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Old 01-04-2008, 05:44 AM   #331
Alan
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Originally Posted by Trenien View Post
Either you're a fool, or you're a shill of the industry: whatever the spin is, in most European countries it still is legal to make a back-up copy of a CD or to rip it for personal use.
At least in Germany it is illegal to make a backup copy from copy-protected sources (which are almost all DVDs for example).

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Um no. The last time I bought something legally (a DVD film) and showed it to a friend I was laughed at for wasting money when I could have downloaded it. So no, I honestly doubt people are moving towards legal alternatives.
But when it comes to music the situation is different. In the U.S. iPod and iTunes have gigantic market shares. People are actually buying stuff from iTunes, millions of people.

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When I proposed a donation system were nothing illegal is done you said that you have to pay if you want to read a book as that was some natural law or something. I pointed out that thas is not true even today.
Books are nothing else than any other goods or services. So yes, you have to pay for it. There might be some people, who give away there labor and efforts for free or are only asking for some coins. Well, that's fine for them. But usually people work for money. And an author and his publisher work for a living, not for donations. That's the way it is. And if you want to call it that way, then yes, it's a natural law. You and I go to work to earn money. Sure, hopefully our work satisfies us in other ways to. That would be ideal. But first of all we work in order to make a living. So do you, so do I and so does an author.

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Old 01-04-2008, 05:49 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Trenien View Post
Until that comment, I thought you were just a somewhat blindingly "letter of the law" abiding citizen. Then this came up.

Although the second part could be that of someone blinded by the propaganda, the first isn't.

Either you're a fool, or you're a shill of the industry: whatever the spin is, in most European countries it still is legal to make a back-up copy of a CD or to rip it for personal use.

I think nobody is that much of an idiot, so my guess is you're in the later category.
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:51 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
At least in Germany it is illegal to make a backup copy from copy-protected sources (which are almost all DVDs for example).
And in the UK it's technically illegal to rip even a CD that you've bought. Of course nobody's going to get prosecuted for ripping their own CDs, but strictly speaking it's not legal.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:58 AM   #334
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But when it comes to music the situation is different. In the U.S. iPod and iTunes have gigantic market shares. People are actually buying stuff from iTunes, millions of people.
Sure, America is covered, but what about the rest of the human race? It's this limited coverage that encourages piracy. Same thing is with prices. Some things that are $20 in the US can go up to $60 in other countries. As you can imagine, this goes a long way in encouraging piracy and is one of the reasons why I prefer digital distribution over traditional channels. That way, everyone gets the same price.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:12 AM   #335
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It's this limited coverage that encourages piracy.
First it was DRM, than prices and now limited coverage. Come on, some just need excuses to act illegally.

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Same thing is with prices. Some things that are $20 in the US can go up to $60 in other countries.
The Bookeen Cybook costs $350 in the States and Ç350 elsewhere. It comes with a two year warranty in the EU and with one year in the States. But other things are much cheaper in the U.S. than in other parts of the world.

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As you can imagine, this goes a long way in encouraging piracy and is one of the reasons why I prefer digital distribution over traditional channels. That way, everyone gets the same price.
The same price? What should prevent a distributor to sell electronic goods and services at different prices depending on where the customer lives? If you go strictly by law, every software vendor outside of EU countries has to add VAT for customers in an EU country. Some vendors do, some not. I wouldn't call that "same price", would you?

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Old 01-04-2008, 08:35 AM   #336
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You'll note that I said I didn't think he was an idiot, but a shill.

Especially on this subject, I do not take it kindly to someone spreading disinformation.

That said, I stand corrected about Germany. I haven't been living in Europe for the last couple of years, and I wasn't aware of the new abuse disguised as law that was put forth a few months ago. However, this law in Germany is an implementation of the European directive EUCD, and among EU's countries is one of the most unfair toward the end user (if not the most unfair).

Mea-culpa, Alan isn't a shill, only disinformed.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #337
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Books are nothing else than any other goods or services. So yes, you have to pay for it. There might be some people, who give away there labor and efforts for free or are only asking for some coins. Well, that's fine for them. But usually people work for money. And an author and his publisher work for a living, not for donations. That's the way it is. And if you want to call it that way, then yes, it's a natural law. You and I go to work to earn money. Sure, hopefully our work satisfies us in other ways to. That would be ideal. But first of all we work in order to make a living. So do you, so do I and so does an author.
Did you read what I wrote? You said that to read a book you had to pay for it and that is false since I can borrow the book from a friend. I can also buy it second hand and the author will not get any money.

Most authors have other work to make a living and they write in their spare time.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #338
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not true, mobipocket files can be read on a wide variety of devices.
Take PaperbackDigital for example. Since they are our of business, you cannot add or change any of the PIDs in the mobi books purchased there.

