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Old 04-20-2010, 03:45 PM   #46
dmaul1114
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Well I think publishers are aware it doesn't stop pirates.

What I think they hope to do with it is kill the used book market, keep people from giving/loaning books to friends etc. and potentially costing them sales.

They have to know the real pirates won't even be slowed down by DRM, but if they can lose less sales to the second hand market, people borrowing from friends etc., they'll ride DRM as long as they can and use piracy as their excuse/justification as it would be terrible PR to just come out and say they want to kill the used stores etc.

Whether this costs them more money is hard to know, as there's no way to know how much DRM drives people to pirate who aren't people who would have pirated it anyway even if it was sold without DRM.

So we just can't compare money lost from creating pirates vs. money gained by stopping some used sales/borrowing, so we can't tell whether they come out ahead or behind.
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Old 04-20-2010, 04:00 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
Here's my big problem with DRM. I'm sitting here with a Droid in my pocket and my Sony Reader on my desk and while both "support" DRM, they don't "support" the same DRM. Thus if I buy an ebook with DRM I have to pick which device to read it on because there's no DRM scheme that lets me read one book on either device.

The sad thing is that while neither DRM scheme locks the book to a single device, they may as well have that effect because neither device supports the other's DRM scheme. (For purposes of the discussion the Android's DRM scheme is eReader because that's the only DRM format currently supported on Android devices.)

This is the real problem with DRM - it effectively prevents usage that should be allowed, and is theoretically allowed even by its own terms of usage.

Both can read DRM-free ePub - but the only way to get the majority of current bestsellers in that is to either strip the DRM from an existing file (and convert if necessary) or from the Darknet.

It just gets in the way and penalizes honest consumers.
I feel exactly the sameway about DRM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 10:56 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
Well I think publishers are aware it doesn't stop pirates.

What I think they hope to do with it is kill the used book market, keep people from giving/loaning books to friends etc. and potentially costing them sales.
I doubt it. There has been a used book market for many years, and an assortment of specialty stores which only sell used books. I can't think of any attempts to curtail it.

What publishers have made attempts to stop is sale of remaindered copies.

One of the problems for publishing is that it has traditionally had a 100% returns policy. If books don't sell they can be returned for credit.

Other industries aren't so liberal, and the retailer will be expected to assume some of the risk, and won't be able to simply return any unsold merchandise. It's on them to accurately guess how many of what they will sell and order accordingly, because they may be stuck with the stuff that doesn't sell. That's why you get things like "overstock" and "clearance" sales: the retailer guessed wrong.

If a bookstore doesn't sell all copies of the book, the unsold ones are returned for credit. If it's a hardcover, the actual book is shipped back (and may reappear on someone's sale table down the road when publishers release them at a fraction of the original price to clear the inventory.) If it's a paperback, the covers are stripped off and returned. The bodies of the books are supposed to be destroyed, but an awful lot found their way into sales at really cheap prices. These were costing sales, as many folks just wanted to read the book and then toss it, and weren't concerned by the lack of a cover. And the publisher had already issued a credit for the unsold book. No surprise they were peeved.

Books sold by used bookstores generally have covers. Those books were already sold once, so it isn't a dead loss for the publisher, and books tend not to hit the used book store till sometime after release. By the time they do, chance are the book is no longer available new, and the publisher isn't losing a sale because there is no new edition to buy.

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They have to know the real pirates won't even be slowed down by DRM, but if they can lose less sales to the second hand market, people borrowing from friends etc., they'll ride DRM as long as they can and use piracy as their excuse/justification as it would be terrible PR to just come out and say they want to kill the used stores etc.
Sorry, but this doesn't compute. How does DRM on a ebook help curtail sales on a used pbook? If anything, I'd expect the reverse - instead of dealing with DRM restrictions on a ebook, look for a used pbook copy. You get to read the book at a cheap price, and the publisher isn't getting the money you might have given them if they hadn't applied DRM.

Quote:
Whether this costs them more money is hard to know, as there's no way to know how much DRM drives people to pirate who aren't people who would have pirated it anyway even if it was sold without DRM.

So we just can't compare money lost from creating pirates vs. money gained by stopping some used sales/borrowing, so we can't tell whether they come out ahead or behind.
I'm assuming piracy costs some sales, but I don't think the losses are significant.

Ebooks are a relatively new phenomenon. While they are growing in sales and importance, they are still essentially a niche market catering to early adopters. The majority of the book market is still paper. And I strongly suspect the majority of ebook readers don't get pirate copies. It's a mistake to assume your own experience is general and applicable to everybody else.

