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Old 10-07-2008, 05:50 PM   #26
bill_mchale
Wizard
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Maryland, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrigger View Post
Okay, so...let's make this a specific hypothetical, and one that will sidestep the rights question:

Suppose I download my own novel, From a Changeling Star, from Fictionwise. It's listed as having Read-Aloud disabled for all formats except .LIT. But suppose I chose another format like Mobipocket or eReader and I wanted to enable those to be read aloud. How would I do that? (Remember, I'm the copyright holder.)

I actually have no experience whatever with read-aloud software, so I don't even know if those particular formats are compatible even without the DRM.
Read-Aloud I am not sure about, but if I understand DMCA correctly, breaking encryption based copy protection on media is a crime in and of itself. Therefore, if you downloaded a DRM'd version of your own work, and then broke the copy protection on it, you are in fact technically breaking the law; if I understand it correctly, this would be the case, even if as the author of the book in question, you could simply take the original document and convert into a DRM free version.

Essentially, fair use, and if I understand it correctly, authorial ownership has nothing to do with it. Essentially, you have to have explicit permission of the owner of the DRM to break it (otherwise CS students in cryptography classes everywhere would be going to jail).

I know all of this is silly. Personally, I understand why some form of DRM might be necessary, but for the most part, the current legal structure is draconian, and really serves no purpose. Real pirates (i.e. those who copy intellectual properly without permission and distribute it widely) are never stopped by DRM. That being said, I would prefer stay safe and avoid what I consider to be draconian DRM'd books. Non-DRM and and non-centrally served DRM (like eReader) are the only books I am planning on buying.

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Bill
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