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Old 04-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #316
Justin Nemo
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This leads me back to the original question (via the planet zorg), is DRM good or bad?
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:08 AM   #317
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This leads me back to the original question (via the planet zorg), is DRM good or bad?
Yes.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #318
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Yes.
That must be the shortest reply you have ever made.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #319
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That is why most publishers use DRM, and most if not all significant authors agree to it.
I think it' correct and significant that you said most authors "agree to it."
If the publishers said "we won't publish your book unless you wear red shoes" and most authors said "what the heck" and put on red shoes, it doesn't necessarily mean they think red shoes are a good policy or are helping their sales, other then the by the fact that they simply wouldn't have been published if not for it.

I think with lack of any evidence of how DRM actually increases profit over nonDRM, that is as likely the case with DRM as not. SOME authors (like you, and few high profile folk) have indeed spoken out that they do think DRM is good for them, but others (JKR, et al) have clearly not agreed.

While I am a writer, and do produce some commercial IP of other sorts, it's true I do not make my living as an author, so I can't speak as an author, but the value of DRM is not dependent on what other authors think. Authors are not primarily selling to other authors. It's what the people clicking the "buy" button think that matters.


And thanks for the K. I've enjoyed this thread.

ApK
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:56 AM   #320
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...

So anyway, I am essentially saying that "my gut feeling" is that DRM is good for me, an author, and though I might listen to your thoughts and complaints, I am only going to recommend better and more sticky and harder to remove price tags and labels.
My gut feeling, as a consumer, is that you don't think much of your customers. So I think I'll skip your book(s)?
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #321
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Authors are not primarily selling to other authors. It's what the people clicking the "buy" button think that matters.


.

ApK

That is exactly right - and where do buyers click most?
Most buyers' perspective seems to be completely different from forum participants ...
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:29 AM   #322
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That is exactly right - and where do buyers click most?
Most buyers' perspective seems to be completely different from forum participants ...
I have always maintained that the issue of DRM, formats, lock-in, etc, is an utter non-issue for the vast majority of consumers. It's the edges of the bell curve that drive the debate. Nothing wrong with that. The results may benefit (or harm) the larger middle whether they are currently aware of an issue or not.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by ignacio ferrer View Post
That is exactly right - and where do buyers click most?
Most buyers' perspective seems to be completely different from forum participants ...
Well, yes... and most buyers' perspectives are different from Dreamwidth participants. And different from Occupy Together supporters. And different from MySQL programmers. And different from people who watch Glee. No small-group sample is going to be completely represented in the larger group.

However, Mobileread is not "random people who share an interest." It's random people who share an interest in ebooks, who are interested in the abilities of the hardware and the format options of the software and who strongly consider how those will affect the future of literature. Also, being that we are interested in ebooks, we're likely to tell our friends about the things we think are "good" and steer them away from the things we think are "bad" or "obsolete."

Plenty of people here at Mobileread have said, "I got my [sibling/spouse/parent] an ebook reader, but getting books is too complicated for them; I manage that part." That means the MR reader is in complete control of at least two people's e-reading habits--and that the sibling/spouse/parent's friends will also be looking to the MR reader for advice.

We are, collectively, the experts on "how ebooks work for readers," rather than most ebook venues online, which seem to be about "how authors can get their books into ebook form." Most of those areas are pro-DRM. Mobileread skews strongly anti-DRM, with opinions ranging from "I don't touch it, ever" to "I buy DRM and strip it immediately so I've got a functional backup for when I change hardware."

DRM is, at best, a light slap in the face to readers. It says "I don't trust you." It says "you need to put up with some inconvenience because someone out there is a thief." Most readers will not mind the inconvenience, because they are aware that (1) someone is indeed a "thief" (although they often miss the additional message, "and maybe that's you") and (2) the inconvenience is minor... as long as you don't try to change hardware, and as long as the original sales point is still active.

