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Old 11-29-2007, 08:47 PM   #1
ChrisI
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Some Observations After a Year's Use

1. I currently have 35 books on my Reader.
2. Everthing on my Reader I also own in paper.
3. The only books I bought from the Connect Store were with the $50 credit that came with the Reader.

I love my Reader. I use it daily. In that respect, Sony has a success. But if the goal was to get me to buy my books from them, it was a complete failure.

So if I like the thing so much, why am I still buying p-books?

DRM.

As the owner of a computer software company, I understand and respect the need to protect intellectual property. The problem is that the hardware manufacturers use this as an excuse to demand a share in the profits on the sale of the content. Why can't I:

1. Go to a publisher's website, and purchase an e-book formatted to run on the hardware of my choice.
2. Exchange that book for one formatted for different hardware at any time.
3. Buy, sell, or trade my rights to this book with someone else.

When they let me do this, I'll stop buying p-books.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:22 PM   #2
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Or you could buy the MS Reader version of the books you want, strip the DRM (as long as you're comfortable with that) & run them through lit2lrf using libprs500. Then you'd have a copy that works on your Sony. If you switch to Mobi just open the opf file created by ConvertLit, when it makes the book into HTML, in MobiPocket creator & turn the book into a Mobi file. That's what many folks do bypassing DRM altogether.


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Originally Posted by ChrisI View Post
1. Go to a publisher's website, and purchase an e-book formatted to run on the hardware of my choice.
2. Exchange that book for one formatted for different hardware at any time.
3. Buy, sell, or trade my rights to this book with someone else.
It would be nice if this could be done, & maybe someday it will be, but right now most of the publishers are so wishy washy on ebooks it won't happen soon.

Last edited by AnemicOak; 11-29-2007 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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Although at some point I'll lose my attachment to having a pBook as a "trophy" of my reading history I agree as well.

Maybe pBooks could have a redeemable token in the front cover that entitles you to a digital copy for convenience.
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Or you could buy the MS Reader version of the books you want, strip the DRM (as long as you're comfortable with that) & run them through lit2lrf using libprs500. Then you'd have a copy that works on your Sony. If you switch to Mobi just open the obf file created by ConvertLit, when it makes the book into HTML, in MobiPocket creator & turn the book into a Mobi file. That's what many folks do bypassing DRM altogether.
I've done some of this, and even resorted to searching the torrents when a book I own is not available for purchase in any electronic form. The problem is that I am dependent on someone writing tools like libprs500 and BookDesigner.

My frustration stems from the fact that the publishers could have given us a DRM solution that granted all the rights we currently enjoy with a p-book and still protected their copyright, but they chose not to.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:56 AM   #5
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I'm in a similar situation to ChrisI -- bought the Reader last Dec. Bought my $50 in books from Sony and not once since. I've downloaded and converted lots of books from Baen and other free sources (e.g. Gutenberg). I've also be re-reading a lot of series from start to end and have acquired from shadier sources e-copies of physical books I own.

I also use my Garmin iQue to do a lot of reading (backlist LCD is good for low light situations) and have bought a number of books from eReader.com -- mostly when they are having a special or a deal on a "bundle"

My philosophy for physical books was: there are some authors I really enjoy and will re-read the books many times over the years. Those I would buy in hardback. Everything else was paperback (or from the local library). The Kindle prices are close enough to paperback that I'm toying with switching -- that $10 is a magic number for me

What I really want is an e-library -- I would pay a reasonable subscription ($10/mo?) and could download a fixed number of books (3 or 4) that would expire after a month. When I deleted one from my reader I could download another. Sort of the Netflix model. If Amazon went that way with the Kindle I'd buy it in a second.

Thinking about it, I guess I feel I don't "own" e-books, I'm just borrowing them, so I'm not willing to pay anything near the list price of the physical book. And I think that is maybe the big problem with ereaders as a class reaching a wider audience. I don't mind hearing a CD again I just listened to last month, but there aren't too many books I want to re-read every month. Sony is treating books like music -- so is Amazon, but I have higher hopes that they will "see the light"
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:04 AM   #6
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I hope the subscription idea doesn't take off, or if it does then offer reasonably priced alternatives for SLOW readers like me who wouldn't get value from limited reading time for material.
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Old 11-30-2007, 02:16 AM   #7
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ITunes and other such companies are starting to sell music w/o DRM and maybe one day it'll happen with ebooks. But I think it's a bit harder for companies to be willing to remove DRM for ebooks than they are for music.

DRM'ed music files hurt sales. For those who don't want to purchase a song because it's DRM'ed can easily find the song that is compatible with their player (since most support mp3 format) w/o DRM illegally. However, it is pretty hard to find a copy of an ebook that isn't DRM'ed. Most people will either end up accepting the DRM and buy the ebook or end up buying the paper book instead. There isn't likely to be a loss of sales to drive the publishers from removing DRM like what I believe is happening in the music industry.

But I do hope that one day ebooks will have a single format and DRM's aren't so restrictive. I know.... just dreaming=)
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:07 AM   #8
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Ebooks will hopefully learn from the music world!

