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Old 10-11-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
DonaldL.
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A Leaked Contract Reveals that Amazon Insists on DRM

A Leaked Contract Reveals that Amazon Insists on DRM

Quote:
Jeff Bezos likes to say that Amazon is agnostic on the topic of DRM, but if the boilerplate contract I have sitting in front of me is any indication then I think he might not be telling the whole truth.
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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Or possibly not, if you read the first two comments after the post.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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Yeah, I think the first two comments pretty-much say it all.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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Hmm? Boilerplates are just that. Boilerplates. Someone seems to be trying to make something out of nothing.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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Cool "Amazon Insists on DRM" is codswallop!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
Hmm? Boilerplates are just that. Boilerplates. Someone seems to be trying to make something out of nothing.


The section in question:

"Unless we mutually agree otherwise, we will use DRM in
connection with the download of the eBooks, and we may use any
available digital book DRM technolog"

...simply says that the default is for Amazon to apply DRM. Hugh Howey is a prime example of no DRM on any of his Amazon distributed books.

"Amazon Insists on DRM" is codswallop!

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Old 10-11-2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alansplace View Post


The section in question:

"Unless we mutually agree otherwise, we will use DRM in
connection with the download of the eBooks, and we may use any
available digital book DRM technolog"

...simply says that the default is for Amazon to apply DRM. Hugh Howey is a prime example of no DRM on any of his Amazon distributed books.

"Amazon Insists on DRM" is codswallop!

Except that if you had read the entire post you would have noticed that Jeff Bezos says that Amazon only uses DRM when content creators insist on it. He is contradicted by this contract clause, which as you say defaults in favor of DRM.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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As a general rule it's easier (cheaper) to remove a clause from a boilerplate contract than it is to insert one. My only quibble with Amazon's 'default' is that many people no longer negotiate with major corporations any more. Usually I think that's their problem but in this case it does hurt all of us. People need to really read, and think about, any contract they're asked to sign.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:03 PM   #8
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Cool paraphrasing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Except that if you had read the entire post you would have noticed that Jeff Bezos says that Amazon only uses DRM when content creators insist on it. He is contradicted by this contract clause, which as you say defaults in favor of DRM.
You're, IMHO, paraphrasing Jeff Bezos inaccurately. He (according to the article) actually says:

“If the rights owner wants DRM, we do DRM. If the rights owner doesn’t want DRM, we don’t do DRM.”

IMHO, a person could legitimately imply from the above quote that the "rights owner" is assumed to "want DRM" if they don't state that they don't want DRM.

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Old 10-11-2013, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Unless we mutually agree otherwise, we will use DRM in connection with the download of the eBooks, and we may use any available digital book DRM technology.
I don't really read this as "insist". The potential to override is explicitly mentioned.

If I were going to question something it would be the fact that the clause states that the agreement to override this clause needs to be mutual. It might be interesting to understand why Amazon also needs to agree on a DRM-free position from the publisher. There might be something quite logical there that I'm unaware of, but if it's solely in the publisher's power to have DRM removed, I would expect the wording to reflect that. If I were to sign that I might first ask: "Under what circumstances wouldn't you agree with us to remove the DRM from our books?"
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
I don't really read this as "insist". The potential to override is explicitly mentioned.

If I were going to question something it would be the fact that the clause states that the agreement to override this clause needs to be mutual. It might be interesting to understand why Amazon also needs to agree on a DRM-free position from the publisher. There might be something quite logical there that I'm unaware of, but if it's solely in the publisher's power to have DRM removed, I would expect the wording to reflect that. If I were to sign that I might first ask: "Under what circumstances wouldn't you agree with us to remove the DRM from our books?"
So many people have told me that I am wrong (including an engineer who has years of experience in negotiating contracts) that I am throwing in the towel.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
If I were to sign that I might first ask: "Under what circumstances wouldn't you agree with us to remove the DRM from our books?"
Good question.
Off the top of my head, I'd guess that retroactive DRM-free publishing might be one case since it would require refreshing all the downloaded copies. If a big publisher decided to do it for all their titles the bandwidth cost would be substantial.

Beyond that, given that it is an Amazon-drafted boilerplate and that corporate lawyers strive to minimize their client's contractual obligations, it might not mean anything.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:25 AM   #12
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I once had a work contract which stated: (loosely translated) if all three parties agree, the employee will move from the current employer to the employer where the employee is sub-contracted. Where the three parties where me, the company where I was actually working for (the one that payed my salary) and the company I did the actual job.

Even though that contract was specifically made so that I would go over to that second company, it still stated that the first company also had to agree. So, I think it's just a standard way to put such choices in a contract.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:26 AM   #13
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Of course Bezos insisted on DRM. He doesn't want anybody to buy ebooks from his site and use them with another device not made by his company. And he doesn't want anybody to buy ebooks from another company and use them with device made by his company. He wants a closed system in which he can control everything.

He does this by first insisting on DRM and second by insisting on a proprietary format no other company uses.

This is why I refuse to buy Kindle Fire or any other tablets that use closed system in which one must buy apps from the device manufacturer in order to use them with the device. We are losing control with Kindle e-reader already and I don't want to buy another device where Amazon or Apple can pull the string on me.

Last edited by Julius Caesar; 10-12-2013 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:52 AM   #14
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For what it is worth I know that the small press for whom I design ebooks sells through Amazon, and from the very first ebook have _not_ used DRM.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
Hmm? Boilerplates are just that. Boilerplates. Someone seems to be trying to make something out of nothing.
This.
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