-publishing, some additional upfront cost for additional convenience/access to expanded content, etc. Sure I can pirate one of Jordan's books if I look hard and long enough (though I have a feeling he's quite the expert on tracking that down), but it is/was so much more convenient to paypal him $10 for his book collection that I never bothered. Convenient and marketing (via his email post promoting his bundle) beat out free. Copyright/DRM was moot.

markbot
12-04-2007, 04:35 PM
I just got my Kindle and I'm absolutely in love with it. This is it. This is the ultimate service. The speed is great. I love the font....on the 2nd level of font, 2 kindle pages = 1 paperback page. The dictionary function is fantastic....looks up every word in the line. perfect. wikipedia is tremendously useful.

The one design decision I really like is the mirror lcd scroll thingy. Makes selecting much easier....hopefully in the future, the screen tech on the page refresh will be so fast that you won't need it though.

A few tweeks.

1) The leather cover sucks. I don't like leather....prefer imitation, except with shoes. They obviously didn't think of the cover when designing the device. Sort of a novice mistake....don't you think?

2) You must sample the books before you buy them. Not all ebooks are formatted correctly. I sampled this one book....and the text was completely wrong because it had line breaks cutting off sentences. It was meant to be read on a wider screen. Not only that, some ebooks don't even have a table of contents. Lastly, the ebooks need to have the chapter and section in the header. But this will all improve as Kindle specific editions come out.

3) In the future, publishers need a version with the footnotes embedded. We know the kindle can do user footnotes. There is no reason why the book publishers can't insert bookmarks into the passage. So far, none of the books I sampled or bought had any footnotes. Footnotes are abolutely worth money, especially in the more arcane texts.

4) When I go back and forth between the store and the kindle...I lose my place in the store and have to search for the book I was looking at. I suppose this might be semi-fixed by using the page forward? But still...if I go inside of a book and then go back to the store...I've lost my place in the store.

5) As with every single other person who has ever commented on the Kindle....they need to make the page turn buttons less easy to hit by accident.

6) I'm sure they are going to improve the technology over time. My suggestions are to improve the page refresh, improve typing...function of page refresh...and increase the processor speed...a standard upgrade. Also some other standard upgrades are to increase the gray scale.

7) I think there would be a market for a deluxe version of the Kindle. Something with a slightly bigger screen....higher gray scale, faster page refresh, faster processor...etc. Charge $100 more.

That's it for now.

Alisa
12-04-2007, 04:50 PM
You know what's kinda funny. Just recently there have been some blog headlines about Amazon and their DRM-free music service:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/03/wal-mart-amazon-ratchet-up-anti-drm-pressure/

I wonder why the contradiction between their music service or their Kindle service?

I think the book publishers are probably still a bit more tight-fisted than the music companies. Music companies have been in the electronic content business on a large scale for quite awhile longer. Bear in mind that Amazon has to negotiate with them to sell ebooks and if they're not willing to let Amazon sell DRM-free then it's not like they can turn around and just do it anyway. I'm not saying that Amazon actually wants to sell DRM-free. I have no idea, but just because they're doing some music that way and not books doesn't necessarily make them hypocrites.

bingle
12-04-2007, 05:59 PM
I'd like to think rather better about people. Most people, I believe, take the view that just because it's possible to copy an eBook doesn't make it morally justifiable to do so.

If one follows the line of reasoning that because one can steal it, people will do so, nobody would buy a car because they could just go out and steal one. Stealing a car is not technically difficult, after all. Want a new TV? Break into your neightbour's house and steal theirs. You'd have to be stupid to pay for a TV when you can steal one for free. Wouldn't you?


Sure, most people wouldn't break into their neighbor's house and steal a TV. But if you got a magic wand, and by waving it, you could get a TV exactly like your neighbor's, without taking it away... Well... is that wrong? And even if it is, how many people wouldn't wave the wand? But by doing so, you're 'stealing' from the TV manufacturer, the TV retailer, and a host of other people.

If you ask most people what they would wish for when they encounter a genie, they tend not to think about the effect on the car industry if they ask for a Ferrari, or the effect on the economy if they ask for a million dollars. Both of those are "stealing" just like copying a CD is, but somehow people treat them differently.

rflashman
12-04-2007, 10:40 PM
3) In the future, publishers need a version with the footnotes embedded. We know the kindle can do user footnotes. There is no reason why the book publishers can't insert bookmarks into the passage. So far, none of the books I sampled or bought had any footnotes. Footnotes are absolutely worth money, especially in the more arcane texts.

