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Old 09-03-2008, 10:09 AM   #16
Jellby
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
From what I've seen, some commercial publishers just scan/OCR a book and then sell it, without doing any error checking either. Some of the worst books I've seen with regards to OCR errors, have been commercial ebooks. It's pretty annoying when I'm paying pbook prices for an ebook, that I have to spend a lot of time "fixing" their book for them before I read it.
And the quasi-opposite seems to be true. By checking what can be seen in Amazon previews and Google Books I've found several instances of public-domain paper books with the same OCR errors (and sometimes lack of formatting[*]) of the Project Gutenberg books. It's quite obvious these paper books were printed from the unverified PG text. I check twice at least before buying a recent edition of a book that's available at PG...

[*] or plain wrong formatting as in using an opening single quote instead of an apostrophe in "'em" or "'tis".
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by igorsk View Post
"Free" might mean different things. If "free" means "direct HTTP link on the first page of google results" and "legit" means "one obscure shop with a DRM PDF for $30" then of course not many people will see a reason to use the legal option. But if "free" means "badly OCR'ed TXT with missing pages on an IRC fserv that's online only on weekends" and "legit" means "$5 in multiple formats with no DRM" the situation changes quite a bit. The young people you mention usually have a lot of free time and can afford to spend it hunting down various things they can get for free. Most people don't want the hassle - if they can get what they need for a reasonable price, they'll gladly pay it.
Absolutely. I said as much about the quality issue in my post. That is the current state of choices. However, as I went on to say in the second paragraph, when the market grows beyond the current community, people may start just stripping DRM and uploading good quality books. When you can get the same quality free or for $5, many may pick free. We see it all the time with music. You can buy a song for $1 or less. These days, you can likely even get it without DRM. You can get the same quality track for free and lots of people take advantage of that. If they're willing to screw their favorite musicians to save a buck, I'm betting some of them will be willing to do the same to an author for five.

Last edited by Alisa; 09-03-2008 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:52 PM   #18
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I don't think DRM purpose is to reduce piracy.
I think DRM technologies are aimed to regular customers.
Good point. I think a lot of the appeal is to keep people locked in to a store rather than to keep the content safe. Anyone who has looked around the digital media business even a little bit realizes that no matter what your DRM is, someone will figure out how to break it.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
Good point. I think a lot of the appeal is to keep people locked in to a store rather than to keep the content safe. Anyone who has looked around the digital media business even a little bit realizes that no matter what your DRM is, someone will figure out how to break it.
that's really depressing. i don't disagree ; it seems completely convincing and plausible to me (kindle...). but it's still depressing.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
Good point. I think a lot of the appeal is to keep people locked in to a store rather than to keep the content safe. Anyone who has looked around the digital media business even a little bit realizes that no matter what your DRM is, someone will figure out how to break it.
Well, eReader isn't broken because they use real encryption. Also, Adobe's encryption I believe isn't broken either. Strong hard to break encryption like AES, Blowfish do exist.

BOb
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:30 PM   #21
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Hi Tracy,
I think this a great stand for Fable Publishing. Putting the customer first goes a long way.

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Old 09-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #22
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pilotbob: I think that no matter how strong the encryption, if you give people an encrypted file, and also access to reader that can read it - it can be decrypted.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
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pilotbob: I think that no matter how strong the encryption, if you give people an encrypted file, and also access to reader that can read it - it can be decrypted.
Sure, but there is a difference between being able to decrypt/read a file because you have the key (Credit Card/Name or PID) and having the encryption be cracked. Of course for practicle purposes the DRM can be worked around making it useless... which has always been my contention.

As with music on unencrypted CD's pretty much every book printed (since it is on paper) is a DRM free copy of that book. Scanning books is pretty easy these days.

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Old 09-03-2008, 03:58 PM   #24
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Sure, but there is a difference between being able to decrypt/read a file because you have the key (Credit Card/Name or PID) and having the encryption be cracked. Of course for practicle purposes the DRM can be worked around making it useless... which has always been my contention.

