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Old 04-02-2012, 10:16 PM   #301
ApK
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Originally Posted by ScalyFreak View Post
"Hey, you want the new Stephen king? I got the file right here if you're interested. Apparently someone at the publisher leaked it." That's how it happens with nearly all video games that hit the "black market" before release day anyway.
And, again, no one in my wife's book club has access to such leaks. Some folks do, and will distribute them world wide. Those are not the pirates we're talking about.

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As for what's available in local libraries, they can get me anything I want, as long as I'm willing to wait for them to bring it in from where it is available. They did international loans for me when I was in college. It took a while, but it happened.
Really? Ask them to get you this. Let me know how it goes. Seriously, I'd be interested in how that works.

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:29 PM   #302
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If that's true, why do publishers have the option of not participating in the Kindle lending program?
I don't understand how the question relates to the point.

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Why not allow people to transfer ownership of their Kindle libraries, transferring the book to someone new?
Good question, I think that should be allowed. But again, that not related to the point of different rules for for different things. It's just a rule that doesn't seem to currently exist that we think should.

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This debate is not about "only one person at a time is supposed to be able to read a book." It's about publishers trying to implement "one buyer = one reader."
I never thought that's what it was about, and that publishers may want that doesn't change or invalidate every other reason, motivation or effect.

Mother Teresa may have wanted to go to heaven, but we don't go around saying "Aww, that good stuff she did was just because she selfishly wanted to go to heaven."

(No, I am not saying publishers are like Mother Teresa.)

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No, Smashwords and some other stores have said it's against their TOS to loan your reader with books on it to another person--including your spouse. You're supposed to buy another copy if a second person is going to read the books, even on the same device.
No they don't say that. You're reading way to much into it. Would they like to ENCOURAGE everyone who wants to read it to buy a copy in the interests of their authors and their whole business model? Sure, probably. Why wouldn't they?

Also it should be mentioned (again) that TOSes don't supersede the law. Elements that some folks try to pass off in TOS can be illegal.

Last edited by ApK; 04-02-2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: I just thought of a funny but possibly offensive "How are publishers like Mother Teresa" joke. PM me if you want to hear it.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:39 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by frahse View Post
Most of this is just conjectural nonsense.

DRM helps authors. I bear witness to that.
Please explain how it helps authors.

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It helps readers in the long run because authors can eat better and need fewer "day jobs" and can spend more time writing.
I'm all for authors being fed and having time to write. Please explain how DRM helps in that way.

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To say DRM is ineffective and so should be done away with, is like saying that since someone walking down the street can be strong armed or robbed at gun point or be cheated at the store or in the bank, that laws against these crimes should be repealed.
This is utter foolishness.
No, for that analogy to be even close, you have compare it to saying that since DRM is ineffective, copyright law should be abolished.
We're not saying that.
(Well, most of us are not saying that. Some people say that repeatedly, but I have them on ignore...).

The actual argument is more like saying that since you may be mugged or robbed, all wallets must have electronic locks that restrict you from taking them out of your pocket except by a limited set of conditions set by the wallet makers, and only after calling them and asking them for permission. And you cannot move the wallet another pair of pants.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:54 AM   #304
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[...]This debate is not about "only one person at a time is supposed to be able to read a book." It's about publishers trying to implement "one buyer = one reader." [...]
Actually I thought this particular debate (read the opening post and note the forum we're on) was whether DRM was good or bad for authors. Sure it's gone off on tangents as most long threads do, but even so I don't think you can phrase the debate quite so simply. Various licenses out there explicitly allow some limited sharing (or so I understand).

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The terms in the SW books say "If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with." That doesn't say "unless that person is reading it on the same ereader you used." It doesn't even say, "if you would like to GIVE A COPY of this book to another person..." it mentions sharing. [...]
I agree with ApK, you are reading too much into this. License conditions don't say "like to" and "please". All SW are doing is encouraging people to buy books, and that seems like a good thing to me.