I purchased Beyond Reason by Roger Fisher and this book has footnotes properly linked within the text. So whenever you see an asterisk, it has a hyperlink to the footnote. Works quite nicely.

tklaus
12-04-2007, 11:22 PM
If you ask most people what they would wish for when they encounter a genie, they tend not to think about the effect on the car industry if they ask for a Ferrari, or the effect on the economy if they ask for a million dollars. Both of those are "stealing" just like copying a CD is, but somehow people treat them differently.

Asking for wishes to be granted by a genie is stealing? I knew it sounded too good to be true. :(

rflashman
12-05-2007, 03:14 PM
Asking for wishes to be granted by a genie is stealing? I knew it sounded too good to be true. :(


Be sure to ask the Genie for a "Genuine Ferrari", not a copy generated through Magic.

bingle
12-05-2007, 03:41 PM
Be sure to ask the Genie for a "Genuine Ferrari", not a copy generated through Magic.

But by doing so, you're taking revenue from the car dealership that might have sold that Ferrari - and the creative designers who came up with the car, the marketers who made you want the car... Shouldn't they be compensated when you get to drive this car?

As a society, we've been handed a genie that can duplicate books, movies, music, and software at our command. And most people don't see asking a genie for their wish to be wrong. The people that profit off of content now have to take into account the effect of the genie on the marketplace.

Because you can't put the genie back into the bottle.

HarryT
12-06-2007, 04:35 AM
As a society, we've been handed a genie that can duplicate books, movies, music, and software at our command. And most people don't see asking a genie for their wish to be wrong. The people that profit off of content now have to take into account the effect of the genie on the marketplace.

Because you can't put the genie back into the bottle.

It's a matter of education. The problem we have today is that we have a generation of teenagers who have no respect for other peoples' property rights. Unless we're careful, they are going to grow up into a generation of adults who have no respect for other peoples' property, either. I suspect that, in the majority of cases, these childrens' parents don't know what they are up to, and would be horrified if they did know that their children were taking thousands of $ (in many cases much more) worth of other peoples' property without paying for it.

Children need to be taught, both in school and by their parents, that using someone else's intellectual property without paying for it is WRONG.

Before anyone says that this can't be done, there are many examples of the attitudes of society changing over time. 30 years ago in the UK, although drink driving was illegal, it was something which a lot of people did and was socially acceptable, although illegal. Today, virtually everyone regards it as completely unacceptable and welcomes the fact that the courts hand out long driving bans and even prison sentences for anyone caught driving a car under the influence of alcohol. This change in attitude has come about entirely as a result of public education. The same thing could (and should, IMHO) be done concerning having RESPECT (and that's what it is - a matter of respect) for other peoples' intellectual property rights.

rlauzon
12-06-2007, 05:09 AM
It's a matter of education. The problem we have today is that we have a generation of teenagers who have no respect for other peoples' property rights.

And what "property rights" are you talking about?

Ideas cannot be owned. If they could, we would have no need for copyrights and patents. Property laws would be able to cover the situation.

The rhetoric of "copying is stealing" is just a smoke screen. Copying is not stealing. Name a single person who was charged with theft for copying something. You can't. Those people were charged with "copyright violation" not "theft".

Also remember that copyright was created for the benefit of society not the author. Current copyright laws do not benefit society and are far out of touch with reality. So why are you surprised when people ignore them?

HarryT
12-06-2007, 05:40 AM
And what "property rights" are you talking about?

Those protected in the UK, for example, by the 1988 "Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act", and by similar laws in all other civilized countries.

Ideas cannot be owned. If they could, we would have no need for copyrights and patents. Property laws would be able to cover the situation.

A book, piece of software, movie, MP3 files, etc, is not an "idea". Even a patent has to be more than an idea; it has to be a concrete application of an idea in the form of a practically-applicable process or product.

The rhetoric of "copying is stealing" is just a smoke screen. Copying is not stealing. Name a single person who was charged with theft for copying something. You can't. Those people were charged with "copyright violation" not "theft".

Where, in the post above, did I say that it was stealing? I said that these people were taking other peoples' intellectual property without paying for it. The law calls that "copyright infringement", not "theft". I personally regard that as merely a matter of semantics, but I'm not calling it "stealing".

