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Old 01-04-2008, 05:32 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
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.
But only a small percentage of the music they actually listen to. Back in February, Steve Jobs wrote:

Quote:
Through the end of 2006, customers purchased a total of 90 million iPods and 2 billion songs from the iTunes store. On average, that’s 22 songs purchased from the iTunes store for each iPod ever sold.... Today’s most popular iPod holds 1000 songs, and research tells us that the average iPod is nearly full. This means that only 22 out of 1000 songs, or under 3% of the music on the average iPod, is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM. The remaining 97% of the music is unprotected and playable on any player that can play the open formats.
The iTMS may make DRM largely transparent, but it still isn't replacing other music-acquisition avenues even for iPod owners.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:12 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
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.
The revenue of the music industry is in a steady decline. Every year new lows are being reached. But at the same time music consumption does not drop, does not at all. In fact people today listen to much much more music than 10 years before, thanks to the abundance of mp3 players and other music devices such as cell phones and PDAs.

So if less music is sold (on physical discs as well as online) but more music is consumed, what might be the reason for it? A lot of music is not being bought but downloaded illegally. There might be some sites like mp3parks.com that actually sell music but remain on the borderline between legal and illegal activity, but certainly nobody would really suggest these grey sites are accountable for the difference between officially sold and actually consumed music.

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Old 01-04-2008, 06:23 PM   #348
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And you have made the argument that DRM is OK based on the idea that Mobipocket is well supported.
No, not the case, I made no comment one way or the other as to DRM, I simply disputed your statement in regard to most devices not supporting mobipocket. My view on DRM is that I do not really care one way or another. I buy fiction as a one of read so any future inability to read a book is not an issue for me.

The books that are important to me, I purchase in paper form. These books tend to be ones that would not be able to be produced in e-book form until there are very significant advances in technology.

Given the views that have been expressed in this thread, I doubt that DRM is going to go away at all.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:35 PM   #349
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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.
So, you read the book on your computer or PDA which still allow you to read the book.

In the example given, you have shown why DRM wont protect the publisher and how the consumer can get around the issue.

but the simple fact is that publishers will continue to use DRM for the forseeable future. And many publishers will continue to publish on in paper format for fear of copyright violations that are so easy using current technology. So given I will not search the darknet for books and the books I want to read, frequently have DRM, I accept this and move on.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:55 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by sianon View Post
but the simple fact is that publishers will continue to use DRM for the forseeable future.
Then publishers will continue to see poor eBook sales and their books will continue to show up on download sites (for which they will receive nothing for).

We were hoping that the publishers were more intelligent than the RIAA. Even the RIAA has thrown in the towel (now that Sony/BMG has dropped DRM).
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:24 PM   #351
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The revenue of the music industry is in a steady decline. Every year new lows are being reached. But at the same time music consumption does not drop, does not at all. In fact people today listen to much much more music than 10 years before, thanks to the abundance of mp3 players and other music devices such as cell phones and PDAs.
And how is that relevant? And what evidence do you have for your theories?


http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer

describes the study and says for example:

Quote:
Consumption of music increases dramatically with the introduction of file sharing, but not everybody who likes to listen to music was a music customer before, so it's very important to separate the two," said Felix Oberholzer-Gee, an associate professor at Harvard Business School and one of the authors of the study.

Oberholzer-Gee and his colleague, University of North Carolina's Koleman Strumpf, also said that their "most pessimistic" statistical model showed that illegal file sharing would have accounted for only 2 million fewer compact discs sales in 2002, whereas CD sales declined by 139 million units between 2000 and 2002.

"From a statistical point of view, what this means is that there is no effect between downloading and sales," said Oberholzer-Gee.

For albums that fail to sell well, the Internet may contribute to declining sales. Oberholzer-Gee and Strumpf found that albums that sell to niche audiences suffer a "small negative effect" from Internet piracy.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:30 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
The revenue of the music industry is in a steady decline. Every year new lows are being reached. But at the same time music consumption does not drop, does not at all. In fact people today listen to much much more music than 10 years before, thanks to the abundance of mp3 players and other music devices such as cell phones and PDAs.

So if less music is sold (on physical discs as well as online) but more music is consumed, what might be the reason for it? A lot of music is not being bought but downloaded illegally. There might be some sites like mp3parks.com that actually sell music but remain on the borderline between legal and illegal activity, but certainly nobody would really suggest these grey sites are accountable for the difference between officially sold and actually consumed music.

Alan
And your point is ?
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:11 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Alan View Post
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.
Alan
Well, I think you got it reversed. They created a great mp3 player called iPod, marketed it with the famous, "Rip, Mix, Burn" slogan and then to placate the labels and not get sued (remember that the VHS makers were sued by the movie studios which attempted to stop the manufacturing of video players/recorders - luckily for everyone including the studios, the studios lost in court - without iTunes I am pretty sure RIAA would have sued Apple to stop the manufacturing of iPods)

Then Apple lost money on iTunes for a long while, and while it became profitable in 2006 I think, it's still marginal for them. Now that music goes drm-free, I am pretty sure iTunes will become a studio, sign artists and produce their own music since they have absolutely no reason to cooperate with the studios anymore.

Again, it's irrelevant what you, me, or publishers want and think; the marketplace has spoken resoundingly against drm and that's that; people can fight the tide, but it's going nowhere, so this is why I am confident that when e-books will become mainstream they will be drm-free.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:18 PM   #354
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Then publishers will continue to see poor eBook sales and their books will continue to show up on download sites (for which they will receive nothing for).

