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Old 02-20-2012, 08:36 PM   #61
SteveEisenberg
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Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
from my experience horror, science fiction and fantasy fans support their respective authors and books. most books i come across on pirate sites are the more ephemeral, ever-shifting bestsellers
That of course just tells us about the uploaders, not the downloaders. I can't see how you would get good data on the downloaders.

What with inventory management systems, someone should have real statistics on old fashioned shoplifting. I'm not finding anything really systematic, but this interested me:

Steal These Books

Quote:
I asked Steve Bercu, BookPeople’s owner, what the most frequently stolen title was.

“The Bible,” he said, without pausing.

Apparently the thieves have not yet read the “Thou shalt not steal” part — or maybe they believe that Bibles don’t need to be paid for. “Some people think the word of God should be free,” Bercu said. As it turns out, Bibles are snatched even at the Parable Christian Store in Springfield, Ore., the manager told me, despite the fact that if a person asks for a Bible, they’ll be given a copy without charge.
Based on the rest of my link, I'm thinking that piracy is mostly a problem for contemporary fiction writers. I realize that's not a very startling comment.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 02-20-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #62
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Wow, that's a pretty steep decline.
Since, it's per capita I assumed they adjusted for inflation and population growth but if they didn't ... double wow.
Not really. look at the big peak of CD's. Waaay above any other historical format.

Why? Because everybody and their dog were busy converting their existing audio libraries from analog to CD. Libraries they had spent years and decades to build. 90% of my audio library was pre-CD recordings. Most Boomers are similar. However, once you converted, you don't do it twice. The wave of titles being converted dried up by the late 90's. Figure a 2-4 year lag (I'll get around to buy Bozo and the Clown when I have some spare money.)

No more conversions, no more big market. The music people thought it would go on forever, paying absolutely no attention to marketplace saturation. You see the same thing with DVD's on the last few years. Piracy? More likely the people who build libraries have finished building their libraries. When you have 500-1000 DVD's, you're in no great rush to buy more. Being able to (re)watch the DVD's you already have is why you bought them in the first place....
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:00 PM   #63
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The point of course is that there are no perfect security measures that only inconvenience the guilty and NEVER, EVER inconvenience the innocent. Welcome to the real world.
It would be nice if we lived in a world where it was always butterflies and rainbows but in this world we have to make trade offs between convenience and security.
DRM is imperfect but the restrictions it imposes are not that great and indeed most people never encounter them. Whats your substitute for DRM?
And what is your main point? What does your post have to do with me wondering who was made responsible for uploading or selling stuff they have stolen from me?

You sound like it was okay to punish billons of innocent people as long as some have been guilty. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Please come back down to planet earth and stop comparing speeding motorists to book pirates and make it sound like downloading a book was a security thread to every living person on planet earth. People downloading a book will certainly not kill people. Speeding might. Pointing a gun at someones head and pulling the trigger most certainly will.

But neither of that has got something to do with wanting to have your book free of DRM - nor does wanting to have books free of DRM make you a potential pirate.

You make it sound as if someone wanting to buy a book that has no DRM was as bad as terrorists, drunken drivers or the like. That's ridiculous and insulting, IMHO. I'm not stealing the food out of somebody's mouth just because I want to buy from Amazon but read on my Kobo, for example...

DRM is not only imperfect, it's completely useless - unless it was created to annoy paying customers. It does not stop people from pirating stuff. It only prevents honest customers from reading their books on whichever device they choose to read them on.

DRM and criminalizing innocent people is no effective measure. People accused of something they didn't do time and again will ultimately commit the crimes they were accused of. If you've been made to believe that you are bad, you may end up acting bad. And why shouldn't you?

What could be a good measure? Making it easy for people to get their stuff legally, providing a safe way to get their books and pay for them. Offer good products. Well written books with good formatting and editing, with a cover and table of content, maps large enough to read, at least on the computer screen (and not tiny like a thumbnail). Set a reasonable price. Offer discounts. Make the book something special a pirated version can not offer (like the hand signed book that was mentioned). How about book flatrates? Like being able to download 3 books for 9 USD a month, for example. Giving away the first book of a series to get people interested in buying the rest.