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[...]I'm all for authors being fed and having time to write. Please explain how DRM helps in that way.[...]
The debate as to whether DRM helps or hinders, in general, cannot really be well answered by an individual experience on one side or the other, especially not on a forum such as this one (and those participating in these debates) where there is a skew to those more aware of the technology than is more generally the case. If you want an answer to such questions ... follow the money.

As I noted in a previous post, the fact that the big publishers are still using DRM seems reasonable evidence that DRM does help revenue in the general case. DRM is not free to implement. My assumption is that they would not continue to use it if they were not convinced it was worth the cost. They may be wrong, but I've seen nothing in any of the extensive threads on this subject to convince me that anyone here knows any better how DRM effects their bottom-line than the publishers themselves. So, by extension, anything that is good for the publishers' bottom-line is also good for the authors that go through those publishers.

It is much less clear, to me, whether DRM is good or bad for authors outside the larger publishers, just because it works for them, or for particular types of book, does not mean it will necessarily work for everyone.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #305
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Most of this is just conjectural nonsense.

DRM helps authors. I bear witness to that.
It helps readers in the long run because authors can eat better and need fewer "day jobs" and can spend more time writing.

To say DRM is ineffective and so should be done away with, is like saying that since someone walking down the street can be strong armed or robbed at gun point or be cheated at the store or in the bank, that laws against these crimes should be repealed.
This is utter foolishness.

Hey, give the authors a break.
We are all for helping authors. But seriously, how can you really tell that DRM helps you? This is just a gut feeling. And if you look at it from a users perspective, DRM is like buying a pbook and the store tells you "to read that you MUST use that special cover I am selling you to go with it", reading it without the cover or another cover is illegal.

Put in other words, DRM is like having a store with one front exit where the paying customers are strip searched on the way out, but with the backdoor open for the crooks with nobody watching. DRM can't stop anybody, the backdoor will always remain open. The question is how do you treat those that actually buy your stuff.

Obviously there is no empirical data neither for nor against DRM (apart from positive experiences for some market niche operators like Baen). I personally would never buy a book if I couldn't remove the DRM and if I had the choice I would support a seller who offers it DRM free. I won't post it online, and I don't even have the opportunity to share it with friends and family since none of them reads English books. I do strongly support the idea of visible and invisible watermarking.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:41 AM   #306
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The debate as to whether DRM helps or hinders, in general, cannot really be well answered by an individual experience on one side or the other, especially not on a forum such as this one (and those participating in these debates) where there is a skew to those more aware of the technology than is more generally the case. If you want an answer to such questions ... follow the money.

I agree. My question to frahse was rhetorical, towards illustrating that.
What is the evidence that the lost sales prevented by thwarting some portion of casual sharing is greater than the sales lost by not serving the anti-DRM crowd, plus sales gained by goodwill of both noth hampering space and format shifing, and possibly even that word of mouth, tacit approval of casual sharing that some folks find important?
(For the record, while I think it's wrong of readers to assume they are doing authors a favor by sharing without permission, I also think authors would indeed be doing themselves a favor to GIVE that permission.)

Unless you can publish pairs similar and popular books, with similar marketing strategies and audiences, at the same time, one with DRM and one without, I don't know a sure way to prove this. I question studies that depend on asking people to volunteer to admit that they break copyright law.


Quote:
If you want an answer to such questions ... follow the money. As I noted in a previous post, the fact that the big publishers are still using DRM seems reasonable evidence that DRM does help revenue in the general case.
If the publishers decide tomorrow to stop using DRM (like the music biz did) does that mean they have been right to use DRM all this time, and they astutely and swiftly decided that now was the exact best time to change to maximize profit? Or were they wrong for a long while, and they were too stodgy and stubborn to see it until it got so bad and obvious they finally had to do something?

I'll tell that joke after all, with no offense meant:
How are publishers like Mother Teresa?
For years, they have been decaying in an old habit.


