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Old 03-21-2008, 04:20 PM   #1
AdamGott
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Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader Locked Up: Why Your Books Are No Longer Yours

Gizmodo posted a nice and very well thought out article about ebook 'ownership' today. I think the article makes some very good points about media 'ownership' in general as it applies in the digital age.

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Old 03-21-2008, 04:34 PM   #2
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Very interesting article. It does bring up a number of questions like how can you sell DRM content unless you also provide a way to break the DRM. For example, if I was to Sell some of my purchased MS Reader format eBooks, could I also just give away a copy of my key so the buyer can use ConvertLIT to remove the DRM and thus be able to read what I sold? Let's hop on over to Baen then since there is no DRM, can I sell Baen eBooks that I have that I've bought that I will not be rereading at all? Those can go straight to the seller and be read fine that way as long as the buyer doesn't mind the format(s) I have them in.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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Any business engaged in selling, licensing, or otherwise providing access to digital content for profit, hereby agrees that I, the end user, have the right to make personal use of that content. This includes, but is not limited to, storing the digital content in whatever format and on whatever physical media I chose. It is further understood that upon completion of the purchase, I will in fact own the content. This agreement supersedes any other license agreement, and the vendor, by accepting my payment, agrees with the provisions set forth in this agreement.

There. Now I'm covered.
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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I saw this story, too. I wanted to find the original sorce before posting it.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:31 AM   #5
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Very interesting, but in some cases it doesn't matter if you can't lend or resell your books. I like the idea of being able to keep all the books I buy, and not have to find room for them on already bursting bookshelves! And I stopped lending books out, at least books I care about--it seems that I rarely get them back.

Though this week it came up. We have a book group at work and I bought the book we are reading as an ebook. A co-worker heard I had finished it (great book--Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult) and asked if she could borrow it. Oh well!

The main thing I worry about with DRM is portability. I want to be able to read these books on my next device, and my next device...
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #6
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For any form of DRM to be a workable model that mimics the current way in which we pass around paper-books, the e-book reader cannot be the item that the content is locked to. That leaves some form of removable media like SD cards.

-Jeff
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:28 PM   #7
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Why do we need to mimic the current way in which we pass around paper books? Whatever means we choose to compensate authors and publishers for their work in the future, it surely will not be by intentionally crippling a technology. When has the genie ever been content in the bottle? DRM is a stillborn notion.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
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A reasonable question.

I'm not (yet) convinced that the paradigm shift from paper to electronic will be able to solve the problem of payment to authors quickly enough without going through some sort of transition period where the e-book form mimics the current paper-based form. That is a larger problem that will require another paradigm shift.

If the two can happen at the same time, I'd be happier than a pig in sh!t...but I don't want to see the e-book technology space die because of it.

-Jeff
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor514ce View Post
Any business engaged in selling, licensing, or otherwise providing access to digital content for profit or any other way, hereby agrees that I, the end user, have the right to make personal use of that content. This includes, but is not limited to, storing the digital content in whatever format and on whatever physical media I chose and in addition, modified for my own convenience as I choose. It is further understood that upon completion of the purchase, I will in fact own the content. This agreement supersedes any other license agreement, and the vendor, by accepting my payment, agrees with the provisions set forth in this agreement.

There. Now I'm covered.
Yeah, Me too!!

Thanks Taylor
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #10
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The article makes clear at the end that the inherent differences between physical products and digital products is one that is too new upon the scene to have been figured out yet, and that "scholars and lawmakers" are working on that now. Those inherent differences, because they are as extreme as they are, suggest a radical shift in the way we used to do things.

The practices of "doing what we please" with things we have purchased are largely societal acceptances of the "natural laws," based on human nature, that individuals insist upon. But even these have limits that we accept... for instance, we can't, for instance, "resell" cable service that we get from the vendor... though largely it is because societal law has set the means to control that tendency... the cable company cutting you off and fining you if they discover you're reeselling their service. The cable example shows that restricting digital content dissemination can work, under the right conditions.