Folks who hang out here tend to be more savvy about such things. It's why we are here in the first place. We are aware of different ebook formats, know that DRM can be removed and can find out how, and know that formats can be shifted into things we can read if the device we use doesn't happen to support the format in which a particular title is issued, and can find out how to do it or where to get it done. We are aware that pirate editions exist and know how to find those.

Do you assume that all ebook readers are likewise? I don't, especially as the ebook market rapidly grows, and folks like Amazon and Barnes and Noble push their respective ebook readers and offer instant gratification. Why bother to worry about DRM or search for a pirate edition if, for instance, you are a Kindle user, and anything you want is probably available on Amazon at the touch of a button? The limiting factor will be time to read, not money to buy.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:08 AM   #49
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If the publishers managed to kill the used book stores, friends lending books to friends, libraries, etc., they'd be cutting their own throats.

Reading for pleasure (perhaps reading at all), like smoking, is an addiction most effectively established when the consumer is young. Very few people pick up either habit late in life. So making their products affordable to people who might become lifelong customers is not only in their own best interest, but it keeps their companies (book or tobacco) in business. I have no doubt that every tobacco company, if it was legal, would cheerfully give any teenager who wanted them a good starter supply of smokes. It would be a cheap price to pay for having that person as a customer for fifty years. If the publishers were smart, thinking "how can we make the market for our products as large as possible for the next couple of decades?" instead of "how can we squeeze the most blood out of the existing stones?" they'd see it that way too.

When I was a kid, my town had a wonderful used SF bookstore. They got most of my allowance and any other money I could scrape up. I discovered Isaac Asimov and Roger Zelazny, Andre Norton and Marion Zimmer Bradley, and all the rest of the world of science fiction and fantasy. I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, half-off. The result? Today, my expenditures on books (e- and otherwise) exceed my expenditures on all other forms of entertainment. If those figures you see about half of people not reading a single book in the past year are just done by dividing number of books sold by population, they're way off, thanks to me; I probably read more books than everyone on my block combined. There's a bookshelf in my bathroom and books in my bed, magazines in my mailbox and ebooks on my Sony Reader.

If I'd had to buy those books new, at full (current) cover price instead of half the (old) cover price, I could have afforded maybe a fifth as many as I bought used. Without those books to fill my time, I would have found something else to entertain me. Maybe, like most of my peers, I would have committed to that for my entertainment, instead of reading. Maybe I would, like many people, never read a single book for pleasure in my adult life. Maybe, in other words, the publishing industry would have lost out on the tens of thousands of dollars it's gotten from me, and more in the future.

If a friend hadn't handed me "Hunt for Red October" and told me to read it, Tom Clancy would have lost a lot of sales, because not only did I buy all of his books (until they started to suck hard), usually in both HC and MM, but I got several other friends reading them too. If my upstairs neighbor hadn't loaned me the first couple of Harry Potter books when her son finished them, I probably would have just dismissed it as some kids' fad, and not bought them all in HC, not to mention the movies, the spin-off books, and even the occasional action figure. I could go on, but why? Probably all of us could tell exactly the same story, with just the book titles changed.

The publishing industry used to understand they were in the business of selling books, not readings-of-books, so as long as they sold a book, they were happy about it -- they didn't care if you read it, and gave it to your mother-in-law, and when she read it she gave it to her church rummage sale, where someone else bought it, and so on. They'd sold a book, just like a furniture store might sell a bookshelf. Where that book or that bookshelf went afterwards was no concern of theirs.

Now, I'm expecting any day to see dead-trees books with something in them like "This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Reading by any person other than the purchaser named on the receipt is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison." Given that the US has a government "of the people, by the politicians, for the corporations" that's not just a possibility but a probability.

And when the next generation grows up without reading ... without buying books ... the publishers will blame everybody but themselves.

(I should point out, by the way, that I am not defending the sales of "stripped" books. Lying about having destroyed something, getting a refund of what you've paid for it, then selling it out the back door, is theft, plain and simple)
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:39 AM   #50
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I doubt it. There has been a used book market for many years, and an assortment of specialty stores which only sell used books. I can't think of any attempts to curtail it.
Really? How many used eBook stores have you seen?

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Sorry, but this doesn't compute. How does DRM on a ebook help curtail sales on a used pbook?
I think you missed the point. It curtails sales on used eBooks.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:51 AM   #51
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I think you missed the point. It curtails sales on used eBooks.
There's lots of "used" ebooks for sale on ebay.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:51 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Really? How many used eBook stores have you seen?
None. I'm talking about used pBooks. How many "used ebooks" have you seen for sale?

Quote:
I think you missed the point. It curtails sales on used eBooks.
I'm not sure how you think that's possible.