ApK

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:03 AM   #307
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I agree with ApK, you are reading too much into this. License conditions don't say "like to" and "please". All SW are doing is encouraging people to buy books, and that seems like a good thing to me.
I'd also point out, far more to the point of this thread, that whatever Smashwords means to achieve by their TOS, they realize that DRM is not required for it.

Mark Coker is a member here, isn't he? Perhaps he or someone else from SW would be willing to comment.

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #308
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Unless you can publish pairs similar and popular books, with similar marketing strategies and audiences, at the same time, one with DRM and one without, I don't know a sure way to prove this. I question studies that depend on asking people to volunteer to admit that they break copyright law.[...]
I doubt if there are useful ways to prove it absolutely, either way. Even parallel releases won't tell you, the public can be fickle, with the reasons for success or failure not easily guessed in advance (I could cite examples but that could start another debate ).

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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
If the publishers decide tomorrow to stop using DRM (like the music biz did) does that mean they have been right to use DRM all this time, and they astutely and swiftly decided that now was the exact best time to change to maximize profit? Or were they wrong for a long while, and they were too stodgy and stubborn to see it until it got so bad and obvious they finally had to do something?[...]
Yes, there is always a lot of inertia behind any large organisation, it could be that they will eventually decide DRM in its current form is no longer cost-effective. But even if removal of DRM proved a success at this point, that wouldn't prove its failure at the start. The market has changed dramatically over the few years of its existence. DRM has been a necessary part of getting ebooks to the point they are now (the larger publishers would have been much slower coming forward without it). What shape such rights management takes in the future remains to be seen, but I think it's safe to say that it will always be there in one form or another.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:19 AM   #309
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It's pretty well known that within most major publishing houses, using DRM is part of the unchallengeable dogma...regardless of its effectiveness.

The question on DRM is simple:

* Will authors (and publishers) sell MORE books without DRM than with DRM?

Baen, O'Reilly, Smashwords, Book View Cafe, Angry Robot, DriveThruRPG/Fiction/Comics and many others are convinced that the answer to the question is Yes.

And I agree with them -- I can think of hundreds of ebooks that I refuse to buy because they are DRM-crippled.

I'd like to buy them, I have the cash right here, waiting for them...but I'm not paying for something they can arbitrarily take away or prevent me from reading on my device of choice when they feel like it.

We know DRM can be circumvented by those who want to, whether they use Apprentice Alf, buy used print books (depriving the author and publisher of ALL royalties), borrowing from a library, or scanning a book. DRM is nonsense, plain and simple.

But rather than "play the game" (buy, de-DRM and REWARD DRM-crippled books), I make a point of supporting the companies and authors that do "get it" and talking very publicly about the issue.

It is rather enjoyable to publicly needle these big companies, who live and die on quarterly profit reports, and remind them, "Hey, you could have had these extra hundreds of dollars, too...but no, not for you." If thousands and thousands of people did likewise, they would sit up and take notice.

The question is NOT how many pirated copies will be made and distributed that aren't paid for. Honestly, there is no way to tell how many people grab a book just for the sake of grabbing it because it is there.

If you have a book that was going to sell 10,000 copies and by going DRM-free you sell 20,000 copies, even if there are a million illicit copies out there, going DRM-free has been a huge success...you have doubled your revenue.

How do you judge success?

I wish publishers would dare to experiment. Take a handful of backlist books, sell them DRM-free (even if for a limited time), TELL US so we know they're DRM-free, and see what happens to sales.

Pick a few books that are selling weakly, if at all, get the authors onboard and give it a shot. Compare it to sales in previous months and sales of books that were selling comparable numbers before the "no DRM" experiment.

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:44 PM   #310
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Pick a few books that are selling weakly, if at all, get the authors onboard and give it a shot. Compare it to sales in previous months and sales of books that were selling comparable numbers before the "no DRM" experiment.
Even with a huge backlog of free books on my reading list, I would kick in a couple bucks to that experiment.

By the way Bill, did you ever make YOUR free, nonDRM book offering on your website into a more download-friendly format?