As with music on unencrypted CD's pretty much every book printed (since it is on paper) is a DRM free copy of that book. Scanning books is pretty easy these days.

BOb
I'm sorry I wasn't more explicit. When I said people would figure out how to break it, my thoughts included workarounds.
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Old 09-03-2008, 06:42 PM   #25
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Well, eReader isn't broken because they use real encryption. Also, Adobe's encryption I believe isn't broken either. Strong hard to break encryption like AES, Blowfish do exist.
Uh what? Did you miss the news about eReader2html.py?
And it doesn't matter if the encryption is "real" or not. To be able to read a book, the user has to have both the "lock" (the encryption) and the "key" (the decryption key). You don't need to "break" the encryption if you have the key. One can obfuscate the algorithm but in the end the text has to be present in decrypted form somewhere. That's the inherent flaw of DRM and you can't fix it no matter how much you try.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:35 PM   #26
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Uh what? Did you miss the news about eReader2html.py?
Um... doesn't that need the key? Doesn't mean the encryption is "cracked".

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You don't need to "break" the encryption if you have the key.
Yes, that was my point. Key management falls to people and has always been the weakest link in any DRM scheme. The point is that it isn't the encryption that is "cracked" it is DRM that is flawed.

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That's the inherent flaw of DRM and you can't fix it no matter how much you try.
Yea, that's exactly the point I was trying to make. Perhaps my message didn't come out that way though.

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Old 09-04-2008, 03:57 PM   #27
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Kudos to you for your vision. It requires a leap of faith to turn your back on DRM, but it's the right thing to do. Treat your customers right, give them a good product at a fair price, and they will buy instead of pirate.
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:54 PM   #28
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part of my work is with subscription websites - porn sites, to be specific. what has universally proven true is that pirates find ways to steal the videos regardless of whether they use DRM or are embedded with no download option. the only people who can't save the videos are the people one would like to have save them - the legit members.

one of the reason ones would want the legit members to save the content is that later on, they tend to see it, say to themselves "oh, yeah - i liked that site!" and come back to rejoin. i would think that would apply to people who buy books from publishers and authors, too.

interesting to note, several large sites removed their DRM in the last year after using it. what they discovered is that they made more money in 2 ways: first, members rebilled more because they were happier to use the site. second, more expired members tended to return and re-subscibe, and they also did it more frequently.

the truth is that some people steal stuff - but it's not very likely that people who feel theft is a legimate thing were going to buy ebooks, other downloads or memberships anyway. as for people who are honest book lovers, they'll buy rather than pass around, partly because readers understand that it's a good idea to support the publisher and the author for karma and so they'll keep up a steady stream of new books
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:22 PM   #29
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I think the way a lot of porn sites deal with "piracy" now is to simply watermark the images and videos with the website name; this way when (not if) the images are stolen they actually act as advertising.

As far as I understand, you can't remove the watermarks without editing the image itself using something like photoshop, which is very time-intensive, but don't quote me on that.

In a parellel to the book world... I don't think anyone would remove the author name or title from a book (after all how would potential darknet readers find the book), so therefore advertising is inherent in ebooks. In my personal experience, the BAEN model works extremely well.

For example, the free library/BAEN CDs:
There were some books by John Ringo (probably my favourite author atm) which I wasn't sure I would like and because I was very busy with life in general, I didn't buy them. At a later date, with some leisure at my hands I saw them on one of the BAEN CDs, read and absolutely loved them. So immediately, I went and bought the rest of the series and the e-ARC of the newest book.

Also, I can have free ebook versions of all the pb books I have, to put on my reader and take with me on holiday.

The pricing structure:
$5 is about £2.50 (about as much as you'd pay for a pbbook in a second hand shop here. So really, it's a piffle. I could afford that even when I was a underpaid and overworked PhD student.

With eagerly anticipated books, I usually buy the e-ARC ($15 = £8 about the price of a pb here in the UK), so again, pricewise it just is easier and more convenient.
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