We were hoping that the publishers were more intelligent than the RIAA. Even the RIAA has thrown in the towel (now that Sony/BMG has dropped DRM).
The sad fact is that publishers are no more intelligent than the music industry and will continue on their path. I am not so upset by DRM as by the publishing houses who will not set foot into the world of e-publishing. And the views I have seen throughout this thread do nothing to encourage them to do so. Trying to find Australian authors in e-book format is nigh on impossible.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:23 PM   #355
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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.
Right now the number of professional fiction writers is quite low, most writers have day-jobs and we are profoundly lucky to have an affluent society that allows that. I do not see any reason to believe that even if e-books become mainstream that will change. There will still be pro writers and they will get paid.

The big problem for writers is still obscurity, and to me all this sky-is falling talk about piracy and books seems quite overblown. Judicious use of e-books in the meantime increases exposure, audience, profile and if the author is good enough sales.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:02 AM   #356
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Right now the number of professional fiction writers is quite low, most writers have day-jobs and we are profoundly lucky to have an affluent society that allows that. I do not see any reason to believe that even if e-books become mainstream that will change. There will still be pro writers and they will get paid.

The big problem for writers is still obscurity, and to me all this sky-is falling talk about piracy and books seems quite overblown. Judicious use of e-books in the meantime increases exposure, audience, profile and if the author is good enough sales.

I buy most of that. The problem I have with it is on a formal level, and the idea that someone could believe writers or other artists (musicians, who pay for studio time and production) should not be reimbursed for whatever reason. All the discussion about whether DRM is a bogus technology or anything other is irrelevant to me in the purview of this discussion, unless they offer a moral alternative to taking an author's work. If not, they are only excuses; maybe good ones, but still excuses for acting in a way that takes the creators work without compensation. Central to this point is the argument that copyright exists to protect not knowledge, which should be shared for all (who can copyright 2+2=4?), but ideas, or art. I agree that copyright may suck as we know it. I agree that DRM is a nightmare if misguided good intentions. What I don't agree with is that it is morally right to take another artist's work, without compensating them in some way, and for that reason, the intent of copyright in its pure, unadulterated state is to protect that art for the sake of the creator, while not chilling a free marketplace of ideas.

As an aside, I have a degree in English Ed. and my editor is still a very valuable commodity. Likewise, when people see books from my publisher, they can assume certain things about mine; genre, quality, feel, and production. The publisher does all the work of marketing the work, packaging the work, and distributing the work. I won't say you couldn't do that alone, but it would take a chunk of time which many authors don't have. They are still some of the services they offer and help justify their cut. They don't operate to hose you, because they are much like agents; it can be assumed that what is good for you is good for them.

That is totally aside and unrelated to the concept that artists should be fairly compensated for their work.

Last edited by hogleg; 01-05-2008 at 12:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:14 AM   #357
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the intent of copyright in its pure, unadulterated state is to protect that art for the sake of the creator, while not chilling a free marketplace of ideas.
No one listens to this, but that's actually not the intent of copyright law, at least in the US. The intent is to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts". That is, the point is to encourage creation. Letting the creator make money is only a means to that end.

Maybe there's another way that will encourage the progress of science and the useful arts.... But creators making money is not a Constitution-given right.
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Old 01-05-2008, 05:41 AM   #358
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Again, it's irrelevant what you, me, or publishers want and think; the marketplace has spoken resoundingly against drm and that's that
You are comparing apples with pears - as we say in German. DRM in music and in ebooks cannot be compared because the implementation is so different. DRM in music is indeed crap because many players cannot handle licenses and even on a stationary computer it often creates more problems than most people can imagine.

But DRM in ebooks is, except for the possibility of a company going out of business, transparent, easy and virtually unnoticeable. The same did Apple to DRM and guess what, it suddenly works. People are buying DRM music because they don't notice it anymore.

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And your point is ?
Piracy does indeed hurt the music industry a lot. Revenue decreased dramatically while consumption still increases.

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Old 01-05-2008, 08:45 AM   #359
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Piracy does indeed hurt the music industry a lot. Revenue decreased dramatically while consumption still increases.

Alan
Ah! Thank you for writing it down so bluntly. That makes it so much easier to debunk.

As has been pointed out in prior posts in the discussion, the proof that "pirating" hurts sales has never been made anywhere (except in papers that have been ordered and paid to conform to the industry's fantasy in such obvious a manner that they're not worth mentioning any further).

On the contrary, studies and empirical evidences tend to show that not only it doesn't hurt sales, it actually helps them in the long run - and that's valid both for famous singers/band and relatively unknown people.

As far as I know, no such studies have been made about the p-book/ebook market, but again there are empirical observations that show a similar trend (see the Baen case, or authors such as Doctorow).
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:10 AM   #360
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On the contrary, studies and empirical evidences tend to show that not only it doesn't hurt sales, it actually helps them in the long run
Fact is, music sales have been going down dramatically. We have reached the lowest numbers since 1993. But since 1993 music consumption has skyrocketed because of the Internet and cheap mp3 players. If more is being consumed but less is being sold, than piracy and other illegal activities account for the difference.

Free music has been available for years (illegal though). Did it help to boost the sales of legal music? No, not a bit, but the contrary.

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