I guess I could come up with more ideas. Future would tell if any of these would be useful. I know I'd be interested in various of these...

Publishers need to think out of the box instead of thinking that all their customers are potentially bad people they have to shut in so they can't commit the crime they were surely about to commit.

Last edited by Jaden; 02-21-2012 at 12:31 AM. Reason: added the missing "have"
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:44 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
You sound like it was okay to punish billons of innocent people as long as some been guilty.
This confuses me. Who are these billions? As far as I know, only a tiny, tiny portion of people who are arrested are brought into custody for piracy.

Quote:
DRM is not only imperfect, it's completely useless - unless it was created to annoy paying customers.
Since the 1840's, most books have been read not by purchasers, but by borrowers.* Therefore, the DRM issue should be looked at primarily for how it affects the majority of readers, not the minority with enough money to pay for books.

Until last September, I only used my Kindle for newspapers, essays, and public domain. If it wasn't for DRM, that would still be the case, but DRM has allowed library eBook borrowing, which I now use a lot. In your no-DRM world, I don't see how the Overdrive/library model could work.


Quote:
Offer discounts.
The publishers are constantly experimenting in terms of price points. If any publishers are failing to pay attention to the data coming from that experimentation, they will go out of business.


______________________
* EDITED: Thinking back on this post, I could have been a little high-handed regarding evidence here. My ideas about how nineteenth century people got their books come mostly from novels mentioning the famous Mudie's Lending Library, but I don't really know for a fact that more books were borrowed than bought in any given decade. Here are what appear to me quite accurate statistics for Canada today.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 02-20-2012 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:26 PM   #65
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This confuses me. Who are these billions? As far as I know, only a tiny, tiny portion of people who are arrested are brought into custody for piracy.
Sorry if this was a little unclear (and a "have" was missing). I was not referring to pirates (or readers for that matter) but to "The point of course is that there are no perfect security measures that only inconvenience the guilty and NEVER, EVER inconvenience the innocent." which sounds a bit like it was okay to bind everyones hand to prevent them from shoplifting just because some people do shoplift.

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Since the 1840's, most books have been read not by purchasers, but by borrowers. Therefore, the DRM issue should be looked at primarily for how it affects the majority of readers, not the minority with enough money to pay for books.
What percentage are we talking about here? There must be enough people who buy books or there would be no bookstores nor printed books that can be bought.

Edit: Just seen the link. Not sure if that's true for all around the world. But the "minority of people buying books" is not that small - or rather the amount of bought books, that is.

Also you have to take into account that it depends on what you read and how much you read. Most people are able to buy a few books a month, at least where I live. And I'm not talking about rich people with a fancy library of books they've never read...

Of course 1-5 books could be very little if you're one of the persons who reads a book of about 500 pages in a day or two...

And over here, books are way more overpriced than in the US, for example.

Anyway, we are talking about DRM for books people buy - or at least I am - and that it can't be in the publishers' best interest to annoy those willing to buy their stuff.

Quote:
In your no-DRM world, I don't see how the Overdrive/library model could work.
You are confusing DRM for book buying (annoying and unnecessary) with DRM for book borrowing (useful and necessary).

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The publishers are constantly experimenting in terms of price points. If any publishers are failing to pay attention to the data coming from that experimentation, they will go out of business.
Maybe so. Unless they are a) independent small publishers and people are willing to pay more to support them and their authors or b) they are large enough to stay in business.

And there are always publishers blaming piracy for the problems they encounter, not unreasonable pricing or DRM or geo restrictions...

ETA: Also my "offer discounts" was just trying to present an idea. I know there are already discount codes, for example, or the Kindle deal of the day. Which is good and is surely getting people to buy stuff.

Last edited by Jaden; 02-21-2012 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:35 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaden View Post
And what is your main point? What does your post have to do with me wondering who was made responsible for uploading or selling stuff they have stolen from me?

You sound like it was okay to punish billons of innocent people as long as some been guilty. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Please come back down to planet earth and stop comparing speeding motorists to book pirates and make it sound like downloading a book was a security thread to every living person on planet earth. People downloading a book will certainly not kill people. Speeding might. Pointing a gun at someones head and pulling the trigger most certainly will.