Also remember that copyright was created for the benefit of society not the author. Current copyright laws do not benefit society and are far out of touch with reality. So why are you surprised when people ignore them?

Obeying the law is the moral basis of society. The law gives me rights as an author which I expect other people to respect, just as I respect the rights which the law gives them. If somebody violates my legal rights, I expect them to be punished according to the penalties specified by the law. Unless or until that law is changed, I am entitled to expect people to respect the rights that the law grants me.

If somebody feels that the law is outdated or unjust, they should take action, through the appropriate judicial processes, to have that law changed, not merely take it upon their own head to ignore that law. If they do ignore it, they have no cause for complaint if they are punished for doing so.

You claim that the law "does not benefit society", but I disagree. I can't make a living from writing a book or a computer program unless the law protects my rights as an author to receive income from doing so. If I don't get paid, I'm not going to create that product, and society loses out. That was the reason that copyright laws were introduced, and it's as valid today as it was in the 16th century. No protection for authors = no books.

rlauzon
12-06-2007, 06:04 AM
Those protected in the UK, for example, by the 1988 "Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act", and by similar laws in all other civilized countries.

Which do not have anything to do with property rights. They are all government granted rights intended to help society as a whole.

A book, piece of software, movie, MP3 files, etc, is not an "idea".

They are the physical (some more than others) manifestation of an idea. People typically don't buy a book to have the physical object. They buy it for the idea contained inside it.

Where, in the post above, did I say that it was stealing? I said that these people were taking other peoples' intellectual property without paying for it. The law calls that "copyright infringement", not "theft". I personally regard that as merely a matter of semantics, but I'm not calling it "stealing".

Yes, yes, yes, I am well aware of the fantasy world in which you live. The the reality is that copyright infringement is not stealing.

Obeying the law is the moral basis of society.

I take it that the schools in the UK don't teach what Ghandi did, then.

If somebody feels that the law is outdated or unjust, they should take action, through the appropriate judicial processes, to have that law changed,

And how, exactly, does one do that when the law is created by a non-elected body (i.e. WIPO)?

You claim that the law "does not benefit society", but I disagree. I can't make a living from writing a book or a computer program unless the law protects my rights as an author to receive income from doing so.

And without content going into the public domain, and by copyrights never expiring, you cannot write your book or software without falling into legal issues.

If I don't get paid, I'm not going to create that product, and society loses out. That was the reason that copyright laws were introduced, and it's as valid today as it was in the 16th century. No protection for authors = no books.

Explain how, in any stretch of reality that doesn't include several stiff drinks, extending copyright 90 years beyond author's death "protects the author".

HarryT
12-06-2007, 06:55 AM
I certainly don't believe in "perpetual copyright". I'd personally like to see works enter the public domain on the death of the author.

You have not explained, though, how I can make a living as an author and software developer if people can freely copy my works without having to pay for them. I don't write software "for the good of society"; I write it to make a living. What is the incentive for me to write that software if it can be freely copied by people without paying for it?

rlauzon
12-06-2007, 07:08 AM
You have not explained, though, how I can make a living as an author and software developer if people can freely copy my works without having to pay for them.

How do you make a living as an author today?

As you keep complaining about, we currently live in a world where people can copy anything without paying for it.

HarryT
12-06-2007, 07:34 AM
I make a living by taking active steps to protect my rights, and persecuting people who violate them. Eg, I got a kid thrown out of university last year for selling copies of my software on eBay (and being stupid enough to use his university e-mail address). You seem to be suggesting that I should just sit back and do nothing; I can't accept that.

I don't LIKE having to persecute people and be "nasty" to them. I just want people to obey the law and respect my legal rights. I really don't think that this is asking too much from people. As I said at the start of this, I believe it's a matter of public education.

rlauzon
12-06-2007, 09:03 AM
I just want people to obey the law and respect my legal rights. I really don't think that this is asking too much from people. As I said at the start of this, I believe it's a matter of public education.

No. It's a matter of respect.

Copyright - as it stands today - is disrespectful to society. If you expect society to respect copyright, your expectations are unrealistic.

If you want people to stop violating copyright, then you, an author, need to start pressuring your gov't to amend the laws to be respectful. You need them to make laws that protect you - the author - not a faceless entity that creates nothing yet holds copyrights.

rflashman
12-06-2007, 09:37 AM
Those protected in the UK, for example, by the 1988 "Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act", and by similar laws in all other civilized countries.

