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Old 08-30-2010, 06:57 AM   #1
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Which ebook stores won't allow DRM-free books?

Cory Doctorow posted an interesting article about his attempts to get all the major ebook publishers to publish his books DRM free.

Apple refused to sell the books without DRM (I can't say I'm surprised at that), and so did Sony.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/29...+(Boing+Boing)
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:03 AM   #2
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Now what I can't figure out is why they *won't* sell it without DRM. It makes no sense. I can see them happily selling stuff that the artist/author/company/etc demanded DRM on, but why make it mandatory, even if you don't want it? That's like telling someone they have to buy a car, even if they don't want or need one.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:16 AM   #3
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More like selling a car with wheel clamps already attached so that you can't move it somewhere else.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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How would that work exactly? I put my new book on Amazon as non-DRM. I also put it on Smashwords and opted for Apple, but I don't think they asked if I wanted it to be non-DRM like Amazon did. So if it is DRM, do you think Apple will accept it for distribution when it's non-DRM on Amazon? Has anybody else encountered this?

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Old 08-30-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joycedb View Post
How would that work exactly? I put my new book on Amazon as non-DRM. I also put it on Smashwords and opted for Apple, but I don't think they asked if I wanted it to be non-DRM like Amazon did. So if it is DRM, do you think Apple will accept it for distribution when it's non-DRM on Amazon? Has anybody else encountered this?

Joyce
Joyce, you should have seen a requestor about DRM:
http://www.pigsgourdsandwikis.com/20...bookstore.html

Quote:
They will explain all of the requirements in more detail, and once you are accepted, you will be able to download iTunes Producer, which is the program you will use to upload your EPUB files to Apple. You can choose to apply DRM to your titles, or you can leave them DRM free.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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Amazon doesn't require it when using DTP to upload books, but for publishers uploading through Mobipocket DRM is required.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:54 PM   #7
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I thought once you uploaded to Smashwords, they prepared the files for all the different distributors including Apple. Am I wrong?

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Old 08-30-2010, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joycedb View Post
I thought once you uploaded to Smashwords, they prepared the files for all the different distributors including Apple. Am I wrong?

Joyce
Hmmm, maybe you only get the choice if you upload it directly to Apple..maybe Smashwords has a DRM only deal with Apple?
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:14 PM   #9
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Now what I can't figure out is why they *won't* sell it without DRM. It makes no sense. I can see them happily selling stuff that the artist/author/company/etc demanded DRM on, but why make it mandatory, even if you don't want it? That's like telling someone they have to buy a car, even if they don't want or need one.
I suspect it's part of their ebook production/sale protocol: Customer adds to cart, clicks "pay now;" books are shoved through DRM-infliction program & made ready for download. They may not have a way to process books without the DRM. (And they won't directly allow authors to include a paragraph that says "you have my permission to crack the DRM here; it's not a violation of my copyright to do so," although they're not actively checking for such disclaimers.)

Someone should find out if Smashwords books fed to the iBookstore are automatically DRM'd.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djgreedo View Post
Cory Doctorow posted an interesting article about his attempts to get all the major ebook publishers to publish his books DRM free.

Apple refused to sell the books without DRM (I can't say I'm surprised at that), and so did Sony.

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/08/29...+(Boing+Boing)
This has been discussed before, and the article is at least misleading. Apple do not insist on DRM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:32 PM   #11
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This has been discussed before, and the article is at least misleading. Apple do not insist on DRM.
Does it, perhaps, insist on DRM for ebooks from major publishers?

I don't discount the idea that Cory might be exaggerating or only mentioning part of the details, but I don't think he's outright lying when he says that Apple & Sony won't carry his ebooks without DRM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
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If an author doesn't want a DRM, so who the heck is DRM protecting? Does it means also that the copyright is not to protect the authors, but the publishers instead? That's what I think.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:40 PM   #13
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If an author doesn't want a DRM, so who the heck is DRM protecting? Does it means also that the copyright is not to protect the authors, but the publishers instead? That's what I think.
In this case, it's not even protecting the publisher--the publisher is agreeing to not have DRM. It's encouraging consumer lock-in to the store.

The store doesn't want customers to be able to easily shop for the cheapest ebooks; they want to offer a few cheap books, and have customers *need* to buy from them because the software or hardware they have doesn't work on books from other stores. They don't want customers to have a mixed collection of books from many stores (and be able to compare metadata accuracy, filename usability, formatting details); they want customers to use THEIR software and buy from THEIR store only.

DRM does a lot more to create walled-garden shopping than it does to prevent piracy.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:09 AM   #14
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Elfwreck has it spot on here, I believe. I know of a lot of businesses that would LOVE to lock you in so that they are your only choice. What do you think the purpose of the Kindle is? It's designed to lock you in as a customer of Amazon for as long as you own the ebooks. It's essentially the monopoly mentality. They don't want to be the biggest game in town. They want to be the ONLY game in town, period. It's an idea that's part of human nature, so I doubt it'll be easily broken, save for people forcing the issue.

Last edited by Jellby; 08-31-2010 at 10:10 AM. Reason: fixed markup
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