Thread: DRM confusion
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:29 AM   #8
SensualPoet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
ePub has already won the format wars.
Not exactly. Amazon — through its dedicated ereader (aka the Kindle) and its platform (aka free apps that run on PCs, Macs, smart phones, iDevices, Android devices, Blackberries) — has already won the DRM format war to the extent there ever was one. Considerably more than 50% of all DRM content is purchased to be read on one brand — Amazon Kindle; the ePub remainder is fragmented across many brands.

DRM is there not because the bookstores are all that keen on it ... it is because content owners (publishers, agents, authors) want some control and believe DRM provides some assurance they will get paid. It doesn't stop the small time priates: but it does make it harder for blatant operations to resell legitimate content. The two schemes: Adobe ADE, which has been adopted by the ePub side, and Amazon's encrypted mobi files effectively create a manageable gate.

In general, the same content is widely available in both formats so whichever ereader you own, or whichever platform you choose, you'll have access to approximately the same universe of books. It's not really confusing for the consumer provided the sales channel is honest: Amazon ereaders can only buy DRM content from Amazon; ePub ereaders have a wider variety of stores to choose from but none of them are Amazon.

The biggest differentiator is public library lending. Public libraries only lend DRM ebooks in Adobe ADE ePub format (a small number of titles are still distributed in PDF). If your local library has a decent (and growing) collection of DRM ebooks, and you want to borrow them, then the Amazon Kindle is not for you (until Amazon strikes some sort of deal to allow ADE ePubs onto its devices ... at which point the other providers risk imminent collapse).

Many of us prefer the selection, pricing and convenience of the Amazon platform and own a Kindle or shop for Kindle ebooks on an iPad or other devices. Amazon reported over the summer that 20% of all ebook sales it makes are to account holders without a physical Kindle. If we want to borrow library books, that can still be done on a PC or Mac or by purchasing an ePub ereader (like a Kobo) as a secondary device for that purpose. In general, ebooks are cheaper than new paperbacks in bricks and mortar stores so every ebook bought is money saved: ereaders pay for themselves in a few months for those who buy 2 or 3 books a month.

Last edited by SensualPoet; 11-21-2010 at 11:34 AM.
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