Hey Harry...

Hate to break it to you, but your profile carries an Avatar that is copyrighted by someone other than yourself. I am pretty sure you haven't paid the BBC (or the parent company behind Dr. Who) for the rights to use their copyrighted image. So while you are busy throwing some stones, might want to check out your glass house.

:smack: :oops2:

HarryT
12-06-2007, 10:46 AM
Hey Harry...

Hate to break it to you, but your profile carries an Avatar that is copyrighted by someone other than yourself. I am pretty sure you haven't paid the BBC (or the parent company behind Dr. Who) for the rights to use their copyrighted image. So while you are busy throwing some stones, might want to check out your glass house.

:smack: :oops2:

You are partially correct. I don't hold the copyright to the image, but I am using it with the permission of the copyright holder; a professional model maker who makes Daleks and other such similar things.

Penforhire
12-06-2007, 12:04 PM
Not to be pugnacious or anything but your model maker's permission has no bearing on the use of a likeness for a character whose copyright he does not own. He made models on contract to others who gave him permission. Your photo requires permission of the original copyright holder. Or maybe it doesn't require ANY permission as a fair use example here.

jasonkchapman
12-06-2007, 12:05 PM
Yes, yes, yes, I am well aware of the fantasy world in which you live. The the reality is that copyright infringement is not stealing.

You write this and yet you claim that your argument is based on respect? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

I take it that the schools in the UK don't teach what Ghandi did, then.

Ghandi was well aware that he was breaking the law. He was willing to accept the punishment for it in order to demonstrate the law's injustice. That's the nature of civil disobedience and passive resistance. His actions stemmed from a deep and abiding respect for the concepts of civilized law. Your comparison does the man a grave disservice.

Again; I do not think respect means what you think it means.

You need them to make laws that protect you - the author - not a faceless entity that creates nothing yet holds copyrights.

Oh, no you don't. The discussion was about the validity of copyright and the legality of its violation, not about whether or not the creator can transfer that right. Raising the "faceless entity" corporate straw man at this point invalidates everything you've written to this point. Copyright laws do protect the author. The fact that said author chooses to transfer those rights is immaterial.

HarryT
12-06-2007, 12:41 PM
Not to be pugnacious or anything but your model maker's permission has no bearing on the use of a likeness for a character whose copyright he does not own. He made models on contract to others who gave him permission. Your photo requires permission of the original copyright holder. Or maybe it doesn't require ANY permission as a fair use example here.

I respectfully disagree with you, Penforhire.

If you go to your local toy store and buy a toy Dalek, you are free to take a photograph of that toy and post that photograph here, or anywhere else for that matter. The toy was made with the permission of the trademark holder, as was this particular model Dalek made with the permission of the BBC. It would be a different matter taking a BBC photograph of a Dalek, and posting that. That would indeed be a copyright violation. This, however, is not.

nekokami
12-06-2007, 02:09 PM
HarryT, I think it's the edge of the "slippery slope." Suppose you take a photograph of a book cover illustration? Are there limits to where you can post that? Certainly if you buy an original painting, you may not be purchasing reproduction rights, and it could well be illegal to photograph it and post images anywhere (but one would expect an exception if you were selling the painting online.)

In this case, you're probably right that your use of your own photo of a model, especially given that you have the modeler's permission, is legal-- or at least, it would be in the US. But I'm not at all sure that this is clear.

Let's say, for example, that I want to make an illustrated story and post it online. I buy some action figures at a toy store, set them up in the poses I want, and use photographs of them as my illustrations. It's probably legal if I post the images and my original story online... unless the story is about the personalities represented by the action figures. But even if the story has nothing to do with the trademarked characters, I probably can't use my photographs as illustrations in a fiction book for sale. Whereas I could use my photographs as illustrations in a book about collecting action figures... I think. I might actually have to get permission from the trademark owners to do that, if the trademarks are still active. I don't know enough about IP law in the US, let alone the UK, to know the answer to that one-- but I know I'd get the advice of an attorney before attempting to publish any such book.

HarryT
12-06-2007, 03:29 PM
Hmmm. You raise some very valid points, neko. I'm pretty sure, though, that I'm "in the clear" to use my Dalek picture in the way that I am. It would, as you very rightly say, be a different matter if I were to use it as an illustration in an SF story, even if I didn't use the name Dalek.