You bought a mobi format ebook from them registered to your computer and PDA. Then before you read it, you purchase a Gen3. We know the Gen3 can read mobi format ebooks with DRM. But can you read that ebook using your Gen3, NO YOU CANNOT! And why not? Because the ebook is infected with DRM. The DRM says screw you, you can't read your legally purchased ebook on your legally purchased Gen3. You follow the rules and get screwed. You download the same ebook from the darkent and guess what, without the DRM, you can convert to mobi format and read it on your Gen3. So basically, DRM can and sometimes does bite you on the ass and leave a very big welt behind.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:00 AM   #339
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Most authors have other work to make a living and they write in their spare time.
While this may be true, in the strictest sense, most of the authors I read are able to write full-time, and I think their writing is much better because of this. They are able to devote their full attention to their craft. (Would you rather go to a doctor who is a doctor full-time, or one that has a day job delivering packages and only treats the sick in their "spare time?")

I don't support DRM, because I don't think it works. Pirates are able to break DRM, and in fact regard it as an attractive challenge to do so, whereas regular customers are frequently restricted unfairly by DRM systems. But I still think authors should be paid.

I know we can borrow books from friends or the library, or buy used books. The statistics I've seen say that each book is read by 4 people, on the average. That's already built into the system that compensates authors. I suppose if you want to justify downloading books from the darknet, you could be sure to pay cover price for at least 1/4 of the books you download and get close to the level of compensation the authors are getting. But I would really hope that if a store offered DRM-free books at reasonable prices, you'd simply pay for most or all of your books.

Regarding the effect editors have on authors, I'd like to direct people to this link: http://skzbrust.livejournal.com/58731.html

This is the LiveJournal entry by Steven Brust in which he mentions that his editor, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, wants considerable revisions on his latest book in progress (Jhegaala). Several other authors join in the conversation and talk about the value editors provide to them. As an author myself (only published in non-fiction, still trying with fiction), I can tell you that no matter how good you are, you get too close to your work after a while to be able to catch some things. I'm not just talking about typos. You can forget that you've moved scenes around and you need to insert a mention of something for a moved scene to make sense. You can miss that you've deleted all references except one to a minor character. You have so much of the story or content in your head that you can't see, anymore, what's actually on the page.

Writer's groups help, of course, and I think nearly all professional writers use them in some sense. But there is no substitution for a professional editor (often a writer themselves) who has learned to read critically and help a writer polish their work so that when it is finally published, it is the very best the author can produce.

Some of you may be more than willing to live without this level of polishing. You may prefer your diamonds in the rough. I really enjoy finely tuned prose, and I value and appreciate the editors who help it get to that stage.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:32 AM   #340
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While this may be true, in the strictest sense, most of the authors I read are able to write full-time, and I think their writing is much better because of this. They are able to devote their full attention to their craft. (Would you rather go to a doctor who is a doctor full-time, or one that has a day job delivering packages and only treats the sick in their "spare time?")
Well it depends how good the author is I suppose... Iain Banks writes a couple of months a year and the books used to be good. The point was that if you can live on your writing you will in some way also be able to bring in the money if all books are ebooks and if it is technically possible to copy them.

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I don't support DRM, because I don't think it works. Pirates are able to break DRM, and in fact regard it as an attractive challenge to do so, whereas regular customers are frequently restricted unfairly by DRM systems. But I still think authors should be paid.
I think that it is a good thing if a good author can live on his writing all other things equal.

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I know we can borrow books from friends or the library, or buy used books. The statistics I've seen say that each book is read by 4 people, on the average. That's already built into the system that compensates authors. I suppose if you want to justify downloading books from the darknet, you could be sure to pay cover price for at least 1/4 of the books you download and get close to the level of compensation the authors are getting. But I would really hope that if a store offered DRM-free books at reasonable prices, you'd simply pay for most or all of your books.
So then people should be able to accept that an ebook is read by a certain number of other people without them paying for it and that it is built into the system. I think that the number of people reading without paying in some way for a DRM free ebook will be about the same as for paper books.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:05 PM   #341
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Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
While this may be true, in the strictest sense, most of the authors I read are able to write full-time, and I think their writing is much better because of this. They are able to devote their full attention to their craft. (Would you rather go to a doctor who is a doctor full-time, or one that has a day job delivering packages and only treats the sick in their "spare time?")

I don't support DRM, because I don't think it works. Pirates are able to break DRM, and in fact regard it as an attractive challenge to do so, whereas regular customers are frequently restricted unfairly by DRM systems. But I still think authors should be paid.
The comparisons between doctors and writers is misleading because anyone literate can write (maybe not that well, that takes practice, but...) while to be a doctor takes a lot of hard work and learning today, about 11-12 years at least of formal training; no Eragon here (or maybe that's the equivalent of the "psychic healers" ).

On the other hand during most human history many doctors were part time being priests, shamans, and whatever not though it still took some training outside of out and out charlatans

Coming back to drm, outside of the utilitarian reason that it does not work, and the moral reason that it is really bad, for me a very important reason to fight for its disappearances is that already we have an uphill fight for e-book acceptance by the public as it is. Do we want more hurdles??

