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Old 04-07-2012, 11:43 AM   #391
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[...]1. J.K. Rowling, [...]
Aside from agreeing with HarryT that watermarking is a form of DRM, and here's hoping something of this nature is what we may see more of in the future, that's an good list, Elfwreck. The problem I see wrong with the list is not the aspect of fitting the undefined "significant", it is the fact that some of the entries miss the definition of "eschew". Having only some/many available without DRM does not meet with eschew, it seems to me.

Yeah, I know, it's a nit-pick, but "Hey", that's what these threads do isn't it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #392
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Having only some/many available without DRM does not meet with eschew, it seems to me.

Yeah, I know, it's a nit-pick, but "Hey", that's what these threads do isn't it.
That's reasonable nitpickery, but here's my answer. Eschew just means 'avoid.' An author doesn't have to be an activist extremist against DRM.

If they are making a career from releasing stuff without DRM, then I'd not fault them if they merely don't refuse to do business with publishers who require it. "You want to give me a million dollar advance on my next book, but you insist on releasing it with DRM? Hey, as long as my check clears."

BTW, for me personally, I have no problem with "the management of digital IP rights" as a concept. I have a problem with DRM systems that impede fair and legitimate uses and needlessly inconvenience consumers or expose them to needless risks.

In a more general sense, I object to seeing time money and effort wasted on something that doesn't work just because it's the way it's always been done. My day job is fixing those kind of broken processes for my cients.



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Old 04-07-2012, 01:10 PM   #393
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I much prefer social DRM if there's DRM at all, and would be perfectly happy to live with an auto-generated "this book was purchased by X" visible add-in page even in the front of the DRM-free purchases I typically buy.

The older B&N eReader app did in fact auto-generate a "From the Library of [INSERT MY NAME AS USED IN THE UNLOCK INFO]" for the B&N ePubs and eReader Secure formats when opened. This was clearly just a thing that the software did, and not anything added into the actual file, but it gave a nice sense of "ownership" to my having the book. It's too bad that the newer NookStudy/Nook for Mac apps don't do this any more, as I think it gives a nice, non-intrusive reinforcement to the "this book is yours and yours alone" effect that authors/publishers seem to want to predetermine by using more intrusive and restrictive DRM.

It's too bad the B&N DRM system is not being used more, despite its incorporation into ADE, because IMHO it's the easiest to live with and probably the most effective, since it uses your actual name and credit card number as a "password" to unlock the file which you can then put on as many devices as you want without having to check back with a central server to authorize new devices or having to re-download a specially-encoded file individual to each and every device you want to put your books on.

And it brings the "casual sharing" issue down to a level of consumer trust, rather than "retailers are going to act like consumers aren't worthy of trust with things they have paid for".

Sure, you could put your B&N-DRM book on some stranger's device without even having to strip, but you'd have to at least enter your name & CC number to unlock the book on said stranger's device, which sensible people would not be willing to type in even if they're physically holding it while the person has their back turned (who knows what kind of keylogging app might be present?), much less hand out in an e-mail or even verbally.

Most people aren't knowledgeable enough to know that only a hash of the CC number is stored, and would probably be worried about that hash being somehow reverse-readable to get their CC number again or otherwise traceable and existing on some stranger's device, so they wouldn't be doing that at all except maybe with very close, trusted family/household members, which fits in nicely with the "I'd probably lend my books to my closest friends who can be trusted to return them in decent condition and my family who lives with me naturally gets to read my personal library (except maybe the porny bits which I'm embarrassed about and don't want my kids/parents to see)" paradigm of traditional paper book usage anyway.

And having a "From the Library of [INSERT NAME HERE]" page auto-included in the front of each book will probably prove reasonably deterrent to people who don't care for the idea of other people going around with an unpaid library full of their paid-for "ownership"-stamped books, and perhaps encourage said other people to buy their own versions so they can have their favourite books say they come from their own personal library instead.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #394
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Hey now.

I am not counting the occasional "loss leader," or percentage off coupons to the first so many signing up or at the door, and the occasional drawing or door prize.
I think that it is self defeating to give something away 100% free, for people just pick it up because it is free. However Robert Jordan did that very thing with the first half of his first volume of "The Wheel of Time."

Library and hospital donations are the exception to the 100% rule, but don't sign any copies or someone will think they are valuable and lift them.

I have to say that one idea presented here of say a single series of DRM free eBooks is an interesting one that I have thought of before. That could generate some press in new circles.

Advertising is a good thing!
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #395
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I thought we were discussing significant authors who did not use DRM, not ones who sometimes gave out free promo stuff?

In any case, here's one who kind of fits both categories:

Peter Watts is a Canadian science fiction author who won the Hugo Award for 2010 and was again a Hugo finalist for 2011. He is published in English by Tor/Macmillan, and no doubt his Tor/Macmillan books are DRMed.

However, he offers everything of his free and DRM-free under a Creative Commons license on his website, where you can download the lot. Everything. Even the Tor-published still-in-print-and-reprinted-in-new-rerelease-paper-editions-as-well novels. The only thing which seems to be "missing" is a short story which can be read free online over at the Clarkesworld magazine site anyway.

He's been doing this for a number of years now and has yet to be driven to starvation or relocation into the gutter by non-paying downloaders reading him out of house and home, and he is currently in the process of writing another novel for Tor/Macmillan.

(Not that either of those would be likely to happen anyway, since Canada has fairly decent social safety nets, not to mention arts grants and gives out a small amount every year to Canadian authors who have their works on public library bookshelves, every single one of which in my area carries Watts' novels.)

