Originally Posted by VillageReader
Actually, in the US I think anti discrimination laws trump copyright so you are probably legal.
Actually in the US the ADA does not trump the DMCA. The copyright office was recently soliciting comments from the general public to provide it with guidance about circumstances where the copyright office should allow folks to disregard the DMCA and break DRM systems. They have made no rulings yet based on the collected comments.
My first foray into DRM eBook content was via Gemstar. I bought into their original program in which you paid a small (compared to the iLiad) fee for the reader and then agreed to pay them $19.95 per month for two years. The $19.95 was credited to your ebook store account and could be used to purchase content or you could just let it pile up, your choice.
When their fire-in-the-belly died of cancer Gemstar pulled out but made sure content owners would still be able to access their content, even going as far as to allow Fictionwise to take over some of their customers and transfer their content.
I still have quite a bit of respect for Gemstar and would welcome them to take over distribution of a device like the iLiad in North America.
My second foray into DRM ebooks was Adobe. Ack, argh, *ugh*... Never again. Suffice it to say that while Adobe may understand DTP, they don't grok ebooks.
My third foray into DRM ebooks was MS Reader. A wonderful platform that could use some obvious tweaks to make it even better. However, IMHO, Microsoft has lived down to the court ruling of being a consumer harming monopoly and I've lost access to some of my purchased content due to Microsoft's not really giving a damn whether I can continue to either access older content or even continue to purchase new content (you can't activate MS Reader under the Vista beta.)
To be frank the format I like the best is that employed by Baen Books: we trust our customers. Only criminals steal books, only criminals steal ebooks. The more you try to keep ebooks away from criminals the more you alienate yourself from your honest customers whom actually pay you (and thus pay your pay check.) I have a large book shelf with Baen stocked with their regular ebooks as well as their highly addictive Advance Reader Copies that take "Hard Back" to a whole new level (and boy do I enjoy having advance access to some of their works!) I happily shell out the money to them and my only real complaint is that I wish they could spend some of it on a faster internet connection.
Some publishers though will respond when you write them. My favorite case in point is Ellora's Cave. Their web site was an absolute disaster: lending a book is theft, thank god we can stop people from lending ebooks!
I wrote them an email pointing out how alienating the tone of their web site was and 'lo, they woke up and changed the tone of their policies and their site (although I still haven't gotten a copy of "Walking on the Moon" that I can resize the font of... my original grievance for visiting their site.)
I had been reasonably happy with Fictionwise until they sold me "Walking on the Moon" and then didn't stand behind their product. Customer service is very simple to understand, very simple to do correctly, but somehow they couldn't bring themselves to take care of my broken ebook. So I haven't really bought much more from them.
Amazon, they still amaze me by offering to sell me the paper back, and because I'm a Prime member, ship it to me for less than I can buy the MS Reader version. My mind still boggles that the eBook can cost more than selling and shipping me the paper back. Either the paper back publishers are giving books to Amazon below cost or MS and Adobe are collecting too much in ebook taxes...
I have to admit I didn't really commit to purchasing an iLiad until after I read the posting about their development plans, especially the open developer program. The major reason I feel the Palm survived and the Newton failed was over the open-ness of the two platforms. Some how I don't see Sony changing their spots with the new Sony Reader.
But getting back to the original topic of the thread,
, yes, I know where to find ebooks online. I also know where I've bought ebooks and gotten burned by supposedly reputable companies. And yes, I know where to find illegally sourced ebooks: but only criminals steal and I'm not a criminal, even though I'm regularly treated like one by those supposedly reputable companies whom have sometimes acted like criminals themselves and ripped me off.
In my opinion the solution to the ebook business isn't another DRM, its trust. Most people are good honest folk. And as the iPod has I think proven, if you give those honest people easy, reliable access to content at a price they find reasonable, they'll buy rather than steal.
Or as one of my law professors in college said "You can leave cold beer out on your front porch on a hot sweltering day and honest folks will take it. But if you put a can out with '$1' written on it, honest folks will put dollar bills in the can and you won't even have to stand there. But part of the reason there is law is because there are those whom not only would take the cold beer and not put $1 in the can. But would also reach into the can and take all those $1 bills they find in it..." or as we see all too often these days, even if you stand over the can, they'll shove a gun in your face and take the $1 bills... and then shoot you anyway on the way out. No DRM will protect you from these people.