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Old 09-12-2007, 07:48 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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How Mobipocket DRM can drive away customers

For some, DRM stands for Down-Right Maddening. Poor James Kendrick, who had a less than glorious day trying to reauthorize his BlackBerry with Mobipocket's DRM server.

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The MobiPocket DRM only allows four devices to be authorized at any one time and my list was full, even though I have no idea what one of the devices in the list is. No problem, there's a link to request that the device list be reset so I clicked that. Unlike other DRM systems like iTunes, there's no way to remove or add single devices. MobiPocket requires you to reset the entire device list and then add them back one by one.
Want to know what happened when James clicked the button? Read the rest of his story!

Related: MobiPocket Shut Down!?
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:12 PM   #2
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Wow. That's a pretty appalling interface. Poor James needs to get the un-Mobi tool.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
Wow. That's a pretty appalling interface. Poor James needs to get the un-Mobi tool.
Sony seems to be better and better. I can go in and deactivate devices linked to my account no problem to free up that slot. Pluse we get one computer and FIVE devices. And if I have a problem, I can call them toll free and someone will sort it for me. Sorry MobiPocket, but to make someone wait a week is unacceptable.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:38 PM   #4
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Note that this is an issue relating specifically to MobiPocket's web site, not to MobiPocket DRM in general. Eg, on the Fictionwise web site, you can instantly edit your list of MobiPocket IDs and add and remove them as you wish. Totally "hassle free".
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:47 PM   #5
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But the problem is James has already bought and paid for content from MobiPocket. So going to Fictionwise or elsewhere is not going to get his content to his device(s).

And if you want MobiPocket content, PaperbackDigital is the cheapest site. It's most of the time even cheaper then BooksOnBoard. But not 100%. Those are the two bets sites pricewise on DRM books other then Simonsays.com for Simon & Schuster ebooks.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:51 PM   #6
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But the problem is James has already bought and paid for content from MobiPocket. So going to Fictionwise or elsewhere is not going to get his content to his device(s).
Yes, I fully appreciate that. What I meant was that this "problem" is one that's specific to buying books from MobiPocket's web site, rather than buying books with MobiPocket DRM. There are many web sites other than MobiPocket themselves who sell MobiPocket-format books. I suspect that none of them have this silly "wait a week" business that the MP site does.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:55 PM   #7
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Yes, I fully appreciate that. What I meant was that this "problem" is one that's specific to buying books from MobiPocket's web site, rather than buying books with MobiPocket DRM. There are many web sites other than MobiPocket themselves who sell MobiPocket-format books. I suspect that none of them have this silly "wait a week" business that the MP site does.
Do you think this issue the MobiPocket site has will migrate itself over to Amazon in October?
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:11 AM   #8
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I've absolutely no idea - we'll have to wait and see! I certainly hope not.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Note that this is an issue relating specifically to MobiPocket's web site, not to MobiPocket DRM in general.
Technically you are right, Harry, but to the average Joe it doesn't matter if he is unable to read his purchased e-book at the end of the day.
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Note that this is an issue relating specifically to MobiPocket's web site, not to MobiPocket DRM in general. Eg, on the Fictionwise web site, you can instantly edit your list of MobiPocket IDs and add and remove them as you wish. Totally "hassle free".
I fail to see how the ideas of "having to go to a web site and ask for permission to use my legally purchased content" and "hassle free" go together.
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Old 09-13-2007, 05:54 AM   #11
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Why is it people on here seem to be so keen to slag off Mobipocket?

Mobipocket have developed ereader software for the Blackberry? Has anyone else?

Mobipocket software and ebooks work on devices from a number of msanufacturers. BBeB only works on Sony equipment.

Mobipocket supports html without having to convert to a proprietary format. Does Sony?
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:13 AM   #12
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There are two hurdles the Mobipocket seems to have.

1. A four device limitation might have made sense at one time. But I have an office and home computer, a Palm, and an Iliad. Why four? The number could increase in recognition of the pervasiveness of electronics.
2. Transferability. Most electronic devices have a life of 3-5 years. Books have a lot longer useful life. Once an ebook is purchased there are too many gyrations to get the ebook 'upgraded' to work on a new device. There needs to be an easy method that both respects copyrights and user rights to convert an older USER ID to a USER ID when an upgrade/replacement is being done. Spending any more than 2-3 minutes to recognize an upgrade a USER ID borders on customer abuse.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:21 AM   #13
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There are two hurdles the Mobipocket seems to have.

1. A four device limitation might have made sense at one time. But I have an office and home computer, a Palm, and an Iliad. Why four? The number could increase in recognition of the pervasiveness of electronics.
Do you read books on your home and office computers? If you don't, you only need to register the MobiPocket ID of your Palm and your iLiad, not those of your computers.

Quote:
2. Transferability. Most electronic devices have a life of 3-5 years. Books have a lot longer useful life. Once an ebook is purchased there are too many gyrations to get the ebook 'upgraded' to work on a new device. There needs to be an easy method that both respects copyrights and user rights to convert an older USER ID to a USER ID when an upgrade/replacement is being done. Spending any more than 2-3 minutes to recognize an upgrade a USER ID borders on customer abuse.
I agree. You can do it in seconds on sites like Fictionwise. The system that MP have on their web site strikes me as ludicrously complex and "user hostile".
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:23 AM   #14
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Technically you are right, Harry, but to the average Joe it doesn't matter if he is unable to read his purchased e-book at the end of the day.
I agree with you, but you can make an informed decision about where to buy your books in the first place to avoid future hassle.
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:43 AM   #15
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Do you read books on your home and office computers? If you don't, you only need to register the MobiPocket ID of your Palm and your iLiad, not those of your computers.
Actually, I don't register the computers, but I don't think the point is invalidated. Using a slightly different analogy, the same number could happen if my wife and I both have two devices. After all, we can both pull a book off the bookshelf, I don't think we need to buy two copies of an e-book to be legal. OTOH, who knows, maybe the license does say we can't share. I still think four devices is a limit today that might have seemed generous five years ago.
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