It reminds me of when Virgin books lost the rights to publish "Dr Who" books, but continued to publish the adventures of a character called "Bernice Summerfield", who was a former (book) "companion" of the Doctor. They could no longer use enemies like Daleks, but they found ways around it by doing things like having illustrations showing
people being killed by "death rays" with a "sinister sink plunger" just coming into view on the very edge of the picture :).

nekokami
12-06-2007, 05:38 PM
They could no longer use enemies like Daleks, but they found ways around it by doing things like having illustrations showing
people being killed by "death rays" with a "sinister sink plunger" just coming into view on the very edge of the picture :).

LOL! "Sinister sink plungers!" (So do you watch the new episodes? If so, what did you think of the Dalek eps?)

Just4Fun
12-06-2007, 06:16 PM
Hmmm, well, err:
So, briefly, what do you think about the Kindle now?

rflashman
12-06-2007, 10:25 PM
If you go to your local toy store and buy a toy Dalek, you are free to take a photograph of that toy and post that photograph here, or anywhere else for that matter. The toy was made with the permission of the trademark holder, as was this particular model Dalek made with the permission of the BBC. It would be a different matter taking a BBC photograph of a Dalek, and posting that. That would indeed be a copyright violation. This, however, is not.

Sadly you are mistaken. As Disney proved in their famous child-care lawsuit, ownership of a copyrighted toy/item/illustration does not give you the rights to reproduce a facsimile of that item. Disney sued a child-care center who had drawn a mural of Disney characters. As their defense the child-care center claimed they owned the book they copied the image from. (For legal purposes a good drawing and a photo are basically the same thing.) The child-care center lost big time.

Owning a toy of a copyrighted character does not give you the right to reproduce it except for 'fair use' such as a news article, or such. Your use is as an 'avatar', using it to represent your online persona. If I had never seen Dr. Who I might incorrectly assume it was your image.

I did a little research and found that the Dalek "brand" is copyrighted and controlled by the estate of Tim Nation. It's agent Tim Hancock handles all licensing of the Dalek brand, and was recently in a very bitter copyright dispute over the BBC to allow their inclusion in the new Dr. Who series (they finally settled).

So unless the estate of Tim Nation has granted you written permission, you basically find yourself practicing the same thing you so aggressively proclaimed against.

A very slippery slope indeed...

Jadon
12-06-2007, 10:42 PM
So unless the estate of Tim Nation has granted you written permission, you basically find yourself practicing the same thing you so aggressively proclaimed against.
I would tend to think that a hardcore copyright enthusiast would be more concerned about appearances and the spirit of the law than technicalities, and on that basis alone would not do anything that anyone could possibly construe as infringing. (Of course, I'm also one who wishes that copyright fetishism and various other signature pet peeves wouldn't keep repetitively polluting otherwise interesting threads...)

HarryT
12-07-2007, 04:22 AM
"Tim Nation"? The Daleks were invented by TERRY Nation.

I'm sorry, but I continue to disagree with you. Reproducing the illustrations in a book is simple copyright violation and is a completely different situation from reproducing a photograph of an item created with the full permission of the trademark holder.

Your claim is analogous to saying that the Ford Motor Company could sue you for publishing a photograph of a Ford car that you'd taken yourself. I am not "using the Dalek brand" any more than you'd be "using the Ford brand" by taking a photo of your Ford car and using that photo to help you sell it.

It would be a breach of Ford's copyright if you were to reproduce one of their photographs to help you sell your car. It's fine to take your OWN photograph of a Ford and reproduce that. That's exactly what I'm doing.

You seem to be getting copyright and trademark issues horribly mixed up here.

If a representative of "Tim Nation's" estate asks me to stop using the photograph then I will happily do so. Unless or until that happens, I shall continue to use it because I believe that my use is perfectly legitimate.

nekokami
12-07-2007, 09:06 AM
In the Disney vs. daycare case, part of the argument was likely that the use of the Disney characters was commercial, i.e. to make the daycare more attractive to customers (parents and kids).

That being said, it's quite possible that Disney would go after someone who used an image of one of their characters-- including a photographed licensed model OR a hand-drawn original sketch-- as an avatar in a forum. The Mouse is a bit rabid that way. And in the US, they'd probably win in court.

