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Old 12-16-2011, 08:14 AM   #1
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Thumbs down I chose to "boycott" Amazon (international DRM problem)

I posted on my blog (http://readingandraytracing.blogspot...-decision.html) about my new decision of stopping buying from Amazon/Kindle... Here is the full copy of my post :


That's it, it's over, I won't buy and/or recommend Kindle anymore.
I'll keep on using Amazon as an information provider, as a discovery tool, as a source for free ebooks, but I won't buy paying ebooks from them anymore. Similarly, I won't add reviews to their products, or give them any way to use my reading

My reasons ? It's not playing fair anymore.

It wants customers to use other places as a showroom ? Fine with me, for ebooks they're the best Showroom in town, and I'll make my choosing there, but will buy elsewhere.

It asks exclusivity ? Fine, I'll buy exclusively elsewhere.
I won't comment more on these subjects, it's already been extensively covered on the web.

These elements were already over the top, but I still had a tiny margin in me to accept this but...
The last straw ? In it's three latest stores, It doesn't show the DRM status of ebooks it sells. I'll buy books where I can choose with this criteria.

I know, you english readers don't have this last problem... but it seems, Amazon HAS changed it's stance on DRMs indications.
The day of Amazon's French Kindle store opening, I found out that the DRM status was not displayed on it, and wondered if it was a glitch, or a strategic decision. (Amazon Kindle France and DRMs : different strategy or Bug ?)

I tried then and mobilize about it, but with no great result. Of course, it could be a bug, or a temporary situation.
Roughly a month later, I contacted them through the support service, and the only answer I got was :
"It's nominal (no bug), but we'll express your concern to the appropriate department (ie. When Hell Freezes Over)."
(Amazon's answers regarding DRMs on Kindle France)


Bragelonne /Amazon meeting

Next, came Bragelonne's (one of our main SFF publishers) meeting with the Kindle France team (Insatisfait par les réponses Amazon à Bragelonne sur les DRMs (Mis à jour)).
What came out from that meeting is that Amazon can't deal with Bragelonne's (through it's distributor Immateriel) choice of protection scheme : marking. Since it can't (won't ?) mark books, rather than leaving them completely unprotected, they prefer putting DRMs. (But didn't refer that fact to Immateriel/Bragelonne until asked about it).

Please note that this "upgrade" is not only Amazon's doing, it's also the case for FNAC, which partnership with Kobo has led to the same situation.

Nonetheless, Amazon's inability to propose marking forces Bragelonne to compromise on it's no DRMs stance.

But it's not over : if you read my analysis of Bragelonne's report (not translated yet, sorry), you'll see that Amazon has led Bragelonne to believe DRMs where a necessary part for customers to have access to the full "Amazon" functionality : lending, text-to-speech etc...
As I surmised, and was later confirmed by more knowledgeable sources, this is complete bullshit, as it mixes specificities from mobi/azw files, with the DRM's implementation. And if it WERE in fact true, how come that same problem was only evident in the French store sold ebooks ?

But that's old again ! Why choose to manifest now ?

Well, the new change is in fact a few days old : The Kindle France Store is not the only one to no longer display the DRM status of ebooks : The Italian and Spanish stores share that same "particularity".

This proves (to me) that it's in fact a strategic choice to not disclose the presence of DRMs to users, which is against French law, European directives, and the customer's and public's interest...
As you may know, DRMs are one of my pet pieves. So, in addition to the others predatory moves, has pushed me over the tipping point.

So, from now on, I will stop giving money to Amazon.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:17 AM   #2
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Given the ridiculous ease of removing DRM from Kindle books I have to ask - who the hell cares whether or not the books come with DRM?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:23 AM   #3
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Given the ridiculous ease of removing DRM from Kindle books I have to ask - who the hell cares whether or not the books come with DRM?
I care, no matter how easy drm removal is, not having them is even easier. (And don't requires non linux software.)

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Old 12-16-2011, 08:26 AM   #4
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So, from now on, I will stop giving money to Amazon.
You should have started and stopped there.... saved a lot of time.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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But Amazon don't "force" anyone to use DRM. It's the publishers' choice whether or not to use it. Anyone can sell their book DRM-free on Amazon if they wish to do so.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:27 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. Now I have to go read my Kindle.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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I care, no matter how east drm removal is, not having them is even easier. (And don't requires non linux software.)
The only time non-linux software is required (with amazon books), is if you don't have a Kindle. If you have a Kindle... removal works easily/perfectly with native-only linux software.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:31 AM   #8
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The only time non-linux software is required (with amazon books), is if you don't have a Kindle. If you have a Kindle... removal works easily/perfectly with native-only linux software.
You can download books on you pc without kindle for PC ?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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Yes. Use the "Transfer via PC" option from the Amazon web site.

Or you can of course just download directly on your Kindle, and then copy the book from the Kindle.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #10
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You can download books on you pc without kindle for PC ?
Certainly. If you have a kindle registered to your account (even a non-functional one), you can download the files from the Manage Your Kindle page.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:34 AM   #11
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But Amazon don't "force" anyone to use DRM. It's the publishers' choice whether or not to use it. Anyone can sell their book DRM-free on Amazon if they wish to do so.
In fact, Amazon is enticing publishers to use them through technical mumbo-jumbo hand-waving.

Additionally, it does not (yet ?) propose a "middle ground" (water)marking method, and automatically upgrades the publisher's choice of such watermarking to DRM.

Third, in the last three stores, it doesn't give any way for customers to know if a book they buy is DRMized or not.

And last, I also have personally no problem to get rid of DRMs. However, my anti-DRM stance is not for my own profit, but for everyone's. As a geek, I personally fight against DRMs as others fight for their political opinions or other against corruption or poverty.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:35 AM   #12
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I didn't knew you could do that.

What about de-drm then ? don't the de-drm software needs a key or something ?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:37 AM   #13
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At least Amazon has some books that ARE DRM free and gives publishers that option. Sony, Kobon and BN do not. As for using other stores as a showroom this already happens. How is it wrong for Amazon to offer its users a discount for doing so using their app instead of the competition's apps? Also, note well that the discount does NOT apply to books.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:37 AM   #14
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I didn't knew you could do that.

What about de-drm then ? don't the de-drm software needs a key or something ?
I guess so, in which case you would need to get the Kindle's key before it getting non-functional
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:37 AM   #15
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You can download books on you pc without kindle for PC ?
Yes. IF you have a Kindle registered to your account... but there's no reason to even do that if you have a Kindle.

If all you have is Kindle for PC, then yes... non-linux software is needed. But if you own a Kindle, you can download the file to your PC FOR your Kindle (from your Amazon account webpage), or simply copy the file FROM your Kindle.

Quote:
What about de-drm then ? don't the de-drm software needs a key or something ?
That's probably a bit too specific for the rules here to go into, but... yes. But it's been possible to provide that key (with the popular tools) since right around the time the Kindle 3 was released.

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