But neither of that has got something to do with wanting to have your book free of DRM - nor does wanting to have books free of DRM make you a potential pirate.

You make it sound as if someone wanting to buy a book that has no DRM was as bad as terrorists, drunken drivers or the like. That's ridiculous and insulting, IMHO. I'm not stealing the food out of somebody's mouth just because I want to buy from Amazon but read on my Kobo, for example...

DRM is not only imperfect, it's completely useless - unless it was created to annoy paying customers. It does not stop people from pirating stuff. It only prevents honest customers from reading their books on whichever device they choose to read them on.

DRM and criminalizing innocent people is no effective measure. People accused of something they didn't do time and again will ultimately commit the crimes they were accused of. If you've been made to believe that you are bad, you may end up acting bad. And why shouldn't you?

What could be a good measure? Making it easy for people to get their stuff legally, providing a safe way to get their books and pay for them. Offer good products. Well written books with good formatting and editing, with a cover and table of content, maps large enough to read, at least on the computer screen (and not tiny like a thumbnail). Set a reasonable price. Offer discounts. Make the book something special a pirated version can not offer (like the hand signed book that was mentioned). How about book flatrates? Like being able to download 3 books for 9 USD a month, for example. Giving away the first book of a series to get people interested in buying the rest.

I guess I could come up with more ideas. Future would tell if any of these would be useful. I know I'd be interested in various of these...

Publishers need to think out of the box instead of thinking that all their customers are potentially bad people they have to shut in so they can't commit the crime they were surely about to commit.
You are wrong about DRM having no use -see post 54 but I'm not going to repeat myself for the 91st time. Your ideas are ok and publishers have instituted many of these but they don't substitute for law enforcement .
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:56 PM   #67
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And there are always publishers blaming piracy for the problems they encounter, not unreasonable pricing or DRM or geo restrictions...
Hatchette being one. They are on the record stating that DRM is vital.

Some interesting quotes from that business feel good statement.

Quote:
We work with retailers and distribution partners to ensure that every book has the opportunity to reach the widest possible readership.
and

Quote:
We protect authors’ intellectual property through strict anti-piracy measures and territorial controls.
OK, how does territorial restrictions and DRM enable an ebook to reach the widest possible readership?

It is too easy to blame file sharing instead of looking at their own outdated business models, regional pricing (let's rip off Australians), business structuring and restrictive business practices. To make sure the blame on file sharing is reinforced, dodgy reports with dodgy statistics equating every download as a sales loss are released to the media once in a while to continue the spin.

DRM is just one of the great failures that publishers cling to. DRM for library loan ebooks is fine, the old model meant you returned the book once read or the due date of the loan arrived. DRM furthers that premise.

However, if a book is PURCHASED for personal consumption, then DRM is an artificial barrier that severely limits the purchaser in regards to what they can with their paid for content. Fair use is crippled, backup options non existent, locked to one type of ereader etc etc...

DRM deserves the contempt that buyers heap on it and further, those publishers that keep feeding us bovine excreta about how it helps keeps the pirates at bay deserve our contempt even more.

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:25 AM   #68
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You are wrong about DRM having no use -see post 54 but I'm not going to repeat myself for the 91st time. Your ideas are ok and publishers have instituted many of these but they don't substitute for law enforcement .
Post #54 just says that it has a purpose, but not which purpose you think it has. You didn't post a link to the thread you were referring to so I can't follow your argument.

DRM is not a law and it's not law enforcement either. It doesn't work. And if there was a "working" DRM (that can't be cracked), it would not prevent piracy, either. People would do what they've done before there were official ebooks (and still do if there are none): scan the books and upload them. And people willing to pay for the content that are too restricted and annoyed by DRM will download them. That's the reason why DRM won't work.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:37 AM   #69
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...I'm not going to repeat myself for the 91st time....
Good, thank you. If I want to read Cato or Heartland institute propaganda I'll go visit their websites, or some of the anti-climate change blogs they surreptitiously funded.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:26 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
are there particular genres of music that have gone down or is it overall? i know metal heads are particularly rabid about buying and supporting bands. i read once that sales of metal albums stay pretty consistent no matter what the economy is like. i couldn't say the same for pop fans who only want 1 or 2 songs for a ringtone.