HarryT
12-07-2007, 09:10 AM
As I say, neko, if a representative of "Tim Nation" asks me to remove it, I will happily do so. I think that this is rather unlikely to happen.

nekokami
12-07-2007, 01:01 PM
I think it's unlikely too (and I don't have a personal problem with your use of the Dalek image as an avatar-- even if it had come from a BBC video clip). But if we're discussing legal status, I don't think whether Mr. Nation's estate notices an infringement changes the existence of the infringement, does it? By that reasoning, the offenders on eBay who were selling your software didn't need to stop doing so until you complained, which is a position that I certainly don't hold and I'm pretty sure you don't, either.

HarryT
12-07-2007, 01:33 PM
As I've said, neko, I don't believe that it is an infringement, any more than taking a photograph of a Ford car and posting that would infringe Ford's rights.

rflashman
12-07-2007, 03:27 PM
The issue isn't the picture itself, it is how it is used. Of course we all agree your use is no big deal (I strongly believe socially Copyright is DEAD). But legally it would appear that your use seems to go beyond 'fair use' and in light of your strong statements about copyrights, it is why I brought it up.

I'm pretty sure if you take a picture of your purchased Ford car, put it on a brochure and call it "the new Harry Motors prototype" and promote that as yours, that Ford will not only have a problem with that but that they probably have the car copyrighted and have legal grounds to go after you.

In a similar example, I remember when Ferrari successfully sued several studios for using replica Ferrari cars in TV shows. The studios clearly owned the replicas, but Ferrari had the copyright to their image/logo/car shape/etc.

jasonkchapman
12-07-2007, 04:01 PM
In a similar example, I remember when Ferrari successfully sued several studios for using replica Ferrari cars in TV shows. The studios clearly owned the replicas, but Ferrari had the copyright to their image/logo/car shape/etc.

That sounds familiar. Wasn't the Miami Vice Corvette-that-looked-like-a-Ferrari-Daytona one such case? I seem to recall that was one of the reasons the producers blew the thing up and replaced it with a white Lambo.

nekokami
12-07-2007, 05:33 PM
As I've said, neko, I don't believe that it is an infringement, any more than taking a photograph of a Ford car and posting that would infringe Ford's rights.
I disagree. I think the Dalek is a fictional character (well, a group of them), and has different status under the law than a commercial product for sale.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

pilotbob
12-10-2007, 02:02 PM
I'm not saying it's OK to copy MS Word. I'm saying that people will copy it, OK or not. The same with music and movies and books.

I will give you this, it is absolutely true.

However, you have to agree that the above is also true, even if the producer tries to put DRM on it.

So, the DRM basically only causes problems for those that legally obtain the digital item. It also cost the producers time and money to try to apply it. So, why use it?

BOb

rlauzon
12-10-2007, 02:28 PM
So, the DRM basically only causes problems for those that legally obtain the digital item. It also cost the producers time and money to try to apply it. So, why use it?

Because the Content Cartel wants consumers to get comfortable with the idea that they can no longer own a copy of something. They want the consumer to get used to the idea that every time they want to read that book, watch that movie, listen to that song, that they have to pay someone for the privilege of doing so.

bingle
12-10-2007, 03:24 PM
I will give you this, it is absolutely true.

However, you have to agree that the above is also true, even if the producer tries to put DRM on it.

So, the DRM basically only causes problems for those that legally obtain the digital item. It also cost the producers time and money to try to apply it. So, why use it?

BOb

Good question. ;-) I think DRM is at best pointless, at worst harmful.

pilotbob
12-10-2007, 06:12 PM
Because the Content Cartel wants consumers to get comfortable with the idea that they can no longer own a copy of something. They want the consumer to get used to the idea that every time they want to read that book, watch that movie, listen to that song, that they have to pay someone for the privilege of doing so.


If that is the case, then...

1. They need to define that in the purchase agreement, etc. For example, while I only "license" software the license tells me what that term is, a month/day/in perpetuity, etc. This is not the current agreement when a pbook is bought.

2. They need to drastically adjust the price. For example, I spend $6 to watch a movie at a theater one time. I spend $2.99 to rent that move for perhaps 5 days with no limit on number of times watched. I spend $30 for a DVD copy of that movie to watch unlimited times. All of those are well understood, and also there are reasons the pricing is different. So, I would be happy to spend say $3 to read a book once, which means I also have to pay $3 for my wife to read it.

Still, in neither of the above cases is DRM needed.