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Old 04-01-2011, 02:40 PM   #1
stonetools
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Can "books in the cloud" work?

Following up on the big DRM thread, and prompted by Amazon’s
Announcement of its new music cloud service:

In the Mike Shatzkin article that I quoted, one of the publishers said this:


“There isn’t really a piracy problem but there isn’t really an
alternative to DRM except for the cloud. The cloud means that you buy a
product (NB: I personally would say you “license some content”, not you
“buy a product”) and you get to access it on every device that you own
— so long as you provide your ownership credentials. The cloud
effectively means that you work only within a platform and that
platform requires your credentials to access your works — so it is, in
effect, DRM — but it really isn’t. That said, in order for this to
work, it does need to protect files when they are downloaded — and that
is true DRM.

“The whole world is moving away from download and own, so DRM is a moot
point — only the library fanatics and the digerati care. The library
folks are freaked out by the fact that they have no place in a world
that makes all content accessible to single users anywhere, anytime —
and they think that DRM is the enemy of the good. The digerati hate DRM
because, well, they believe it is hindering their utopian digital
realm.”



http://www.idealog.com/blog/what-the...-of-the-cloud#


What I get from that is the following: publishers continue to reject the idea that they can protect the value of their authors books without DRM (of course everyone here thinks they are wrong but the publishers don't buy your arguments). At least some publishers think that the solution is to move away from the "download and possess" model to the cloud model. Shatzkin goes on to argue:


Can it work? Well, if you use gmail and you think it works, that’s your answer. Why wouldn’t it work for you to access the content you have licensed the very same way? And why wouldn’t it work to protect copyright if giving another person access to what you had purchased rights to see was equivalent to giving them access to your email? Based on experience, that would be enough protection to satisfy me. Any sharing that took place under those conditions would surely not be casual




Now lets squelch the first, instant objection: Shatzkin is proposing a cloud model in which you can read your ebook WITHOUT a persistent Internet connection. He explains it thus:


Cloud ebook access presumes downloading and caching in the browser to cover
the times when you're not connected. HTML5 apparently has the capability to
do that in such a way that the data is sprinkled all over the browser in
pieces that are very hard to reassemble into a coherent digital file for
passing along. So it works as DRM.

You're quite right that the cloud for ebook wouldn't work if you had to have
persistent connectivity to read a book.




(Hopefully, posting this will cut in half the numerous people who will show up to yell "I don't want the cloud model because I don’t want to be online all the time just to read")

OK, that objection aside, how do you think a “books in the cloud” approach will work? For my part I think that such an approach may quickly move from a "download and own" model to a subscription model (" Pay 15 bucks a month and you get to read X number of books from our catalogue" ).
For those who still want to buy books, there will likely be an option where you pay a premium price for a DRM free copy.
So, no DRM , the authors and publishers don’t worry about some guy sharing their bestseller with their Facebook friends and possibly you get to buy a book if you really want to. What’s not to like?

Last edited by stonetools; 04-01-2011 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Anyone who trusts their files only to "the cloud" without local copies and backups is an utter moron.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
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And when the company owning the cloud goes under, or decides they're not interested in providing content any more? No thanks.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #4
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Not for me. (Because just No isn't an allowable post.)
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:02 PM   #5
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Unless all facets of the corporation are open and subject to change by anyone who uses the corporations/consortium's services, I must advise to not place the trust of our heritage into a corporations hands.

By subject to change I mean complete freedom to change wikipedia style.

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Old 04-01-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
Anyone who trusts their files only to "the cloud" without local copies and backups is an utter moron.
You would probably be shocked then to realize that most folks don't back up their files, frequent admonitions to the contrary. Heck , the way many folks use their computers, the most secure file they have is the one in the cloud.
This though is a standard objection to ANY cloud based business model and is duly noted. In a subscription model, you dont own the books , any more than you own the music if you subscribe to Pandora. THere may be an option to buy a copy you can download, save etc. but you would pay a premium for a DRM free copy - $24.99 for a bestseller, say.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FizzyWater View Post
And when the company owning the cloud goes under, or decides they're not interested in providing content any more? No thanks.