from my experience horror, science fiction and fantasy fans support their respective authors and books. most books i come across on pirate sites are the more ephemeral, ever-shifting bestsellers.

i guess my hypothesis is that "trendy" music and literature are probably far more susceptible to casual piracy and slumping sales by casual fans than true die hards of a particular genre.
The figures are from the RIAA, so it will only cover manufactured pop bands and the retro/nostalgia market. CDBaby were saying they've had a big boost in digital sales last year. They handle one of the Astronauts EPs, that still sells well despite being on pirate sites.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:14 AM   #71
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Piracy is killing creative industries and we need greater enforcement to ensure that creators are compensated! Everyone is making way, way less money now thanks to the internet!

If only reality actually said that:





Quick, better impose more draconian laws before the entertainment industry makes even more money!

Oh, and that previous chart that showed a big decline in music sales? It's a little deceptive because (i) Recorded music isn't representative of the wider music industry's situation; and (ii) in 1999 (right around where things on the chart start to collapse), the major record labels were charged with illegal price fixing... a practice they then agreed to cease. And, of course, when you stop price fixing, generally speaking your revenue goes down.

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:57 PM   #72
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BTW, if you know of another way to achieve that purpose -to prevent technologically unsophisticated consumers from freely sharing books across networks of families and friends- please post.
One of the key issues is that technologically unsophisticated consumers have shared books, music, games, and movies with each other for as long as we've had them. All of a sudden, they're told to change the way they deal with entertainment and education--that it's one-person-only, and it's *immoral* to want it to be otherwise.

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NO ONE on this forum -despite numerous condemnations of DRM - has ever come up with a satisfying alternative. Generally, they say authors should just suck it up and take their losses.
What "losses?" My husband and I have never bought multiple copies of a book so we each can read it. My kids don't yet have the income to buy substantial numbers of books of their own. I have friends living on fixed income disability checks; they don't buy new books ever--but they recommend the books they like to their friends who do. But if they can't read used copies, those authors don't get promoted.

It's never before been a "loss" for a book to have more readers than buyers.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:17 PM   #73
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I don't see how being anti-DRM is the equivalent of saying "authors should just suck it up and cut their losses." I've bought DRM-free books. Isn't buying the opposite of telling authors to just go suck it up?

Many people on this board who have bought DRM'ed content have admitted to stripping the DRM the second the book hits their computer. This has robbed authors how? The author has been paid. A person sitting there with money in their hand ready to BUY something does not appreciate being called a thief, while they are in the act of doing the opposite.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
One of the key issues is that technologically unsophisticated consumers have shared books, music, games, and movies with each other for as long as we've had them. All of a sudden, they're told to change the way they deal with entertainment and education--that it's one-person-only, and it's *immoral* to want it to be otherwise.



What "losses?" My husband and I have never bought multiple copies of a book so we each can read it. My kids don't yet have the income to buy substantial numbers of books of their own. I have friends living on fixed income disability checks; they don't buy new books ever--but they recommend the books they like to their friends who do. But if they can't read used copies, those authors don't get promoted.

It's never before been a "loss" for a book to have more readers than buyers.
Er, you and I kniow that we aren't talking about husbands and wives sharing books or a someone lending a book to a co worker.
We would be talking about sharing ebooks with college buddies, Facebook friends, Twitter followers, listservs-in short , sharing ebooks the way we now share blog posts, jokes, emails, etc. and the way young people share music. You 've admitted more than once in earlier threads that this really would cost publishers a lot. Don't backtrack now.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:27 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by spindlegirl View Post
I don't see how being anti-DRM is the equivalent of saying "authors should just suck it up and cut their losses." I've bought DRM-free books. Isn't buying the opposite of telling authors to just go suck it up?

Many people on this board who have bought DRM'ed content have admitted to stripping the DRM the second the book hits their computer. This has robbed authors how? The author has been paid. A person sitting there with money in their hand ready to BUY something does not appreciate being called a thief, while they are in the act of doing the opposite.
Spindlegirl, you misunderstand. Its not about what you would do ( It never was) . Its about how most unsophisticated consumers would share files. See my post directly above.
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