Much of the "natural laws" we presently accept for digital works will most likely find themselves under some type of similar control or regulation, that will permit your doing some things (like making personal copies), but not others (reselling copies), with enforcement being tied to methods of tracking the copies and the transactions, and being able to effectively punish the violators (fines, or losing your right to some service, or both).

It's only a matter of time before someone creates and refines such a system, the lawmakers adopt/accept it, and we are all pushed into using it because it will likely be the path of least resistance.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:40 PM   #11
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Taylor, DRM is a stillborn notion. However, the worrying thing is that, given the propensity for governments as lawmakers to represent mamon rather than the citizen, it will only be a matter of time before ebook readers become an addition to their panoply of control and surveillance networks. Ebook hardware with biometrics and embedded GPS systems may sound fanciful, but I'm sure interested parties would love to know who, as well as when and where, was reading the latest best seller.

I really don't understand why people can't see that the new electronic age, with it's potential for the almost immediate transfer of knowledge, is paradoxically the most dangerous age we have faced in terms of the control of knowledge and the control of people receiving that knowledge. If that sounds paranoid, I wonder what it would be like to live in a country which has literally millions of surveillance cameras which watch your every movement day and night - oh dear I forgot, I do, and it's called the UK.

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Old 03-23-2008, 01:09 PM   #12
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Tommy, you are being paranoid, as well as exaggerating... stop scaring the locals!

Many of the "surveillance" issues you describe are already in-place and being used, but the world as we know it has not devolved into the Dark Ages. No, no one likes the prospect of "being watched," but ascribing intentionally evil tendencies to that is being... well, paranoid. Governments do no more and no less than what they feel they need to do, to keep things operating smoothly. And most of the things they require aren't that onerous.

Consider the things you do to get cell phone or cable/satellite TV accounts... their steps are among those that many citizens rail against. Yet, they still buy cellphones and watch cable TV. People accept some levels of "surveillance" because it gets them something they want. Digital content delivery will be forced to meet the same criteria, and if it's done right, we will complain a bit about the obtrusiveness... but we'll accept it anyway.
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:01 PM   #13
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Steve ,

I'm well aware that they are being used. Unfortunately, I don't share your benevolent view of the role or intentions of government. As for people buying things - did they have a real choice about what they bought? How much surveillance are you personally willing to accept? When you wake-up one morning and find that you've changed your mind about some aspect of surveillance that you thought was benevolent, how are you going to change it back? I have two favourite quotes with regard to freedom. I don't usually like 'quotes', since I believe them to be a lazy man's substitute for thinking. Nevertheless, I'm feeling a bit lazy today :

'None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free.'
Goethe

'Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush moustache and swastika armband -- it creeps up insidiously... step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone.'
Baron Lane

[The swastika allusion is unfortunate, but not the sentiment.]

BTW I didn't just Google those to make my point - I trully believe them to be valid. I little paranoia and a lot of skepticism are good things. Trusting any power which controls our lives without those two questioning elements is, I believe, a big mistake.

Tommy

Last edited by TommyCooper; 03-23-2008 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:05 PM   #14
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... Governments do no more and no less than what they feel they need to do, to keep things operating smoothly. ...
Steve, While this is true, it is not static. As I'm sure you are aware, laws change. What was once legal may become illegal and vice versa. I may have camera's at intersections, only (ostensibly) for the purpose of catching traffic violators. Then, hey, a "crime" was committed near an intersection and we caught it on camera. But that "crime" may become something in the future that we may not even imagine today nor agree with when it occurs.

And remember, that in this country - and many others I believe - once it has been made law, it is very difficult to impossible to remove, often just because we don't feel comfortable discussing it publicly. Maybe because we have what we perceive as a minority view or it has become politically incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
... And most of the things they require aren't that onerous. ...
Yet!
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Old 03-23-2008, 04:25 PM   #15
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I completely agree with TommyCooper.

Except on the part about quotes lazyness

I've said it before on this forum, and sorry if I'm a bit harsh: Steve, you're delusionnal in your faith in DRM.
But because I'm tired of arguing the point, I'll link you to somebody who does pretty well:

here

NB: He's far from the only one, it's just the first link that came up in a 10 second googling.
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