Nobody buys books *because* they have DRM. They may choose DRM over no-DRM because the store has better service, or better prices, or is more convenient to their shopping habits... but those aren't aspects the author (or publisher) can control (except for some pricing issues, but they can't control whether the store also carries lower-price items).

DRM does prevent casual sharing among non-tech-savvy customers. The issue for authors to cope with: does that inspire those customers' friends & family to buy the book for themselves, or does it just lose that author a potential fan who might buy other books in the future?

How many books did you buy because a friend said, "this is great! You should go buy it for yourself!"--versus how many you read because a friend said "this is great! Here; you read it next!" How many authors did you discover that way rather than buying their first book yourself? And are your experiences typical?

As has been mentioned, those of us who are firmly anti-DRM generally have a "shrug" reaction to an author announcing they're going to use DRM. It means one less author I have to think about when I go to buy books, and that's fine, because I already have more potential books of interest than I can ever read. And we're aware that we're not, and will not be, the majority.

But DRM also means nobody will be handing your book to a friend who hasn't got time for it now, and will read it in two years and love it, and buy everything you have on the market by then. It is, of course, the author's choice. (Or their publisher's, but the publisher is working with author's consent, however grudging that may be.)

I repeat the point that authors don't become successful by preventing piracy; they become successful by making sales. DRM's value as a make-sales mechanism has not been proven at all.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:15 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by ApK View Post
I have always maintained that the issue of DRM, formats, lock-in, etc, is an utter non-issue for the vast majority of consumers. It's the edges of the bell curve that drive the debate. Nothing wrong with that. The results may benefit (or harm) the larger middle whether they are currently aware of an issue or not.
It may not be an issue for many buyers until they decide they want to move the book they have paid for to another device. If you are not an author are you an ebook buyer?
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:20 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
DRM does prevent casual sharing among non-tech-savvy customers.
Actually, the group it's effective against is much smaller than that. It's non-tech-savvy customers who HAVE NO ACCESS TO someone who is appropriately tech savvy to set it up for them.

By definition, I do not know anyone in that group (because if I know them, then they know ME) but I assume they must be out there.*

ApK

* I presume this group is made up primarily of the hot, popular women who ignored me in high school. Serves them right. They probably don't do much reading anyway.

Last edited by ApK; 04-04-2012 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:26 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Well, yes... and most buyers' perspectives are different from Dreamwidth participants. And different from Occupy Together supporters. And different from MySQL programmers. And different from people who watch Glee. No small-group sample is going to be completely represented in the larger group.

However, Mobileread is not "random people who share an interest." It's random people who share an interest in ebooks, who are interested in the abilities of the hardware and the format options of the software and who strongly consider how those will affect the future of literature. Also, being that we are interested in ebooks, we're likely to tell our friends about the things we think are "good" and steer them away from the things we think are "bad" or "obsolete."

Plenty of people here at Mobileread have said, "I got my [sibling/spouse/parent] an ebook reader, but getting books is too complicated for them; I manage that part." That means the MR reader is in complete control of at least two people's e-reading habits--and that the sibling/spouse/parent's friends will also be looking to the MR reader for advice.

We are, collectively, the experts on "how ebooks work for readers," rather than most ebook venues online, which seem to be about "how authors can get their books into ebook form." Most of those areas are pro-DRM. Mobileread skews strongly anti-DRM, with opinions ranging from "I don't touch it, ever" to "I buy DRM and strip it immediately so I've got a functional backup for when I change hardware."

DRM is, at best, a light slap in the face to readers. It says "I don't trust you." It says "you need to put up with some inconvenience because someone out there is a thief." Most readers will not mind the inconvenience, because they are aware that (1) someone is indeed a "thief" (although they often miss the additional message, "and maybe that's you") and (2) the inconvenience is minor... as long as you don't try to change hardware, and as long as the original sales point is still active.

Nobody buys books *because* they have DRM. They may choose DRM over no-DRM because the store has better service, or better prices, or is more convenient to their shopping habits... but those aren't aspects the author (or publisher) can control (except for some pricing issues, but they can't control whether the store also carries lower-price items).

