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Old 11-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
atanner
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For the few writers here that are not benefited by piracy and NEED DRM...

I've been going through a lot of threads about DRM, and many have really taken their time to say that they would rather risk their books being distributed illegally, than not be known at all. For all that are on that boat, you might be right given that genres you are coming from.

But there is another boat...

The boat of writers that do not write novels, short stories, cooking books, etc. but instead HIGHLY specialized books, very specific software implementations, tax code reviews, medical procedures, legal topics, construction, etc. These books are not meant for every Bob and Mary, they are meant for a very specific audience, and their success will never be measured in the thousands, but in the hundreds.

These writers do not benefit in ANY way from this "benevolent piracy" that is so warmly spoken of in some of the threads in this forum. Every pirated copy is truly a dagger on their side. For these writers, DRM is a must: NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

So having said that, I've been doing some research for writers in this situation and I came across this:

http://www.dnldrm.com/

It seems that this one really works, and it is not possible to go around it.

1) Has anybody had any experience with them?

2) If one MUST use DRM, which one would you recommend?

Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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The DNL-DRM sounds more like an app than an ebook that would be readable on various devices? Can only be read on a PC? Mac? Linux? Do they have to be online to be able to read? You don't want to make things to hard ot restrictive for your potential customers.

2) It would probably work to lock things down if for no other reason than I don't think most people know much if anything about it (at least I don't think it's been broken). It's not that it can't be broken (any DRM can be broken), it's that no one has found it worth the effort yet (AFAIK). Of course someone can always take screencaps if they really wanted to capture the whole thing and put it out there.


Here's a bit from a post here a few years back...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57256
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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DNL DRM looks like it's an "online only" form of DRM--requires a constant connection. That means it won't work with many ereaders, and it won't work on some platforms. The site it links to, desktopauthor.com, says it works on Windows, Mac and Android... not Linux. And it doesn't seem to work on any e-ink readers.

Authors who believe their customers are all potential thieves who are stopped only by threats and physical restrictions are, of course, welcome to use DRM. It's not a "must" for any author who believes their customers are interested in supporting their career. Saying "I MUST lock this book up because otherwise, you're probably going to steal from me" is not going to build customer loyalty.

Every pirated copy is truly a dagger on their side.

No, the pirated copy may be a test run to confirm that the reader wants to read that book. Or it may be a book that can be read on their reader, because the author who chooses "must be online to read this book" DRM is saying very clearly, "people without high-speed internet, and people using Linux, are not my customers at all." In that case, those pirated copies aren't costing the author anything... the author didn't want to sell to them in the first place.

There are several kinds of "effective" must-be-online forms of DRM. None of them, you may note, are popular. None of them are used for bestsellers. Their largest market segment is college students who will pay $70 for a limited-use ebook instead of $120 or $180 for a print textbook... but there's also a huge underground collection of free PDFs of those textbooks.

Insisting that the only wanted customers are those who have certain devices, or read under certain conditions, is a great way to *stay* an obscure author in a niche market.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
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When you say: "It seems that this one really works, and it is not possible to go around it." - on what are you basing that assumption? Their sales blurb?

If I had to guess, I would say that the only reason it hasn't been broken yet (if it hasn't been broken yet) is because it's not big enough for anyone to have put in the effort.

If the ebook can truly be downloaded and read independent of a connection to the 'net (for example I read of books available that are supposed to be "tied" to the USB drive), then you can be fairly certain that the person able to read that book could also extract the book - if they put in the effort and have the knowledge. All the pieces are there, it's just a matter of intercepting them and feeding to your own output device. Yes it may be difficult, the first time, but then the solution can be put up on the 'net for all those "legitimate" readers that would like to read their book on devices not supported by the supplied software.

If the ebook remains on the remote host and is only fed to the reader, encrypted, a page at a time, it must still - at some point - be displayed on the screen for the user to read. In that case I simply use screen capture software and - if necessary OCR - to produce my own copy to take anywhere (pretty much the same as happens with print books).

