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Old 01-04-2008, 08:15 AM   #1
Nate the great
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Could this be Ebooks, 3 Years from now?

Business Week is reporting a rumor.

Quote:
In a move that would mark the end of a digital music era, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is finalizing plans to sell songs without the copyright protection software that has long restricted the use of music downloaded from the Internet, BusinessWeek.com has learned. Sony BMG, a joint venture of Sony and Bertelsmann, will make at least part of its collection available without so-called digital rights management, or DRM, software some time in the first quarter, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sony BMG would become the last of the top four music labels to drop DRM, following Warner Music Group, which in late December said it would sell DRM-free songs through Amazon.com's digital music store. EMI and Vivendi's Universal Music Group announced their plans for DRM-free downloads earlier in 2007.

...

Worse for the labels, the restrictions ultimately resulted in less control over the paid download industry. Because DRM tended to tie consumers to the store most compatible with their music device, the record labels unwittingly gave much of the power over music distribution to Apple, the manufacturer of the most popular digital music player, the iPod. Music industry executives say Apple has not wielded that power lightly. With control of an estimated 80% of the market for legally downloaded music, Apple pushed its preferred price of 99¢ per song over the opposition of several labels, which preferred variable pricing that would allow some artists to sell at a premium.
from:
http://businessweek.com/technology/c...eek+exclusives

If Amazon achieves the market share of Itunes, do you think it will force publishers to drop DRM in order to compete? I hope so.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:25 PM   #2
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But Amazon is in Apple iTunes' position. It will not want DRM dropped. The publishers are the ones who will push for non-DRM if they see things the same way as Sony BMG does. The more successful Amazon is the more they will want things to stay the way they are now.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:48 PM   #3
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I agree with Penforhire - it will be the publishers that some day wake up and say 'duh, DRM restricts the number of people that can or will buy my stuff and benefits the distributor more than it benefits me'.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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Also agreed. Amazon could possibly accelerate the change, if there is enough customer backlash over e-books being tied to the expensive Kindle, or if their success clues publishers in to the parts of the market that they are missing by going exclusively Kindle.
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Old 01-04-2008, 01:05 PM   #5
Nate the great
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@Penforhire
@VillageReader

Given how few words I used, I am surprised that both of you missed the point of my post:

Quote:
If Amazon achieves the market share of Itunes, do you think it will force publishers to drop DRM in order to compete? I hope so.
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:17 PM   #6
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Certainly not in the three year timeframe. Consider the music pathway to this point.

1. Blissfully unaware. (physical sales increasing)

2. Ignore as a small-scale temporary fad. (Physical sales still increasing)

3. Panic. (Physical sales start decreasing)

4. Try to stuff the Genie back into the bottle by sueing every illegal distributor in sight. (Physical sale decreasing rate accelerates)

5. Double panic. Shift to sueing <everybody> in sight, even people so poor that they would never get their legal costs back. (Physical sales still decrease.)

6. Try to salvage business by offering what the public wants, but on <their> terms. (No luck, sales still decreasing.)

7. Final desperation ploy, hire technological marketing company (Apple) to get public to buy their product. Cede whatever the company asks. (Last gasp desperation. Wonders of wonders, it <works>.)

8. Realize hired company now owns them (effectively), not the other way around. (Fear and loathing. Desperately looking for a way to power back.)

9. Do what the public wanted (maybe) back at 1. (Here we are...)

This took 12-15 years to occur. The book publishing business is currently between 1. and 2. I'm ignore successful genre e-book publishers. Indie labels weren't into heavy DRM (mostly) either.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:43 PM   #7
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@Nate, I assumed by "it" you meant Amazon, the subject of your sentence. Can some English student jump in here and tell us which of us should be surprised? I was hot-stuff diagramming sentences many years ago but I might have lost my touch.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:52 PM   #8
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I see your point. I'm wrong, sorry. I should have used "that".

...do you think that will force publishers to drop DRM...

My usage made perfect sense to me, but then I've always had an odd perception of the English language.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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I agree with your proposal but I still fear e-readers are a tiny segment of the market. I ask everyone I run into if they ever heard of e-ink or e-readers and only a few people have a clue what I'm talking about. I'm trying to be an e-reader evangelist because I want further development. The Kindle is not making a dent yet.

The funny thing is they had the Kindle splashed on Amazon's front page for months but even Amazon users go "huh?" when I ask them. E-readers are not yet mainstream American devices. We're just hanging out in a rarified crowd here.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:02 PM   #10
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Other threads on this site have questioned the staying power of the current dedicated readers, and suggest that any system based on them will fail as the devices do (if not sooner). However, as (or if) the devices bring more people to the e-book market, we may finally see publishers taking their own steps to secure that market beyond the short-term market that dedicated readers may represent.

This could mean universal (non-proprietary) formats, new readers designed to more universal specifications, or new sales models that serve to remove DRM from the equation. Hopefully, the publishers will see how proprietary formats will not help them in the long run, and take action to ensure interoperability with as many devices as possible.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:05 PM   #11
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My wildcat prediction: Apple does a deal with eReader to get ebook content into iTunes and on the iPod Touch and iPhone, and e ink and dedicated ebook readers become a footnote in history.

I'm still not sorry I bought an iLiad, though. It meets my scholastic needs, even if I doubt its mainstream success.

Edit: and regarding the timeline for the publishers to demand abandonment of DRM: probably somewhat less than for the music world, but not as much less as it should be-- I think the book publishers will learn from the experience of the music publishers, but not as quickly as logic would suggest.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
My wildcat prediction: Apple does a deal with eReader to get ebook content into iTunes and on the iPod Touch and iPhone, and e ink and dedicated ebook readers become a footnote in history.

I'm still not sorry I bought an iLiad, though. It meets my scholastic needs, even if I doubt its mainstream success.
What about those of us who don't buy Apple products?
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
@Penforhire
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Given how few words I used, I am surprised that both of you missed the point of my post:
But Nate, I was commenting on Penforhire's post, not yours
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:02 PM   #14
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What about those of us who don't buy Apple products?
I suspect if Apple actually does what I'm predicting, Amazon will switch to supporting multi-function devices shortly thereafter.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:41 PM   #15
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@neko: Funny, you don't look that wild.

My take*: Apple won't take that step until (and unless) they create an "iNewton" device, significantly larger than the iPhone and iPod. Then they will go after magazines, not books, to take advantage of their color screens, and to go for lucrative subscription-based content. Their touch system would prove very attractive for clip-and-save, archiving and "scrap-booking" magazine content, and those glossy magazine photos would look great.

Books will come after the iNewton proves to be so incredibly popular among the younger generation that it begins to rope the elders in, too.

*You gotta have a dream. If you don't have a dream... how you gonna have a dream come true?
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