I will not spend $10 to buy a book I already own, I would however pay a nominal fee of say $2 to do this and i would pay $10 for an Ebook I dont own,

For me this process would work by me going into a special counter at a borders etc and then be able to run my physically owned books through a barcode reade, this would then add them to my E-book account so I could pay the $2 and DL my ebook version.
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Old 11-30-2007, 03:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
Ebooks will hopefully learn from the music world!

I will not spend $10 to buy a book I already own, I would however pay a nominal fee of say $2 to do this and i would pay $10 for an Ebook I dont own,

For me this process would work by me going into a special counter at a borders etc and then be able to run my physically owned books through a barcode reade, this would then add them to my E-book account so I could pay the $2 and DL my ebook version.
Would you also expect to be able to take in a hardback book and get a paperback of the same book for $2? That seems to be exactly what you're asking them to do for an eBook! I suspect that you wouldn't expect them to give you a cheap paperback merely because you also own the hardback, so why do you expect a cheap eBook?
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
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The digital media costs much less than the paperback though Harry! if they charged me $2 on top of the production etc costs for the paper back then yes that would be great! they would actually make more money from me as at the moment i cant justify buying a Pback if I already have the Hardcover...

And its not that Im not 'Expecting' that im hoping that will be the case as that way it would direct me to put $2 into the ebook industry rather than pushing me to download on line.

Its the same with Music and books and comics and films etc The production costs stay the same but the retail,packaging distribution etc are almost nonexistant with digital media.

I haver a finite amount of money to spend each month, lets say $50 I would love to pay $5 a film and download 4 to watch Buy 4 ebooks for $5 and buy 2 albums for $5. I would be happy and the industries would have my money.

Now I am due to the easy availability of digital media for free, and the high cost and DRM of current legal digital media that in many cases i already own I am tempted to go the 'free' route.

i dont think this is right or good for the industry but im also stuck because i physically cant afford to rebuy things I already own the right to view/read again in a different format.

So if the industry changed I think Piracy would drop of(to an extent) and they would make as much or more in the future.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer View Post
What I really want is an e-library -- I would pay a reasonable subscription ($10/mo?) and could download a fixed number of books (3 or 4) that would expire after a month. When I deleted one from my reader I could download another. Sort of the Netflix model. If Amazon went that way with the Kindle I'd buy it in a second.
That's brilliant. That's exactly how most consumers want to consume most e-books. There is value to have a pbook on the shelf but little value to have ebooks in your personal inventory once consumed.

Like the music industry, there are so many players that have investors and stock holders dependent upon old business models that I suspect it will take awhile for the consumer to get this. If it was just one company it could happen quickly, but as we all know it's an industry and an industry takes a while to change....

Last edited by jeffoest; 11-30-2007 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:34 AM   #12
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I think the Kindle is poised to go exactly that way, a subscription model. At that point I'll have to decide if book "ownership" is important to me. If I have an e-library pass do I need to keep the books forever? I'm thinking I can change my mindset.

Meanwhile I'm on the same page as AnemicOak, buy the books in DRM-strippable format. That satisfies the common man's ethics (and mine) while preserving my purchase beyond whatever box I use to read it today.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer View Post
What I really want is an e-library -- I would pay a reasonable subscription ($10/mo?) and could download a fixed number of books (3 or 4) that would expire after a month. When I deleted one from my reader I could download another. Sort of the Netflix model. If Amazon went that way with the Kindle I'd buy it in a second.
I like this too. Why not do it exactly like Netflix, where it doesn't matter how long you keep the book, it is priced according to how many you want to check out at the same time.
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:08 AM   #14
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My frustration stems from the fact that the publishers could have given us a DRM solution that granted all the rights we currently enjoy with a p-book and still protected their copyright, but they chose not to.
But publishers don't WANT you to have all those rights, even with paper books! There have been lawsuits from publishers trying to shut down used book stores on the basis that nobody but the publisher has the right to collect money when the copyrighted material changes hands. The courts however, so far, have ruled that the customer owns the paper he or she has purchased, and the publishers have no control over what the customer does with the paper so used book stores are legal. Until the courts rule that the intellectual property on the paper is more important legally than the physical ownership of the paper.

There have even been attempts to fight the concept of public libraries, which didn't get very far either.

But in the electronic field, with the strength of the Sonny Bono Act which makes it illegal to circumvent Digital Rights Management even for content which a person actually has legally purchased (remember, you're only buying a license to use that content, not actually buying the content itself), publishers have a new ability to shut down the second-hand market where they make no money at all.

There's no incentive for the publishers to do anything other than what they're doing. In the electronic media field they're the only game in town, and if you want to read a specific author's works in digital format you are at the mercy of however tight or loose the controls are that they wish to use.

Remember that all the rights we now have in paper books are only our rights because of court rulings -- they are not part of the copyright law (at least in the United States). Court rulings change over the years so the rights we currently enjoy may be eroded in newer court rulings.
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Old 12-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #15
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There's no incentive for the publishers to do anything other than what they're doing. In the electronic media field they're the only game in town, and if you want to read a specific author's works in digital format you are at the mercy of however tight or loose the controls are that they wish to use.
There will be incentive for this (and for music too) if and when the publishers can make more money by offering this than through the current way of doing business - ie if offering customers the ability to consume their product the way they want to consume their product increases demand and revenue for their products.

I think it will happen eventually... but not real soon...
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