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Old 01-19-2013, 03:49 PM   #31
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Why aren't the people obsessing about Amazon's "monopoly" screaming about Adobe? They have much less competion that Amazon. Regardless of small changes in their DRM flavors most are licensed through them.
Because, adobe DRM work almost everywhere. The best would be no DRM, but a monoply there mean interoperabillity for the user. It's the lesser evil.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #32
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The ePub spec was loose and allowed different interpretations so early ePubs would not render the same everywhere. Adobe had more clients so *their* interpretation of the spec, their "flavor" of ePub was the baseline. Calibre adopted Adobe compatibility as its baseline.
Would you please explain the bold bit in more detail? And is this historical information, or how is it true today?

I understand about different implementations of a spec. I'm wondering how this impacts today's Calibre users.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:46 PM   #33
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Calibre's ePub output is compatible with the quirks, bugs and gotchas of ADE because ADE is the most widely used (world wide) software for displaying ePub. Most Readers use ADE and most apps/programs use ADE.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:35 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by derangedhermit View Post
Would you please explain the bold bit in more detail? And is this historical information, or how is it true today?
At the time (ca 2008-2009) a lot of people were relying on Calibre to create epubs, even commercial ones. (Dunno if they still do but early BAEN epubs came that way.) And when they wouldn't display properly on this reader or that they would submit bug reports blaming Calibre. Eventually the word came down that unless a "bug" could be replicated in Adobe's reader it wouldn't be addressed; that as long as the epub displayed properly in ADE it woud be considered good.
That moved the support burden to the coders of non-ADE based apps and made ADE the de-facto standard implementation; if Adobe code rendered it well it was a good epub. If it didn't--even if it passed all validation suites and adhered to the spec--it wasn't.

Eventually things settled down so that it is relatively rare to run into epubs that are different enough they won't open or are radically different from what a pure Adobe product (from InDesign to ADE) looks like.

Not sure how much it matters today since the field has been weeded and most epub readers toe the Adobe spec. Generic ereader gadgets are almost all based on Adobe code. You might get "quirks" here and there but most epubs will at least open everywhere. (Except the proprietary variants from Apple, Nook, and Kobo that are only readable in *their* reading apps. But those are clearly identified as iBooks, Kepubs, Nook Kids, etc.)

Most ereader devices either license Adobe code or do without epub support.
(Kindle, obviously; but also the Jetbook Lite comes to mind.) Since it's a cost everybody incurs in the epub world it has little effect these days. But it does make adoption of non-Adobe DRM for epubs a bit less likely since most device builders would rather go with the devil they know. Path of least resistance...

Whether this will repeat with epub3 will have to wait on a full epub3 implementation from Adobe. Assuming epub3 ever gets that far.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:41 AM   #35
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Calibre's ePub output is compatible with the quirks, bugs and gotchas of ADE because ADE is the most widely used (world wide) software for displaying ePub. Most Readers use ADE and most apps/programs use ADE.
And those that don't try to get comparable rendering.
For most vendors it means it's cheaper to license ADE than code their own rendering engine. And the ADEPT DRM comes along as an added "feature".
Which brings us back where we started. Generic epub is (pretty much) Adobe epub.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-20-2013 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:04 PM   #36
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Why Adobe? Because Santa Fe, New Mexico central city ordinance requires you to build in a style mimicking traditional adobe architecture.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:31 PM   #37
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Why Adobe? That's an easy answer. Because of the DRM. Adobe was the one to come up with DRM for ePub.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:08 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Why Adobe? That's an easy answer. Because of the DRM. Adobe was the one to come up with DRM for ePub.
The epub spec defines extension points for DRM. Adobe is just one company that implemented a DRM scheme. Apple's another.

