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Old 03-06-2008, 10:03 AM   #16
carandol
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Evidently, it works pretty well, and their books are among the least "pirated" around. Go figure.
Since there are in effect an infinite number of any given ebook, I think it goes something like this:

Baen Books Method
Reader: You've got a lot of books there.
Baen: Yeah, you want one? Here. Have one.
Reader: What, for free?
Baen: Sure, why not? I've got plenty.
Reader: Cool. That's really nice, thanks!
Later...
Reader: Hey, that was a really good book. Can I *buy* the next one, cos I'd like to support the author's writing?
Baen: Sure, here you go. And while you're here, try this one for free, you might like this author too.
Reader: Wow, you're really nice, I'll come here again.

Normal Pubisher Method
Reader: You've got a lot of books there.
Publisher: I'll sell you one.
Reader: OK, I'll see what you've got.
Publisher: But you can't show it your friends.
Reader: What?
Publisher: You have to keep it secret. In fact, we put a lock on it, and you have the only key. To stop you sharing it with anyone.
Reader: That seems a bit mean, considering you've got an infinitely large pile of them there. But... well... I really want to read it, so I guess I'll buy one.
Later...
Reader: (hacking at new book with hammer and chisel): Now, if only I can get this damn lock off, I can give it away to everyone. That'll teach them to be so mean and grasping!
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:28 AM   #17
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Normal Pubisher Method
Reader: You've got a lot of books there.
Publisher: I'll sell you one.
Reader: OK, I'll see what you've got.
Publisher: But you can't show it your friends.
Reader: What?
Publisher: You have to keep it secret. In fact, we put a lock on it, and you have the only key. To stop you sharing it with anyone.
There are DRM methods which allow you to share books with a friend or two. Mobi does, for example.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:26 PM   #18
carandol
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There are DRM methods which allow you to share books with a friend or two. Mobi does, for example.
You mean because you're allowed to have a number of DRM codes? Or some other way I don't know about? Because if it's the first, giving out codes to your friends means that many less e-book devices you can buy before you have to buy another copy of the book.

Actually, that's a thought. Would the Mobi PID files on the iLiad transferable to a new iLiad if the old one died? Or are they tied to some internal identification of an individual machine?
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:03 PM   #19
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As I understand it, they are tied to an internal identifier, but you can re-download them with new identifiers when you change devices. Mobipocket's scheme is fairly flexible ... as DRM systems go.
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:26 PM   #20
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As I understand it, they are tied to an internal identifier, but you can re-download them with new identifiers when you change devices. Mobipocket's scheme is fairly flexible ... as DRM systems go.
You can also deactivate old devices that you no longer need since there is a limit to the number of active devices you can have. eReader is even more flexible in its DRM if you are willing to share a credit card number with your friends.

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Old 03-06-2008, 02:34 PM   #21
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They're not really tied to an internal identifier, just to a PID. Ofcource the mobipocket reader software generates a PID based on device information, and it wont accept mobi files with any other PID, but if you know the PID of the mobi file, you can always de-DRM it.

Last edited by kovidgoyal; 03-06-2008 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:58 PM   #22
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As I understand it, they are tied to an internal identifier, but you can re-download them with new identifiers when you change devices. Mobipocket's scheme is fairly flexible ... as DRM systems go.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean my book files, I meant the files called Mobipocket_PID.mbp and Mobipocket_PID.txt. I wondered if those could be transferred to a new machine and allow it to work with the same Mobipocket files as before. One of the potential problems with DRM is that if the company you bought books from goes out of business, or drops DRM products, (as Google Video did with their videos), you're stuck with useless files once you update your hardware.
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Old 03-06-2008, 08:34 PM   #23
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Ah, I see. I'm afraid I don't know for sure. My understanding is that the files are encrypted with some identifier unique to the hardware, which (if accurate) would suggest that moving those files wouldn't help any.