DRM does prevent casual sharing among non-tech-savvy customers. The issue for authors to cope with: does that inspire those customers' friends & family to buy the book for themselves, or does it just lose that author a potential fan who might buy other books in the future?

How many books did you buy because a friend said, "this is great! You should go buy it for yourself!"--versus how many you read because a friend said "this is great! Here; you read it next!" How many authors did you discover that way rather than buying their first book yourself? And are your experiences typical?

As has been mentioned, those of us who are firmly anti-DRM generally have a "shrug" reaction to an author announcing they're going to use DRM. It means one less author I have to think about when I go to buy books, and that's fine, because I already have more potential books of interest than I can ever read. And we're aware that we're not, and will not be, the majority.

But DRM also means nobody will be handing your book to a friend who hasn't got time for it now, and will read it in two years and love it, and buy everything you have on the market by then. It is, of course, the author's choice. (Or their publisher's, but the publisher is working with author's consent, however grudging that may be.)

I repeat the point that authors don't become successful by preventing piracy; they become successful by making sales. DRM's value as a make-sales mechanism has not been proven at all.
I agree with everything you said, apart from that bit about Glee, because I wouldn't want to upset the entire population of Ohio.

Most people find new authors from recommendations, be it word of mouth, loans from a friend or even someone you know who has written a book. DRM in digital formats will interfere with this stream of audiences for new authors as well as disenfranchising the reader.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #327
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It may not be an issue for many buyers until they decide they want to move the book they have paid for to another device. If you are not an author are you an ebook buyer?
eBook DRM usually isn't an issue as long as everything is setup correctly and working. An issue can arise when someone changes computers, changes readers or moves to a different country.

Let's say you live in the USA and you move to the UK. There's a good chance you'll lose access to your US purchased eBook from the stores you bought them from. If you have eBooks from B&N and switch to a Sony Reader, your eBooks can't go with you. If you change computers and you no longer have access to the eBooks you need to download again to update the DRM, then you could lose access.

So while DRM at first appears to work, in the long run, it really doesn't work.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:52 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
eBook DRM usually isn't an issue as long as everything is setup correctly and working. An issue can arise when someone changes computers, changes readers or moves to a different country.

Let's say you live in the USA and you move to the UK. There's a good chance you'll lose access to your US purchased eBook from the stores you bought them from. If you have eBooks from B&N and switch to a Sony Reader, your eBooks can't go with you. If you change computers and you no longer have access to the eBooks you need to download again to update the DRM, then you could lose access.

So while DRM at first appears to work, in the long run, it really doesn't work.
Yes, I totally agree.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #329
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However, Mobileread is not "random people who share an interest." It's random people who share an interest in ebooks, who are interested in the abilities of the hardware and the format options of the software and who strongly consider how those will affect the future of literature. Also, being that we are interested in ebooks, we're likely to tell our friends about the things we think are "good" and steer them away from the things we think are "bad" or "obsolete."

Plenty of people here at Mobileread have said, "I got my [sibling/spouse/parent] an ebook reader, but getting books is too complicated for them; I manage that part." That means the MR reader is in complete control of at least two people's e-reading habits--and that the sibling/spouse/parent's friends will also be looking to the MR reader for advice.
Exactly. The MR community is made up of the experts that the vast majority go to for advice and help. And that is why our opinions matter, and why authors should pay attention to the fact that a very large number of very vocal MR members refuse to buy books with DRM.

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* I presume this group is made up primarily of the hot, popular women who ignored me in high school. Serves them right. They probably don't do much reading anyway.
Incorrect. Hot women never have difficulties getting help with technical problems, car problems, or any other problem that can be solved by asking a man to help them. Or didn't you notice that they stopped ignoring you the moment they needed something only you could provide?
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #330
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Or didn't you notice that they stopped ignoring you the moment they needed something only you could provide?
No, they really ...but I...aww, man.
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