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Old 10-28-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Angry Kindle Store France and DRMs

Hi, I posted yesterday on my blog the following post, relating "problems" I have with Amazon France's Kindle Store.

Amazon's answers regarding DRMs on Kindle France

Since I know it's bad practice to post a link only here, here is a copy :


Roughly two weeks ago, when the french Kindle Store opened, I sensed a disturbance in the Force : Books seemed to be screaming under the Dark Power of DRMs.
(http://readingandraytracing.blogspot...different.html)

Well, I was (partly) wrong : While some books had DRMs, some others hadn't, following the wishes of their (self-)publishers. However, I, as a customer, had NO way of determining if a given book was with or without DRMs, except after having bought it.

After some time, I sent a mail to the Customers's Service (don't have the original mail though).

I received shortly thereafter the following mail:

Quote:
In answer to your mail, here are some informations about DRMs and ouravailable ebook selection. The publishers choose whether they would like a DRM to be applied on their ebooks.
There are no limits to the number of times a title can be downloaded on a Kindle or Kindle Application. However, there can exist a limit regarding the number of Kindles or Kindle applications on wich a title can be available at the same time (usually 6).
If that limit is less than 6 (bold mine) Kindle or Kindle applications, you'll see the message "Maximum simultaneous devices : up to X depending on the publisher's limits" on the detailed description page on Amazon.fr 's Kindle Store.
Clearly, while Amazon still lets the publisher choose it's own DRMs, it adopted in France a different strategy than in the rest of the world : The "devices" mentions now books where restrictions are stricter than a standard DRMized 6, instead of mentioning whether it has DRMs at all. It is in France impossible for a customer to check the presence of DRMs given the informations on the detailed description page.

I mailed them again today, with these same explanations, and they only answered (in addition to links to the Terms of Service/EULAs) that they had forwarded my comment to the appropriate department.
Lastly, they included an email address (kindle-votre-avis@amazon.fr) where I could send further remarks.

If some of you ARE concerned with this stance in the French Store (which may be replicated in other upcoming Kindle Stores), I guess now would be a good time to express it, perhaps by e-mailing them your own remarks on that subject.

If some of you are self-publishers, and have chosen to NOT use DRMs, perhaps explaining that your wish is not only to have no DRMs on the books but for the customers to know it wold have additional "punch" than our "customer's" one.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSFReader View Post
Clearly, while Amazon still lets the publisher choose it's own DRMs, it adopted in France a different strategy than in the rest of the world : The "devices" mentions now books where restrictions are stricter than a standard DRMized 6, instead of mentioning whether it has DRMs at all.
Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the same way it is everywhere... not just France. I know that's the way it has been in the US for quite a while, anyway. If it says nothing... it has DRM, and is limited to 6 devices/apps simultaneously (usually).

Quote:
It is in France impossible for a customer to check the presence of DRMs given the informations on the detailed description page.
Are you absolutely sure there's no examples of:
"Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" In some book descriptions on amazon.fr? Those books are DRM free. Check public domain works to be sure.

Generally speaking:
1) If there is no mention of Simultaneous Device Usage in the book description -- the book has DRM and is limited to 6 devices/apps simultaneously.
2) If there is a Simultaneous Device Usage: x line in the book description -- the book has DRM and is limited to x devices/apps
3) If it says Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited in the book description -- the book has no DRM

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-28-2011 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the same way it is everywhere... not just France. I know that's the way it has been in the US for quite a while, anyway. If it says nothing... it has DRM, and is limited to 6 devices/apps simultaneously (usually).



Are you absolutely sure there's no examples of:
"Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" In some book descriptions on amazon.fr? Those books are DRM free. Check public domain works to be sure.

Generally speaking:
1) If there is no mention of Simultaneous Device Usage in the book description -- the book has DRM and is limited to 6 devices/apps simultaneously.
2) If there is a Simultaneous Device Usage: x line in the book description -- the book has DRM and is limited to x devices/apps
3) If it says Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited in the book description -- the book has no DRM
The French Kindle Store doesn't seem to apply this the same as all of the others do.

e.g. Amazon France

Amazon Germany("Simultaneous use of devices: No restriction" - translated)

Amazon.com (Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited)

Amazon UK (Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited)

Last edited by Daveoc64; 10-28-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Are you absolutely sure there's no examples of:
"Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" In some book descriptions on amazon.fr? Those books are DRM free. Check public domain works to be sure.
Yep, absolutely sure !
For example, "Turing Evolved" (whis is noted as "unlimited" at Amazon.com) has no mention on the French store ...

Only 1) and 2) are applied on Kindle France no 3), hence my beeing angry.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSFReader View Post
Yep, absolutely sure !
For example, "Turing Evolved" (whis is noted as "unlimited" at Amazon.com) has no mention on the French store ...

Only 1) and 2) are applied on Kindle France no 3), hence my beeing angry.
You have a right to be angry, I'd say.
They've always made it difficult to tell whether a book had DRM or not, but It sounds like with Amazon France, they have indeed made it impossible.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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It's not possible with Amazon US to be absolutely sure an ebook is DRM-free.

Not all ebooks without DRM have the "unlimited" designation.
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Old 10-30-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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Still better than in France, when NO indication is ever present for un-drmized ebooks...
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:16 AM   #8
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Thread Necromancy

Just passing by and necromancing this thread to point out that there is only one "kindle store" left to display the DRM status of ebooks : the .com one. No indication in the UK and Germany anymore, nor on any of the "new stores".
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #9
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Given the ease of removing DRM (if it bothers you), who cares?
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Given the ease of removing DRM (if it bothers you), who cares?
Some people refuse to buy books with DRM, to indicate to the publishers that they object to DRM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:49 AM   #11
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That just strikes me as "cutting off your nose to spite your face".
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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To be honest, I don't refuse to buy DRM'd books, but I can see the logic behind it. The way to get a company to change is to arrange things so that the company will make more money if they change. Governments can do this by taxing behaviour they don't like (as long as there isn't a way to avoid the tax). Consumers can do it by boycotting the company and buying from their competitors.

The trouble is that in order for a consumer boycott to work, it needs large numbers of people to join in, and it's difficult to get people to join in.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #13
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The trouble is that in order for a consumer boycott to work, it needs large numbers of people to join in, and it's difficult to get people to join in.
And the company you want to change has to know the reason their sales are dropping and not attribute it to something else.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #14
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The trouble is that in order for a consumer boycott to work, it needs large numbers of people to join in, and it's difficult to get people to join in.
It strikes me as being on the level of refusing to buy apples on the grounds that they have a manufacturer's sticker on them, when it takes about 2 seconds to peel off the sticker after you've bought it.

Certainly with the "workflow" that I use to buy eBooks, I never actually know whether or not a book has DRM, because it gets stripped automatically as a part of that workflow.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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Given the ease of removing DRM (if it bothers you), who cares?
This prevents DRM-aware readers (like us) to indicate our preference for un-DRMed books through "preferencial buying."

It also prevents us from discussing with example with "unaware" readers, and warn them correctly.

It also prevents us to show there are ways to convert files to other formats (since we don't know if the conversion is possible) ...

It also almost devalues the non-DRM publishers "courageous" choice to do without.

So, for me, personally, from a technical point of view, I don't care any more than you do. But when I look at it from a more general point of view, it bothers me quite as much as DRMs...

Last edited by TheSFReader; 12-14-2012 at 10:15 AM. Reason: Completion
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