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Old 03-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #1
spindlegirl
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A good blog post anti-DRM

My husband alerted me to this blog post and I thought I would share it here.

The author seems to share all the reasoning I do against buying DRM-free goods vs just buying any old drm'ed thing and stripping it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:07 AM   #2
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It's hard to support non-DRM alternatives when we can't recognize them. It's hard to tell people to not buy DRM ebooks if we can't even tell them apart. Getting this message through to book buyers -- and perhaps even to ebook retailers -- seems like a critical first step.
Well getting the message to buyers is preaching to the converted. (See how this thread has been avoided less it does the usual run away DRM is bad posts which we haven't had this month. Yet)
Woops, spoke too soon. Just came across a DRM thread going ballistic as usual.

Retailers only provide what publishers and authors request. My authors have begrudgingly let me put 80% of their books online DRM free but they insist on DRM for the best sellers.
Authors and publishers are your targets because they are the ones who are requesting DRM. I think Sony is the only store that doesn't give you a choice to be DRM free.

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Old 03-07-2012, 12:23 AM   #3
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Good points, but unfortunately this is impractical. It is not like we have a choice. Besides, removing DRM is neither difficult nor illegal in most countries.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:13 AM   #4
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Good points, but unfortunately this is impractical. It is not like we have a choice. Besides, removing DRM is neither difficult nor illegal in most countries.
In what countries is it more difficult to remove DRM?
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:15 AM   #5
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In what countries is it more difficult to remove DRM?
In North Korea, you can't download the tools
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:00 AM   #6
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In North Korea, you can't download the tools
The first requirement is that you are able to download the e-books. So doesn't count.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:00 AM   #7
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I was aware the blog post didn't convey an original idea, but I thought it on some level, worth pointing out.

I'm more into refraining from buying DRM e-books because that is where the dollar vote is. It may be all well and good for a person to buy an infected e-book and then remove the infection, but the sales numbers don't care about that. They just look at the numbers and go "Oh wow, millions are buying our DRM'ed books, we don't need to change a thing."

There are a whole bunch of innocent buyers out there who think e-books are all the same, and if they've bought an e-book, then that means they can just stick it on their device and it will work. I've encountered people who think an e-reader is an e-reader and an e-book is an e-book, and they're all interchangeable "out of the box".

Yes, this idea is nothing new, but I did appreciate the blog post, hopefully the more people who become aware of what DRM is, and what its purpose is, the more people will seek different standards for what they buy, and will even realize they need to.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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I'm torn on this issue.

On the one hand I want to read books I have a good chance of enjoying. Which means I tend to stick to well-known (to me) authors and that tends to me trad-published which tends to me DRM. I feel morally entitled (if not possibly legally) to strip DRM for my own use. I've nothing against buying from sites like Smashwords but at the moment it feels like there's a sea of mediocre-at-best books to wade through to find the good ones.

On the other hand it would be nice to send a message to Amazon et al that I don't like DRM. However the problem is that unless you send an email every time you *don't buy* it's not a message that's unambiguous. They may well look at declining sales (assuming enough people did likewise) and think the problem is piracy and make the DRM more annoying.

What we need is for a few big names to go the indie route without DRM and show that the sky didn't fall in sales-wise. That would send a less ambiguous message.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #9
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The first requirement is that you are able to download the e-books. So doesn't count.
Surely the first requirement is to be able to get any books and read them ?

In that particular sad piece of the the world, just mentioning the name of a book could result in some very unpleasant circumstances............
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:24 AM   #10
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. . . .

There are a whole bunch of innocent buyers out there who think e-books are all the same, and if they've bought an e-book, then that means they can just stick it on their device and it will work.
They only have to buy once. That's when they realize that not everything is what they thought it was and they usually end up here at MR and find out what's what.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:43 AM   #11
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Well, they still do make printed books. If I must permanently own a book, that's normally where I go, Baen and Smashwords being among the exceptions....

Of course I don't report to amazon everytime I "don't buy" a book. But maybe everytime I buy a physical book, stating why I chose the physical book despite owning an e-reader? .... there are many ways to vote with ones dollar while still obtaining the materials they wish.

For me, the only place DRM belongs is in library books, because the whole point is that I don't own them and am just accessing the materials for a limited time and then poof, they're gone. But I feel fully entitled that whatever I buy should be 100% mine in every respect after I have received the receipt.

It's insulting to buy a book and still "walk home" with the message that it's not really mine to keep. So what if DRM "can be stripped". Why should it be my responsibility to google some Apprentice named Alf while people put coughcough marks around it in whispered hushed tones, after I have bought and own the freaking thing.

There should be no "assembly required". It is after all, a freaking text file. I could understand video games and stuff, but really, a piece of text that I should be able to read...? I should be able to read it, no questions asked, no "but how do I get this to work on MY device?" no, "I bought this book, and excitedly downloaded it on calibre but it won't work?". (or stuff that doesnt' even download to calibre and stays affixed to the website to read on Chrome)

DRM is utter crap and does not belong on material that a person owns.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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All true, Spindlegirl. However, currently the vast majority of ebook buyers don't even know about DRM. So it is not going away for some time. Given that the only choices for me are to either follow your example and don't read the books I want or to get them and un-DRM them I choose the latter. I admire your principles, but I think it won't make a difference. I spread the word about the evils of DRM, but I live with it while it is still around.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:35 AM   #13
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=spindlegirl;1994365......."I should be able to read it, no questions asked, no "but how do I get this to work on MY device?" no, "I bought this book, and excitedly downloaded it on calibre but it won't work?". (or stuff that doesnt' even download to calibre and stays affixed to the website to read on Chrome)

DRM is utter crap and does not belong on material that a person owns.
That's the problem right there. You did'nt buy a book. If you read the license agreement, what you paid for is the use of the store's software to read the supplied file with their reading software. You didn't buy a book. You bought a license to read on their terms. Just saying....not agreeing.

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Old 03-07-2012, 08:55 AM   #14
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IMO, stores should then make it explicit that you're 'renting' the book, or 'buying a license', instead of 'buy this book'.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:57 AM   #15
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Exactly. Most people buy e-books not realizing there even IS a "license agreement" other than the standard legalese and they just click.

Most people who buy just think buying a book IS buying .... a BOOK.
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