My guess is that the current solution is marketed as "secure" only because of the secrets hidden in the software, not as a result of real and tested security protocols. But that's only a guess (based on some knowledge, if not detailed expertise, on this topic). The real point is that I am quite confident that the solution will put-off your genuine purchasers without actually preventing unauthorised copies to be made by people that are willing to put in the effort.

If you want an equivalently secure "DRM" solution, go back to basics. Provide paper books only via print-on-demand. It's effectively the same thing as what the is described above (the content - words - are tied to the device - book), but at this point in time people are still familiar paper books and you are less likely to upset them.

I am not personally against DRM (to the extent that it limits a person's use as would purchase of a physical paper book), but I think it is very likely that existing ebook DRM solutions will cause more harm to the audience you actually want, than it will provide benefit to you against pirates - even in a specialist market.
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
I think it is very likely that existing ebook DRM solutions will cause more harm to the audience you actually want, than it will provide benefit to you against pirates - even in a specialist market.
More, in a specialist market. Strong prevention of casual file-sharing guarantees that nobody *joins* the target specialist market in order to get this book; people who might be interested are dissuaded by extra hoops and hassles.

And making casual sharing difficult does absolutely nothing to dissuade large-scale piracy; all it takes is one dedicated person with screencap software--or a willingness to type--to create a sharable text version. And if it's much easier to deal with than the official version, it'll be shared even by people who have bought a legit copy.

If the target market is students, that's a crowd that traditionally has high technical skills, lots of free time and imagination, and low money--a combination that leads to pirated content in several media. If the target market is industry professionals... if they have interns working for them, that's about like students. It just takes one boss saying, "get me a version I can read on my Kindle. Sure, take a couple hours of overtime for it."

Annoying DRM encourages workarounds. The reason there isn't more for the "ultra-secure" ebooks is that mostly, *nobody cares.* If someone does, they are no harder to bootleg than the Harry Potter books, which had no ebook version (and therefore, no DRM) for years.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:32 AM   #6
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Anything that impedes piracy in any form is in net sum a good thing.

Yes, the methods do have warts and thorns, but they do help authors.

If authors want to be known and don't think they can sell their product, then the simple answer is to give away their work, much as a street performer works for free until the demand for the performances grows enough to be charged for.
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:43 AM   #7
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Anything that impedes piracy in any form is in net sum a good thing.

Yes, the methods do have warts and thorns, but they do help authors.
[citation needed]
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:24 AM   #8
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It is cited as an Axiom.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:32 AM   #9
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This is a fairly anti-drm crowd, as you can see. BUT ignoring that argument, and instead trying to answer your questions...


Quote:
Originally Posted by atanner View Post

http://www.dnldrm.com/

It seems that this one really works, and it is not possible to go around it.

1) Has anybody had any experience with them?
No, have not used it, but it is not possible to make a DRM that a person with sufficient motivation can not by pass. I am not even talking screen readers/etc. If the materiel can be read, it can be copied. If you are successful, then people will be motivated to remove the protection and pirate your book. So I would not pick one based on it being unable to be defeated, since any such claim is a lie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by atanner View Post
2) If one MUST use DRM, which one would you recommend?

Thanks!
If I were to use DRM, I would stick with one of the major industry ones, such as the one on Kindle or the one on Nook. Yes, the process to de-drm them is well known, but both of them do a good job of staying out of the the way of legitimate reader. They do have the draw back of locking the reader in to a platform, but that is a trade off you make in today's market. The advantage is you tap an extremely wide user base to sell you books too. You may only appeal to a tiny percent, but the bigger the pool you look for that tiny percent in the better your chances are of finding them.

Last edited by VydorScope; 11-02-2012 at 07:29 AM. Reason: fix broken quote tag
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frahse View Post
Anything that impedes piracy in any form is in net sum a good thing.

Yes, the methods do have warts and thorns, but they do help authors.

If authors want to be known and don't think they can sell their product, then the simple answer is to give away their work, much as a street performer works for free until the demand for the performances grows enough to be charged for.
With how anti-drm this crowd is, I am tempted to join your side of the debate this for the fun of being out numbered!