Regarding writers, pro against day job, I am mixed. I think that if the authors are going pro because of success, it's a great thing, but then if they have to write Star Wars #11119 or Predator #777 (as Jeff Vandermeer) to pay the bills, it's more mixed.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:23 PM   #342
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So then people should be able to accept that an ebook is read by a certain number of other people without them paying for it and that it is built into the system. I think that the number of people reading without paying in some way for a DRM free ebook will be about the same as for paper books.
That is what you think. But you forget about the big difference between paper books and ebooks: Paper books cannot be copied (technically they can, but you know what I mean). Ebooks without copy protection can be copied within seconds and in unlimited numbers. They can be read simultaneously by many people. A paper book can be read by only one person at a time. So a paper book has a built in copy protection: it wears off over time and cannot be copied. That copy protection needs to be adopted on ebooks.

Libriaries that offer ebooks give you a limited license for each book. After a certain date you cannot access the ebook file any more. And if you buy at mobipocket, fictionwise an co. you get a DRM book that can only be read on four devices simultaneously. That is certainly much better than with a paper book, which you can only read at one place at a time.

And of course you can borrow and lend ebooks. But you have to change the PIDs at the store the book was bought at.

I agree, however, a store going out of business or stopping to support certain kinds of files can indeed be a problem. This needs to be addressed. DRM is not perfect and certainly bothersome. But I cannot see any alternatives around the corner. Surely an author wants to get paid for his work. It means that someone who wants to read his book has to buy or lend a book legally. And to ensure this you need ways to limit the ability to copy books in seconds. How should this be done without using DRM? Any ideas? If somebody comes up with something better than what we have today, fine. I would welcome it.

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Old 01-04-2008, 12:33 PM   #343
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for me a very important reason to fight for its disappearances is that already we have an uphill fight for e-book acceptance by the public as it is. Do we want more hurdles??
Look at iTunes. How did they made it at Apple's? They created an mp3 player (iPod) that perfectly blends into their mp3 shop (iTunes). The average customer won't even notice that their is something like DRM. Ever thought about what will happen if Apple goes out of business one day? Well, I hope you have saved your licenses somewhere.

But the point is: Because of good advertising and seamless integration of a gadget into a shop, customers accept DRM because they don't notice it. Why can't this also be a good model for ebooks?

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Old 01-04-2008, 02:44 PM   #344
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Some of you may be more than willing to live without this level of polishing. You may prefer your diamonds in the rough. I really enjoy finely tuned prose, and I value and appreciate the editors who help it get to that stage.
I agree that writers need editors. But do they need publishers? I wonder if the future sees more freelance editors on hire for a few authors in order to produce ebooks... Sort of the way music publishing on the internet was going to take off (although it hasn't yet...).
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:59 PM   #345
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I agree that writers need editors. But do they need publishers? I wonder if the future sees more freelance editors on hire for a few authors in order to produce ebooks... Sort of the way music publishing on the internet was going to take off (although it hasn't yet...).
Maybe. I could see that. I could also see some other new structures being developed, such as groups of editors forming a "virtual publisher" because their tastes are similar, or something. I think the publishing process is going to change dramatically over the next decade, but I think a lot of pieces of the process still have value and need to be carried forward into whatever new models are developed. And most of those pieces involve professional effort that should be compensated. Ebooks will be more efficient and should lower costs some, but I don't think there's as much "fat" in the system as some would like to believe.

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That is what you think. But you forget about the big difference between paper books and ebooks: Paper books cannot be copied (technically they can, but you know what I mean). Ebooks without copy protection can be copied within seconds and in unlimited numbers. They can be read simultaneously by many people. A paper book can be read by only one person at a time. So a paper book has a built in copy protection: it wears off over time and cannot be copied. That copy protection needs to be adopted on ebooks.
Many of us think that even though ebooks without copy protection can be copied within seconds and in unlimited numbers, in practice the actual number of copies of commercial ebooks distributed to readers who actually read the books and who would have bought the book if it were only available to them for a price is not much larger than the number of people who currently read a paper book-- maybe even about the same. I'd like to see a real study on this, rather than a lot of us making claims based on our best guesses. The only studies so far that we have to draw on were done in the music industry, and those studies have failed to find evidence that music piracy is actually cutting into sales of music. This is part of the basis for my optimistic belief that despite what some loud voices have said here, most people will, in fact, pay for the content they want, provided that prices are reasonable and an easy system exists for finding and purchasing the content.

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The comparisons between doctors and writers is misleading because anyone literate can write (maybe not that well, that takes practice, but...) while to be a doctor takes a lot of hard work and learning today, about 11-12 years at least of formal training; no Eragon here (or maybe that's the equivalent of the "psychic healers" ).
I'll grant you that the comparison between doctors and writers is probably too extreme, but good writing is at least skilled labor. Would you prefer a comparison to plumbers or carpenters? I'm pretty picky about who I let work on our house.

I see your point about writers who pay the bills by writing volume xyz of a franchise. The writers I know have mixed feelings about this, too. I think it still helps exercise the craft, even if it's not sparkling original prose. Even fan fiction can help a writer start to improve dialogue, plot structure, etc. Granted that a good writer is paying attention wherever they are, and can draw on their life experiences in their writing, I think I'd still argue that writing franchise novels is more helpful to writers polishing their skills than delivering packages or managing databases.
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