ApK
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:49 PM   #311
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APK summed it up nicely.
Thanks Hans and ApK. Today I had the DRM removed from my book.

Everyone here has made good points and I'm very glad I found this thread before it was too late to change. I've read it several times and, on consideration, it seems to me that there is enough weight of general opinion against DRM that it serves me better not to have it.

Cheers,
Xander.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:17 PM   #312
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[...]How do you judge success?

I wish publishers would dare to experiment. Take a handful of backlist books, sell them DRM-free (even if for a limited time), TELL US so we know they're DRM-free, and see what happens to sales.

Pick a few books that are selling weakly, if at all, get the authors onboard and give it a shot. Compare it to sales in previous months and sales of books that were selling comparable numbers before the "no DRM" experiment.
It may be that the experiment would be a success for the limited time of the advertising (although I suspect those speaking against DRM here may over-estimate how many care that much, MR is not a good place to gain a sense of proportion), but what the publishers will be interested in is what happens after the hoopla dies down again.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:55 PM   #313
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The last 2 pages (at least, I just read them) had a good discussion.
Some even though I disagree with, I gave Karma to for the insights I gained.
Others I agreed with more and also gave Karma.

I also made some comments which I will try to summarize in more detail here.

I work with people. I have had the chance to observe many more. I read about them constantly in the news. There are no guarantees as to their behavior as individuals. You can however guarantee tendencies, trends, and finally after enough experience both your own and others even percentages of kinds of behavior.

I will relate 3 instances concerning one of my wife's businesses.
I was in one of her shops waiting while she attended to something. I was observing the behavior of people buying Christmas gifts. I saw 2 young teens, who were aware of me standing there looking around, being furtive, and then one slipped something up his sleeve. I lectured them, and sent them out the store. (Again, this was while I was watching.)

My wife told me that a little old lady who came into the shop all the time and was a very nice person seemingly came to her with a gift to purchase. The label was messed up and the price on it seemed too low. My wife checked the item and the real price was twice as high. She told the lady. The little old lady said, "That is just too high. I could never pay that." My wife was very distressed that a "nice little lady" would do that.

Another time 3 well dressed women came into the store. One claimed to have a problem and asked to use the employee's restroom. (There is no public restroom.) She went to the back of the store and it was noticed that the one of the other women at the front answered her phone and it was noticed that the woman in the back was standing by a counter on her own phone.
Later it was found that the woman that went to the back had found a pocket book with only a little cash, but with a checkbook. She had removed 3 checks from the middle of the checkbook and put everything back. Later she cashed a forged check using her own identity. Turns out the cops were looking for these people already.

What came of these events?
First some video cameras were placed around the store. (Actually just fake.)
Second we got even better more sticky labels, the kind everyone hates.
Third The rule about "no public bathroom" was enforced even more rigorously.

Will that stop "stock shrinkage"? No. Will it reduce it? Hopefully it will. Everyone isn't a thief, but a lot of people have excuses that allow them to take advantage of a slit in the fence. Some people. you will not be able to stop for a part of their life revolves around getting stuff for free, circumventing the systems. They take a lot of pride in their work.

That is why most publishers use DRM, and most if not all significant authors agree to it.

The publishers and authors can't stop pirating or DRM removing, but we can do our best and DRM is a part of that.

I have suggested some improved systems where there is an ability to transfer books from one reader system to another. The Publishers would have to allow it and someone would have to develop the method and a master registry. It is a good idea, but I don't know if it will ever come about.

So anyway, I am essentially saying that "my gut feeling" is that DRM is good for me, an author, and though I might listen to your thoughts and complaints, I am only going to recommend better and more sticky and harder to remove price tags and labels.
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:01 PM   #314
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I would agree with you if DRM was universal AND could not be removed (we all know that any DRM will be cracked sooner or later). I would support DRM that would allow only one single copy to exist, or to be read, at one time. But it would have to allow me to read the file on any reading device of my choice.