My biggest problem with DRM is the device lock down. If I have 100 kindle books and decide I want a Nook, I should be able to keep my books. There is no current system to allow that that I know of (short of removing the DRM).
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
The DNL-DRM sounds more like an app than an ebook that would be readable on various devices? Can only be read on a PC? Mac? Linux? Do they have to be online to be able to read? You don't want to make things to hard ot restrictive for your potential customers.

2) It would probably work to lock things down if for no other reason than I don't think most people know much if anything about it (at least I don't think it's been broken). It's not that it can't be broken (any DRM can be broken), it's that no one has found it worth the effort yet (AFAIK). Of course someone can always take screencaps if they really wanted to capture the whole thing and put it out there.
You don't need to read it online, you need to download their reader:

"
To view the DNL powered e-publications you will require to install the FREE and small in file size DNL Reader.

Look how easy it is to install the DNL Reader?
Option 1 - Direct Download - click on the GET DNL READER button & follow the prompts.
Option 2 - User Friendly Method - view an In-browser version of a DNL e-Publication which will download & install the DNL Reader automatically.
"

This is the software to actually create the eBook:

http://www.desktopauthor.com/
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Authors who believe their customers are all potential thieves who are stopped only by threats and physical restrictions are, of course, welcome to use DRM. It's not a "must" for any author who believes their customers are interested in supporting their career. Saying "I MUST lock this book up because otherwise, you're probably going to steal from me" is not going to build customer loyalty.

Elfwreck, you clearly didn't read my post, didn't understand it, or are speaking from your own circumstances.

Customer loyalty...wtf?

What customer loyalty do you think is related to a doctor that wrote the only step-by-step procedure to remove a lacerated spleen on diabetic patients over the age of 60? There is no follow up to this book, there is no loyalty to consider (not that they don't care about it...but it's not how this business works)...this is a one off project (similar to a PhD) they write it and move on. If he does write another book, it'll be in 20 years, and about another topic that has not been addressed by the medical community.

There are no competitors, nobody will ever challenge this product, and the group of people that will buy it is very limited. Like I said, these authors are targeting maybe 200 - 500 potential customers tops.

Is it clear now, or are you still thinking that everybody here writes novels, short stories, and are looking out to be famous and well know??...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
There are several kinds of "effective" must-be-online forms of DRM.
So according to you, which are these "effective" DRMs?
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #13
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You don't need to read it online, you need to download their reader:
I downloaded their reader for Mac. I didn't get all the way through the install, because it tries to install both X.11 and Wine. X.11 I already have. Wine I don't. It downloads and installs Wine, and then still can't find it.

So I can't read on my Mac. I can't read on my iPhone. I can't read on my Kindle nor my CyBook Opus. If I had an iPad I couldn't read on that, nor on a nook nor a Kobo.

Despite having an on-line ebook store, I rather suspect that they make their money from selling activation keys to authors than through ebook sales.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
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blah blah blah

http://www.dnldrm.com/
Given how embarrassing these things can prove to be once they're discovered, might I ask you whether you're directly involved with the company that markets this product?

I've been reading your posts and you should be aware, you could be mistaken for having an agenda.

I do have an agenda. I hate DRM and would happily see copyright chopped down to size as well. In combination, licensing rather than owning books and permanent copyright are a blight upon popular culture.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dadioflex View Post
Given how embarrassing these things can prove to be once they're discovered, might I ask you whether you're directly involved with the company that markets this product?

I've been reading your posts and you should be aware, you could be mistaken for having an agenda.

I do have an agenda. I hate DRM and would happily see copyright chopped down to size as well. In combination, licensing rather than owning books and permanent copyright are a blight upon popular culture.
So the ONE guy that needs DRM has an agenda...are you serious bro??

Apparently this forum is very comfortable in ganging up and punishing diversity

Just for the record no, I don't have any agenda except for getting some good advice.

Just for the record...read my @#$%^ and you will understand what I am trying to achieve here.

Just for the record, what you have said, has been said soooooooo many times it should not be said anymore....it's clear we all got it.....
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