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Old 05-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
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The beginning of the end for DRM?

Interesting article on Arstechnica. "e-Books may take a page out of digital music's book".

Quote:
On Friday, an association of e-book publishers—including major companies such as Harper Collins, Random House, and Barnes & Noble—issued a statement suggesting an outline for a new “Lightweight DRM.” This proposed Digital Rights Management standard could increase interoperability of books on hardware like e-readers.

Don’t get excited yet—the outline was only an invitation to a conversation that the association, called the International Digital Publishing Forum, wants to have. Still, it suggests the traditionally conservative publishing industry is learning how to do business in the Internet era. Hopefully, publishing is realizing something that the music industry has known for years: DRM is dead.

...

It seems more people will buy e-books if they can transfer them between devices, or if DRM was easier to understand. At a recent conference held by the Digital Public Library of America, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle answered an audience member who asked “what will it take for publishers to nix DRM?”

”Wanting to have a business at the end of the day?” Kahle answered sarcastically.
Comments on an unencrypted open standard postcard, please.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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It sounds like another anti-Amazon plot. The big 6 are plotting to release books in epub or nothing with standard DRM. I hate having a third party validate my purchases before I can use them. I don't buy Steam-required games and I don't like Adobe either. I can't see any improvement in this idea.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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The publishing industry seems to be relearning the hard way all of the lessons that the music industry learned years ago. All their insistence on DRM has managed to accomplish is to help Amazon lock people into the Kindle ecosystem and stymie competition, helping Amazon to become the great bogeyman they so hate. Frankly, it's a little pathetic that they're only now considering maybe having a conversation about a slightly different form of DRM.

I guess any progress, no matter how glacial, is still progress.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 05-21-2012 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Casual copying between friends will probably increase, but I can't see it being any more common than lending or selling print books. Commercial piracy (e.g. torrent sites) won't be swayed one way or the other.

The move would probably help publishers to retain existing customers, because there is a lot of criticism over the limitations of DRM and that DRM is probably pushing customers to look for books elsewhere (both from legal and illegal sources). Judging from the comments around here, many of the people who buy DRMed books end up removing the DRM. That reflects a dissatisfaction or lack of trust with DRM, which doubtlessly makes those customers much easier to lose.

I doubt that the move will help publishers snag new customers. The biggest criticism I hear from people who haven't made the jump to ebooks is the price of ebooks. Every last reader I have talked to believes that ebooks should be cheaper than print books. Most of those people believe that ebooks should be significantly cheaper. Removing DRM ain't going to fix that problem.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossi View Post
It sounds like another anti-Amazon plot. The big 6 are plotting to release books in epub or nothing with standard DRM. I hate having a third party validate my purchases before I can use them. I don't buy Steam-required games and I don't like Adobe either. I can't see any improvement in this idea.
Amazon is no better. They too use DRM. Any publisher/outlet that uses DRM is no better then anyone else.

Unless they go with no DRM, they cannot change the DRM in use as it will screw up many many readers. The reader hardware won't work with a different DRM and the apps won't either. This would mean that the manufacturers would have to redo the DRM for every device they have ever made and every app that's written that has DRM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Amazon is no better. They too use DRM. Any publisher/outlet that uses DRM is no better then anyone else.
Amazon uses DRM at the publisher's insistence, not theirs.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitearrow View Post
Amazon uses DRM at the publisher's insistence, not theirs.
The question would be whether Amazon uses DRM for books they themselves publish. Ones like these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...d_i=1000664761

I recall reading something on this forum how you tell from the amazon.com site whether the book is DRM'd. But I don't recall what the post said. Could someone who does know how to check pick a couple books, at random, from the page I linked above, and see if the books are DRM'd?

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 05-20-2012 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
The question would be whether Amazon uses DRM for books they themselves publish.
It's up to their individual authors or so the folks from Amazon Publishing have said.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
It's up to their individual authors or so the folks from Amazon Publishing have said.
You would think if Amazon is against DRM, that Amazon would make DRM free part of the contract.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
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You would think if Amazon is against DRM, that Amazon would make DRM free part of the contract.
Alas, it's the authors and publishers that still insist on drm.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:52 PM   #11
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Alas, it's the authors and publishers that still insist on drm.
But for the exclusive authors, Amazon can insist on no DRM.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
The publishing industry seems to be relearning the hard way all of the lessons that the music industry learned years ago. All their insistence on DRM has managed to accomplish is to help Amazon lock people into the Kindle ecosystem and stymie competition, helping Amazon to become the great bogeyman they so hate. Frankly, it's a little pathetic that they're only now considering maybe having a competition about a slightly different form of DRM.

I guess any progress, no matter how glacial, is still progress.
Exactly.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
But for the exclusive authors, Amazon can insist on no DRM.
And maybe miss out on gaining some authors for their fledgling publishing labels. They've never claimed to be against DRM, just that they give the choice either way.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
The question would be whether Amazon uses DRM for books they themselves publish. Ones like these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...d_i=1000664761

I recall reading something on this forum how you tell from the amazon.com site whether the book is DRM'd. But I don't recall what the post said. Could someone who does know how to check pick a couple books, at random, from the page I linked above, and see if the books are DRM'd?
Steve,
I don't spot any of the the books on the page you suggest that can be identified as DRM free.
The "clue" frequently used is in the Product Details section (usually under the synopsis) , which may read like this:
Product Details:
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B004xxxxxxx
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Lending: Enabled

The 'unlimited' Simultaneous Devise Usage is the part that identifies the book as DRM-free. Amazon's standard policy is to allow the buyer to load the book simultaneously on up to 6 (I believe) Kindle-capable devices registered to their account (Amazon's policy, not one set by authors or publishers.) So, if the book is DRM-free, Amazon does not limit how many devices it can be loaded on.
Unfortunately, I don't know whether this is ALWAYS listed for a DRM-free book, only when the author requests it, etc.
Amazon removed this tag-line for a while from all ebook listings (removing all chance of identifying a DRM-free book if the author didn't mention it), but it seems to be back now.

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Old 05-21-2012, 12:39 AM   #15
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This DRM-free dream will never come true.
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