People regularly drop money into his Paypal tipjar as thanks for the freebie e-books, and it seems that it's just in recent years since he started offering the website downloads that he's become prominent and known enough to get the award nominations (which tend to ignore most Canadians, Robert J. Sawyer being a noticeable exception).

He's even available in official translation into French, which is how I mainly buy his works (although I do have some hardcovers and paperbacks of a few of his print editions), which I can tell you is actually relatively rare for English-language speculative fiction, and generally only the most popular/classic/prominent works get that particular nod from the Francophone sf/fantasy lines.

So, neither being DRM-free, nor offering the entirety of his work free to download online seems to have damaged Peter Watts' earning abilities or standard of living, even after the medical bills and whatnot he has from having flesh-eating bacteria in one leg, and in fact seems to have raised his profile and contributed to his publicity, and likely sales as well.

(It's also only been in recent months that his long-standing older novels have become available in French translation, whereas his newest was translated fairly shortly relative to publication after his Hugo win. Francophone imprints seem to be very picky about buying the rights for older backlist title vs getting just the hot new bestsellers from a temporarily "star" author.)
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:36 PM   #396
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
That's reasonable nitpickery, but here's my answer. Eschew just means 'avoid.' An author doesn't have to be an activist extremist against DRM. [...]
Avoid and shun, the implication usually being that you will not do something while an alternative exists. Well, the alternatives exist. But the other aspect of a few of the listed authors is whether the non-DRM publications are backlist items, or author experiments, or promotions, for which it remains unclear what they concluded about DRM. The existence of DRM publications doesn't prove that they love it, but the existence of non-DRM does not prove they eschew it.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:28 AM   #397
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Avoid and shun, the implication usually being that you will not do something while an alternative exists. Well, the alternatives exist. But the other aspect of a few of the listed authors is whether the non-DRM publications are backlist items, or author experiments, or promotions, for which it remains unclear what they concluded about DRM. The existence of DRM publications doesn't prove that they love it, but the existence of non-DRM does not prove they eschew it.
Nope, it just means they are scared to say anything about it and rock the boat.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:43 AM   #398
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It's hard to think of any author with their own web store selling their books with DRM. But then you can't sell kindle books with DRM except through amazon.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:49 AM   #399
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It's hard to think of any author with their own web store selling their books with DRM. But then you can't sell kindle books with DRM except through amazon.
Yes. but at least they give you the choice to use DRM or not.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:34 PM   #400
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Nope, it just means they are scared to say anything about it and rock the boat.
Now you are hitting the proverbial nail on the head.

To appeal to a certain audience or at the very least to not antagonize that audience, you might have to do certain things.

For example, I don't say what I write on MR and a few other sites I visit.

Also I don't talk about certain things on my sites, including politics and DRM.

Listening on the other hand is quite the opposite. I go many, many places to get ideas, trends, feelings, ...
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:44 AM   #401
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Now you are hitting the proverbial nail on the head.

To appeal to a certain audience or at the very least to not antagonize that audience, you might have to do certain things.

For example, I don't say what I write on MR and a few other sites I visit.

Also I don't talk about certain things on my sites, including politics and DRM.

Listening on the other hand is quite the opposite. I go many, many places to get ideas, trends, feelings, ...
Well thanks for the endorsement Frahse, that was unexpected.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #402
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Looking at various sites and statistics I have come to the following conclusions. These conclusions are my own and statistics can, of course, be made to say anything.

Ebook sales are drawing ahead of the traditional market .
The majority of ebooks being sold are sold with DRM.
Books that are pirated are still being sold with or without DRM.
Ebook prices fluctuate even if controlled by publishers. There are sales/boxed set deals and freebies.

My conclusion is that many if not most Ebooks, DRMed or not are priced reasonably in most cases in comparison to other entertainment media or common social vices such as cigarettes, lattes at Starbucks, movies whether in cinema or DVD version or restaurant dinners or even TV dinners.


The above is more than a bit disjointed, but I see no proof that DRM or pricing is actually screwing up the average consumer than inflation in general and the normal wear and tear and attrition on printed books.

I am not a fan of DRM but it does let the library lend out ebooks and at least they don't have to have the anti-theft chips etc. installed in the ebooks.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #403
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I am not a fan of DRM but it does let the library lend out ebooks and at least they don't have to have the anti-theft chips etc. installed in the ebooks.
But there's no problem to have eBooks with DRM for library lending and without DRM for those you buy.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:23 AM   #404
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Stealing is bad , but i must get my drm free books from the net !
Most forget that drm is bounded to microsoft and adobe.Can not even un-drm the books
So i cant buy a ebook from most publicers .The same crap is : only for this device:,Or amazon reader for PC=WC only .Cant even get the free/demo ebooks.
And no e-reader reads drm books as i cant get adobe sh*t running so no id end of story.
Lazer you miss me and many linux users as customer because of drm and the lock-in of many e-book/reader stores !\
So drm is BAD as long as its locked in to a compagny.
PS i have a windows 98 machine stil, but dear adobe wil not work on it.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:06 PM   #405
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Lazer you miss me and many linux users as customer because of drm and the lock-in of many e-book/reader stores !
You can use DRM'ed books on most Linux distributions just fine.

The rest of your post I will ignore, since you seem to assume that the only way to get non-DRM books is to pirate them, which is untrue. All the eBooks I have spent money on were purchased DRM-free. On a Linux box, I might add.
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