Not having DRM is really not about trusting people. For one thing, it doesn't really work. It is too easy to circumvent. And the security precautions taken in a store are quite different from DRM. In a store the security is "pre-sale", while with DRM the security is "post-sale". Meaning in a store you inconvenience the thieves (as you well should), while with DRM you inconvenience the buyers using the item after the purchase (and since it is really ineffective, DRM is not doing anything to stop the thieves).

I think in today's digital world, for a writer like you, it would be best to just forget about the pirates. You alone can really do nothing to stop them. As aggravating as it is seeing someone take advantage of you, these people really don't figure into the equation. Look at them just like you do at the ants and mosquitoes you will never completely get rid off in your home. Concentrate on the honest people, those who are willing to pay when they should pay. And make the experience as pleasant for them as you can.

Anyway, in these forums everything that could possibly be said on this subject has been rehashed around a 100 times already. It is your choice.

Last edited by HansTWN; 04-03-2012 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:11 AM   #315
speakingtohe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frahse View Post
The last 2 pages (at least, I just read them) had a good discussion.
Some even though I disagree with, I gave Karma to for the insights I gained.
Others I agreed with more and also gave Karma.

I also made some comments which I will try to summarize in more detail here.

I work with people. I have had the chance to observe many more. I read about them constantly in the news. There are no guarantees as to their behavior as individuals. You can however guarantee tendencies, trends, and finally after enough experience both your own and others even percentages of kinds of behavior.

I will relate 3 instances concerning one of my wife's businesses.
I was in one of her shops waiting while she attended to something. I was observing the behavior of people buying Christmas gifts. I saw 2 young teens, who were aware of me standing there looking around, being furtive, and then one slipped something up his sleeve. I lectured them, and sent them out the store. (Again, this was while I was watching.)

My wife told me that a little old lady who came into the shop all the time and was a very nice person seemingly came to her with a gift to purchase. The label was messed up and the price on it seemed too low. My wife checked the item and the real price was twice as high. She told the lady. The little old lady said, "That is just too high. I could never pay that." My wife was very distressed that a "nice little lady" would do that.

Another time 3 well dressed women came into the store. One claimed to have a problem and asked to use the employee's restroom. (There is no public restroom.) She went to the back of the store and it was noticed that the one of the other women at the front answered her phone and it was noticed that the woman in the back was standing by a counter on her own phone.
Later it was found that the woman that went to the back had found a pocket book with only a little cash, but with a checkbook. She had removed 3 checks from the middle of the checkbook and put everything back. Later she cashed a forged check using her own identity. Turns out the cops were looking for these people already.

What came of these events?
First some video cameras were placed around the store. (Actually just fake.)
Second we got even better more sticky labels, the kind everyone hates.
Third The rule about "no public bathroom" was enforced even more rigorously.

Will that stop "stock shrinkage"? No. Will it reduce it? Hopefully it will. Everyone isn't a thief, but a lot of people have excuses that allow them to take advantage of a slit in the fence. Some people. you will not be able to stop for a part of their life revolves around getting stuff for free, circumventing the systems. They take a lot of pride in their work.

That is why most publishers use DRM, and most if not all significant authors agree to it.

The publishers and authors can't stop pirating or DRM removing, but we can do our best and DRM is a part of that.

I have suggested some improved systems where there is an ability to transfer books from one reader system to another. The Publishers would have to allow it and someone would have to develop the method and a master registry. It is a good idea, but I don't know if it will ever come about.

So anyway, I am essentially saying that "my gut feeling" is that DRM is good for me, an author, and though I might listen to your thoughts and complaints, I am only going to recommend better and more sticky and harder to remove price tags and labels.
You left out the one where people calmly stand in the Safeway or other store and exchange all the small eggs for large ones. Then some poor schmuck buys a carton of small eggs labeled large and blames it on the egg people. And this is to save maybe 75 cents. Lot of repackaging going on at Walmart as well.

Moral of the story always buy your eggs in a basket where you can see what you are getting or bring calipers to the Safeway.

Helen
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