What, exactly, is a "used ebook?"

I can buy an ebook. Depending upon DRM or lack of, I can copy and share it with others.

I suppose I could theoretically sell it, if I could find someone willing to buy, but I've never heard of it being done.

A pBook is a physical product I can sell and transfer. Once transferred, *I* no longer have it. An ebook is a different animal.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:54 AM   #53
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There's lots of "used" ebooks for sale on ebay.
I'll have to go look. The concept is intriguing. I wonder how many sales they get?

I've seen the odd offering of ebooks that are pirate editions and tend not to last long, but I've never seen them described as "used".
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:29 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
What, exactly, is a "used ebook?"
I can buy an ebook. Depending upon DRM or lack of, I can copy and share it with others.

I suppose I could theoretically sell it, if I could find someone willing to buy, but I've never heard of it being done.
People sell used Kindles & Sonys loaded with ebooks, and mention them as part of what's being sold.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:42 PM   #55
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I doubt it. There has been a used book market for many years, and an assortment of specialty stores which only sell used books. I can't think of any attempts to curtail it.
Well they haven't had much of a way. If they can move on to a fully digital world and have everything DRMd, they can kill the used market.

In the video game industry we're seeing efforts to curtail used game sales by including codes for access to extra content that can only be used once etc.

For instance, in Mass Effect 2 new copies come with codes for access to the online "Cerberus Network" and so far that's granted a new playable character, new weapons and armor, one short mission, and one pack of five vehicle missions etc.

If you buy used, you have to pay $15 to sign up for that network.

Then you have all the download only games in the Xbox Live Arcade and Play Station Network that can't be resold etc.

So I think movie studios, book publishers etc. are also drooling over ways that moving digital can cut down on sales they lose to used stores etc.

Currently, DRM on books doesn't stop any second hand sales. But from the publishers standpoint at least someone who buys a DRM'd e-book can't easily sell it, loan it to 5 different friends over a few months etc. like they could if they bought a paper copy.


Quote:
Sorry, but this doesn't compute. How does DRM on a ebook help curtail sales on a used pbook?
It doesn't until say 50-100 years in the future when there's super high speed wireless internet in every corner of the world and books, music, movies, games etc. have gone nearly 100% to digital versions.

Then they'll have near total control of their product as they can just charge fees to access their content vs. allowing downloads etc.

Pirates will still get it, but most will just pay for access like they do for cable TV etc. now, and the content providers will get more money from using a subscription model, killing the second hand market etc.

Will it happen? Way too soon to say. But as I said in another thread, I think that's the dream world of publishers, movie studies, record labels etc.

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Old 04-21-2010, 01:53 PM   #56
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People sell used Kindles & Sonys loaded with ebooks, and mention them as part of what's being sold.
Okay, but that's a different matter. They are selling to hardware, with the ebooks as an incentive. They aren't selling the ebooks alone.
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:21 PM   #57
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Okay, but that's a different matter. They are selling to hardware, with the ebooks as an incentive. They aren't selling the ebooks alone.
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True, to flesh out what I just editted in my post above....


Publishers would prefer to sell a DRM'd e-book than a paper book because the paper book can easily be sold, loaned to a bunch of friends etc.

I by a book on my Kindle, and it's tied to the device. I could strip DRM and all that jazz. But that's too much hassle and I don't have any friends or family who read e-books currently anyway. Well my girlfriend very lightly, but she can just read my Kindle books on her iPad since I put my account on their.

But still, that's one person, vs. passing a paper copy of a book I buy around to 5-10 people over the course of a year.

So that's how DRM on e-books can cut down on the used market. It has no impact on people who still buy and sell/trade/loan paper books of course. But at least for the people who buy the e-book instead--most of those will only go to one person.

Of course, the balance to that is it's much easier for pirates to strip DRM and make it available to a limitless number of people than it is for them to scan the paper book etc.
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:24 PM   #58
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Have any of you ever read Joe Konrath's blog? He's posted a lot about DRM and the lack of vision of the large publishers. I highly recommend reading it. It's aimed at writers, but what he says makes a pile of sense.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:13 PM   #59
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After losing a dozen DRMed ebooks because of content servers permanently shutting down I now make sure that I can disinfect any DRMed ebooks I purchase. I will not repurchase an ebook.

My preference is buy ebooks without DRM and 95% of my ebooks are DRM-free.

I never purchased music with DRM, much rather purchase a CD and rip.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:20 PM   #60
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There's lots of "used" ebooks for sale on ebay.
Legal ones? Or are you talking about non-DRM or public domain eBooks?
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