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Old 11-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #317
BoldlyDubious
what if...?
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Device: paper & electrophoretic
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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
And I like detailed discussions like this one, which remain civil despite disagreement.
It's interesting only as long as it's civil :-)
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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
I used "families" as an example because that's the sort of sharing people often wish to do. How many people I want? There have to be limits of some sort.
In my proposed "social DRM" scheme, the limit is not given by something inherently fragile as a hard-coded number set in the Terms of Service. It's given by something delocalized and flexible: personal trust.
Given that I will be responsible for what other people do with my files, I will give them only to those I consider as "completely trustworthy". In this context, this takes a pretty restrictive meaning. "Completely trustworthy" people are those I am absolutely sure will never give copies of my file to other people, under any circumstances, even if they know that they could do that without any risk for themselves. The only thing that will prevent them from giving my files away will be that they care for me.
For most of us the number people who comply with this definition of "completely trustworthy" is, I think, very limited.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
It's legitimized small-scale file sharing, which would actually likely have a larger impact on sales than piracy currently does.
I don't think so.
Let's say that Mr. X buys ebook or music album "Y". I estimate that for the average Mr. X there are maybe 15 "completely trustworthy" people in the above sense. Of these, 5 live with Mr. X, so are already considered as "lost sales" by media vendors according to today's system (licensing rules such as "you can load this book on up to 5 different devices" mean that anyone you share your devices with can read the book for free). Of the remaining 10 people, I'd say that the number of those who would certainly buy the book if Mr. X or someone else doesn't give it to them reduces to 1: Ms. Z. Let's make it 2 to keep into consideration the fact that Ms. Z may know someone else who bought "Y". (Ms. Z can get "Y" only from people who consider her as "completely trustworthy", i.e. from a very small set of people.)

So: 1 or 2 lost sales per actual sale, in exchange for a large reduction in the occurrence of illegal distribution of media AND a much greater customer satisfaction, at least from "power users" who buy a lot of media and thus are more likely to be aware of the limitations that vendors impose to them.
As a reference, I think that a similar ratio (1-2) between lost and actual sales applies to paper books as well. Lending pbooks is more difficult than emailing a file, but there's no risk in doing that, so you don't limit your lending to "completely trustworthy" people!
With current licensing schemes, I reckon media publishers claim a much higher ratio of lost sales per actual sale. Even ignoring their ludicrous figures (often ignoring the distinction between "willing to download for free" and "willing to buy"), a ratio of 1 or 2 seems good to me, given the mass of pirated media available on the Internet.
(Disclaimer: I'm not an expert and these calculations are totally arbitrary: it would be interesting to have some expert provide real data and estimates.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
It's like telling them "share with people you trust, but trust no one".
It's like telling them "share with people who you really trust. Other people will buy their own media." Is that so bad?
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
This goes back to not knowing who is or is not a potential pirate. They simply won't know until it is too late and they are on the hook for a fine, at which point they will stop sharing with anyone for fear of it happening again
Well, if I get a fine because someone I trusted distributed some of my files and did not accept to take any responsibility for it, the fine will have the positive effect of making me revise my (provably unreliable) criteria for giving trust before I get something worse than a fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
Give people the option of either using the cool features or getting free books from their friends... How many do you think will choose the cool features?
If very few will choose the cool features, it will mean that they are not so cool after all...

Last edited by BoldlyDubious; 11-13-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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