And, yeah, that sort of "orphaned" file is one of the biggest concerns/complaints/hazards of DRM.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:23 PM   #24
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What I do when I purchase eBooks is to immediately remove the DRM soI don't have to remember to do it and I don't have to remember how to do it.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:14 AM   #25
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What I do when I purchase eBooks is to immediately remove the DRM soI don't have to remember to do it and I don't have to remember how to do it.
That may be permissible where you live, Jon, but it would be illegal for many of us.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:16 AM   #26
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Sorry, I wasn't clear. I didn't mean my book files, I meant the files called Mobipocket_PID.mbp and Mobipocket_PID.txt. I wondered if those could be transferred to a new machine and allow it to work with the same Mobipocket files as before.
No; the iLiad simply creates those files from the hardware PID. They are just there for your information so you can find out what the PID is. In other versions of MobiPocket Reader, the PID is displayed in the "About" box of the reader software.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:33 AM   #27
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MaYbe you should, I don't know, BUY THE EBOOKS?
(snip)
If you are going to keep a copy, then do the honorable thing: buy them.
Oh give me a break. This is a market economy. All that counts is supply and demand. Consumers won't buy things they can get for free, or pay higher prices voluntarily. Baen knows this, and he doesn't expect us to buy his books out of guilt or gratitude or honour or whatever. He's banking on two factors: 1) people would rather read paper than electronic books; 2) only the first few books in a series are available for free.

So Baen is making these books available for free, as in a free lunch. No strings attached. He isn't saying you can read them as long as you buy the paper copy. He's just hoping his business technique will afford him some leverage to get you to buy other books that aren't free.

Talking about honour in this context is like defending capitalism by toting "corporate responsibility". Companies will never really be responsible, because their number one priority is the mighty dollar. Likewise, consumers will always favour the lowest price for a quality product.

So how about easing up on people who read books that are available for free and who don't intend on buying the paper copy. Just because you may have been _____ enough to buy the paper book for sentimental reasons, you don't have to feel jealous that others aren't losing money the same way.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:17 AM   #28
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No; the iLiad simply creates those files from the hardware PID. They are just there for your information so you can find out what the PID is. In other versions of MobiPocket Reader, the PID is displayed in the "About" box of the reader software.
Thanks. I suspected as much.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:28 AM   #29
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Oh give me a break. This is a market economy. All that counts is supply and demand. Consumers won't buy things they can get for free, or pay higher prices voluntarily.
I will! And I'm sure I'm not the only person here who is not motivated solely by greed. Only the other day I gave some money to author Richard Herley for the shareware novels he's got on his website; because I liked the books, and thought the author deserved something in return for the work he'd put into them. I also paid some money for the MEPIS Linux I'm running on my laptop, even though I got it for free, to encourage the developer to continue supporting it. If it's purely a supply and demand economy, why are the people who run the MobileBooks forum doing it for free? Why are all the people who make ebooks and post them to this site doing it for free? Why is there so much Open Source Software and Shareware? Why is the Freecycle network thriving? The market economy might be dominant, but it's not the only economy at work in the world, nor necessarily the best.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #30
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I will! And I'm sure I'm not the only person here who is not motivated solely by greed.
Excuse me, are you saying that people who don't pay for things they get for "free" are motivated by greed?

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If it's purely a supply and demand economy, why are the people who run the MobileBooks forum doing it for free? Why are all the people who make ebooks and post them to this site doing it for free? Why is there so much Open Source Software and Shareware? Why is the Freecycle network thriving? The market economy might be dominant, but it's not the only economy at work in the world, nor necessarily the best
Good point. I agree there exists a non market economy, which is good. However, I disapprove of basing this alternate economy on guilt trips or attaching to the use of "free" products the condition that the user pay a fee. In that case, the product is no longer free. Open source software developers, for example, don't expect people to give them money if they like the product, although they do accept donations. That's why it's open source and not shareware. You may offer money graciously to authors or developers whom you appreciate, but you're doing that out of kindness, not out of obligation. If it were an obligation, even just a moral one, you could expect it to be expressed in the licence agreement.
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