As for why Adobe? Because:
  1. Publishers like DRM
  2. Writing your own DRM is hard
  3. Adobe licenses their software (relatively) cheaply
  4. Thus, Adobe DRM works on many more devices than something like Apple's FairPlay DRM
  5. Thus, Adobe

As an added bonus, ADEPT DRM is very trivial to crack, making it more acceptable to end users. Meaning people like me are more likely to buy from Adobe-based (Sony, Kobo, etc) or Adobe-like (Nook) sellers than non-Adobe-based sellers (aka, Apple) because it's trivial to liberate any DRMed purchases.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:53 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Most ereader devices either license Adobe code or do without epub support.
(Kindle, obviously; but also the Jetbook Lite comes to mind.) Since it's a cost everybody incurs in the epub world it has little effect these days. But it does make adoption of non-Adobe DRM for epubs a bit less likely since most device builders would rather go with the devil they know. Path of least resistance...
Jetbook Lite added ADE support in the last firmware update - also works with B&N DRM variant.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:26 PM   #40
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Jetbook Lite added ADE support in the last firmware update - also works with B&N DRM variant.
Good to know. Took their time caving in.
The hardware has always been interesting...
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #41
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At this point, eReading.com will be an ADE-based store with as many DRM-free titles as we can offer. Unfortunately, as most people here know, publishers are the ones--for the most part--requiring DRM.

If, as Toddos said, it is really that easy to crack ADE DRM, then it seems pointless for the publishers to keep insisting upon including it. It seems to me that this will only encourage piracy rather than prevent it.

We elected to go as DRM-free as we could based not upon any possible competitive advantage, but because we want to be a truly reader-centric bookstore. Our focus is on making the buying process as easy and seamless as possible, and to provide people with the ability to take their books and read them outside of our app, PocketReader.

I speak on ebook panels at conventions quite a bit, and the overwhelming feedback I get is that people just don't want DRM. Amazon likes DRM not because it protects their content, but because it locks the majority of their customers into that infrastructure. I don't care for that business model, and I don't want our customers to have to deal with that mindset either.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:56 AM   #42
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...Amazon likes DRM not because it protects their content, but because it locks the majority of their customers into that infrastructure. I don't care for that business model, and I don't want our customers to have to deal with that mindset either.
What makes you think that? As far as I know they don't force any author or publisher to put DRM on their books...

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:21 AM   #43
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What makes you think that? As far as I know they don't force any author or publisher to put DRM on their books...

Shari
Or force anybody to buy a single ebook from them.
Anybody who wishes can buy a Kindle and feed it solely from PD or DRM-free purchases from other sites of which there is no shortage.

Their biggest crime is not worshipping at the altar of "universal epub".
A church of limited credibility in these days of kepubs, iBooks, and Nook Kids (to say nothing of KF8) that are all nominally epub-derived but not interoperable.

There will always be room for generics in ebooks but the direction the big ebookstores are all headed in is for house brands instead of the white-wrapped generic product. Mainstream consumers don't care enough about interoperability to make buying decisions based solely on it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:56 AM   #44
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Mainstream consumers don't care enough about interoperability to make buying decisions based solely on it.
Yep. A normal ebook reader is happy with Amazon or B&N and buys their books from them, perhaps adding a few PD books if they're adventurous. That's why Amazon wins; their ecosystem has everything they want.

It's us nerds that care about such things, and even then there are things like Apprentice Alf's tools to ease the pain. We may grumble, but in the end we don't really care; to us, the walls of the walled gardens are so low as to be almost nonexistent.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:24 AM   #45
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Yep. A normal ebook reader is happy with Amazon or B&N and buys their books from them, perhaps adding a few PD books if they're adventurous. That's why Amazon wins; their ecosystem has everything they want.
And Apple.
Let's not ignore Apple.
They are significant (15% US share, international 30-50 countries) and growing share faster than the market, mostly from *casual* readers that aren't likely dedicated reader gadget buyers.

Typical Apple customer just sees iBooks, downloads a few freebies--maybe likes it maybe not. Goes on to playing Angry Birds or the fad du jour in between Facebooking sessions.
(They go on with their life with no great epiphany.)
Next time they get a hankering for a read (maybe twice a year) they pop up iBooks. No muss, no fuss--no big deal. To them. But those casual readers on iOS, Android, and WinPhone are the near-term future of ebooks.

The biggest growth remaining in the *current* US market is casual readers. That is why tablets and smartphones are getting so much attention from Amazon, B&N, and even Kobo. Sell the gadget on games and video and hope for a trickle of incremental book sales.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-22-2013 at 09:26 AM.
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