In the real world, when established companies go out of business, they ( and their property) usually don't vanish overnight. Generally, they are taken over by someone else, and that someone takes over their obligations. This popular objection has less merit than it appears.
Of course , its easy to say " No thanks" but if ALL the publishers move in that direction, well -I'm sure people who preferred vinyl said "No thanks" when the music companies all went to CD, too. Didn't stop it from happening.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
You would probably be shocked then to realize that most folks don't back up their files, frequent admonitions to the contrary.
Wouldn't be shocked at all. Just because they represent the majority doesn't mean that they aren't morons.

Quote:
In a subscription model, you dont own the books , any more than you own the music if you subscribe to Pandora. THere may be an option to buy a copy you can download, save etc. but you would pay a premium for a DRM free copy - $24.99 for a bestseller, say.
Nope. If my choices are a.) read it on "the cloud" garbage and b.) pay a premium for DRMed garbage I'll take choice c.) spend 30 seconds finding and downloaded a pirated copy that I can keep forever without restrictions.

"The more you tighten your grip, [publishers], the more [potential customers] will slip through your fingers." -- Leia Organa.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:29 PM   #9
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I agree with the others who have posted here. I don't like the idea of "cloud" service for the same reason I don't like DRM -- if the company keeping my file goes out of business, I'm out a book. No thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
Anyone who trusts their files only to "the cloud" without local copies and backups is an utter moron.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
You would probably be shocked then to realize that most folks don't back up their files, frequent admonitions to the contrary.
It really doesn't matter if "most folks" don't back-up. It is stupid not to, regardless of your anecdotal evidence. And you've already stated (in That Other Thread) that users of this website aren't "most folks" because, according to you, most folks don't care about DRM at all.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
In the real world, when established companies go out of business, they ( and their property) usually don't vanish overnight. Generally, they are taken over by someone else, and that someone takes over their obligations. This popular objection has less merit than it appears.
Well, now you're just flat wrong. There have been plenty of cloud-based subscription models that have gone out of business, servers shut down, etc. No one swooped in to magically take over their business, and many people were out of content they'd legally purchased.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:31 PM   #11
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I strip DRM, I don't use the cloud and I back up my files.

I keep wondering who you are trying to convince?
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
Nope. If my choices are a.) read it on "the cloud" garbage and b.) pay a premium for DRMed garbage I'll take choice c.) spend 30 seconds finding and downloaded a pirated copy that I can keep forever without restrictions.
This.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:36 PM   #13
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Not for me. (Because just No isn't an allowable post.)
No No No
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:37 PM   #14
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What he said! Let them start this $hit, and I will find a pirate site to download all of my music & books and not pay anyone for them.

If you are going to charge me the full price for an ebook, then I get to download it, back it up & keep it!

I have never had any interest in loaning out my books since the few times I did, I got them back all jacked up. I don't know how, nor am I interested in uploading my books for others to read.

I seriously doubt that I'm the only one who feels this way or would be the only one to act this way if forced to by all this foolishness. Let's not kid ourselves, this is about greed, not about protecting authors.

They have 3 choices, do the cloud but severely drop the price of ebooks or not & see people truly embrace pirating, or keep it as it is now and live with a few people who might be pirating. Or drop drm, start treating people like the ones who actually provide their paychecks by buying books with good service & reasonable prices

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
Anyone who trusts their files only to "the cloud" without local copies and backups is an utter moron.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:40 PM   #15
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Nope. If my choices are a.) read it on "the cloud" garbage and b.) pay a premium for DRMed garbage I'll take choice c.) spend 30 seconds finding and downloaded a pirated copy that I can keep forever without restrictions.
That's pay a premium for NON DRMED content. Just wanted to emphasize that for you.
It may be that many or most people feel that way. WE'll see. There are a heckuva a lot of people who still think that buying an ebook rather than a pbook is crazy. People adapt.
In music , the move is steadily toward subscribe and stream, rather than download and own.

Heck, I'm sure that 15 years ago, there were folks who thought that only crazy people would trust their precious music collection to digital only. SUPPOSE THE HARD DRIVE FAILED! Now there are kids who don't know anything else.
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