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Old 10-07-2008, 07:52 AM   #16
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I prefer the eReader drm to the mobi drm. I don't want Apple authorizing or deauthorizing my 'devices' for me. I think eReader will still survive as an app because it is tied to the Fictionwise site, so they could say it is just like Facebook for iPhone or Google for iPhone. I already have Fictionwise content, and would want to kep being able to read it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:34 AM   #17
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Flumbo,
If they did it that way, they might be successful, though frankly they would need to make it easy for people to import their current books into their iBooks library . As it is, fictionwise makes it pretty easy to access any book you have bought from them in the past as long as you have a wifi connection (or I imagine a wireless signal if you are using the phone).

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Old 10-07-2008, 08:37 AM   #18
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The problem is that Mobipocket often has more new releases than eReader. I have a large library of Mobipocket books from my Palm and Winmo days but can't do anything with them on the iPhone.
I forgot to address this earlier... I suppose it all depends on what you want to read. I went fictionwise and I found more Science Fiction Books that were readable under ereader (secure or multiformat) than I found on mobipocket's site. So I think for practical purposes, there is probably plenty to read for anyone.

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Old 10-07-2008, 10:11 AM   #19
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I've had zero issues with getting all but drm-ed LRF and drm-ed epub onto the iPhone.

For content from fictionwise/ereader, just buy in the ereader format; they sync down to the iTouch/iPhone rather quickly.

If you have just about any non-DRMed format, you can open it on your computer using Stanza, open up stanza on the iPhone, and the computer version of stanza should be listed in the shared books section of the iPhone stanza. Transferring takes about 10-30 secs. Easy peasy.

If you have DRM-ed mobipocked, you just need to go though an additional step of removing the DRM; once you do that, it loads up in stanza just fine.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:52 AM   #20
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Just a minor nitpick, but isn't defeating copy protection, even if you have no intention of distributing the work to others a crime in the United States?

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Old 10-07-2008, 04:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bill_mchale View Post
I forgot to address this earlier... I suppose it all depends on what you want to read. I went fictionwise and I found more Science Fiction Books that were readable under ereader (secure or multiformat) than I found on mobipocket's site. So I think for practical purposes, there is probably plenty to read for anyone.

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Sci-Fi is also my time-waster of choice. I appreciate the big back catalog of sci-fi stories on fictionwise, but it seems like the new releases I'm looking for don't make it there. For instance, John Scalzi's latest book is available on Mobi but not eReader/Fictionwise. Most of Harry Turtledove's books make it to Mobi, but only a few are on eReader. John Varley's latest book is on Mobi(only one of his books!) but not eReader.

Of course there are many more that aren't available at either store like recent Larry Niven, Vernor Vinge or Robert Charles Wilson. I'm sure it goes both ways, but my luck finding what I want to buy lately has been poor.
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:05 PM   #22
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If you have DRM-ed mobipocked, you just need to go though an additional step of removing the DRM; once you do that, it loads up in stanza just fine.
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Just a minor nitpick, but isn't defeating copy protection, even if you have no intention of distributing the work to others a crime in the United States?
I'm with Bill-- I'm shocked, shocked to find out DRM can be defeated. So, just to make sure I never accidentally break the law how does that work exactly? I would hate to drop my iPhone and find that all the DRM bits have broken off and oozed out through the headphone port. There'd be electrons everywhere! I'd be cleaning for hours.

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Old 10-07-2008, 04:17 PM   #23
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Just a minor nitpick, but isn't defeating copy protection, even if you have no intention of distributing the work to others a crime in the United States?
If it is illegal, then this is because of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). This act explicitly says that it does not remove any fair use protections to copyright, but most legal cases seem to have come down against this (i.e. it probably does remove fair use protections). Format shifting is a fair use in the US, see Clarification, please.. For ebooks in particular, there are exceptions to the DMCA that may make it legal to format shift most DRMed ebooks, see Mobipocket announcements at IDPF conference.

The practical answer is who would know and who would care if you format shift for personal use.
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:38 PM   #24
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Okay, so...let's make this a specific hypothetical, and one that will sidestep the rights question:

Suppose I download my own novel, From a Changeling Star, from Fictionwise. It's listed as having Read-Aloud disabled for all formats except .LIT. But suppose I chose another format like Mobipocket or eReader and I wanted to enable those to be read aloud. How would I do that? (Remember, I'm the copyright holder.)

I actually have no experience whatever with read-aloud software, so I don't even know if those particular formats are compatible even without the DRM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:11 PM   #25
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I think the whole DRM argument is silly. If I wanted to let my mother read my copy of any book in paper, I could do this in five minutes and it wouldn't be illegal at all. Or she could go get it from the library for free. Anyone who wants free books just for the sake of having free books has plenty of legal ways they can get them.

My sister has in the past given me access to her Fictionwise account. About 95% of it didn't interest me because she's a little more into the smut than I am Of the fifty-off titles she showed me, I did download two of them. One of them was okay, I am not sorry I read it but it would not have been something I would have picked out on my own and I did not, as a result of reading it, seek out any of the author's other books. The other was the first in a series. I really liked it. But as I said, my sister has different tastes than me. She did not like it so much and only had book 1. So I did go out and buy the subsequent ones on my own. I don't feel like I did anything illegal, either. I don't see the difference in that and in my sister loaning me a print book and then the same result happening: either it was not for me, in which case I would not have bought it anyway, or I liked it and am on my own for acquiring the author's other works, as it should be Either way, in e or not, the author who has won me over on their merits gains a sale they would not have otherwise had because I get introduced to their work by another reader. So what's the problem?
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:50 PM   #26
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Okay, so...let's make this a specific hypothetical, and one that will sidestep the rights question:

Suppose I download my own novel, From a Changeling Star, from Fictionwise. It's listed as having Read-Aloud disabled for all formats except .LIT. But suppose I chose another format like Mobipocket or eReader and I wanted to enable those to be read aloud. How would I do that? (Remember, I'm the copyright holder.)

I actually have no experience whatever with read-aloud software, so I don't even know if those particular formats are compatible even without the DRM.
Read-Aloud I am not sure about, but if I understand DMCA correctly, breaking encryption based copy protection on media is a crime in and of itself. Therefore, if you downloaded a DRM'd version of your own work, and then broke the copy protection on it, you are in fact technically breaking the law; if I understand it correctly, this would be the case, even if as the author of the book in question, you could simply take the original document and convert into a DRM free version.

Essentially, fair use, and if I understand it correctly, authorial ownership has nothing to do with it. Essentially, you have to have explicit permission of the owner of the DRM to break it (otherwise CS students in cryptography classes everywhere would be going to jail).

I know all of this is silly. Personally, I understand why some form of DRM might be necessary, but for the most part, the current legal structure is draconian, and really serves no purpose. Real pirates (i.e. those who copy intellectual properly without permission and distribute it widely) are never stopped by DRM. That being said, I would prefer stay safe and avoid what I consider to be draconian DRM'd books. Non-DRM and and non-centrally served DRM (like eReader) are the only books I am planning on buying.

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Old 10-07-2008, 05:53 PM   #27
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I think the whole DRM argument is silly. If I wanted to let my mother read my copy of any book in paper, I could do this in five minutes and it wouldn't be illegal at all. Or she could go get it from the library for free. Anyone who wants free books just for the sake of having free books has plenty of legal ways they can get them.

My sister has in the past given me access to her Fictionwise account. About 95% of it didn't interest me because she's a little more into the smut than I am Of the fifty-off titles she showed me, I did download two of them. One of them was okay, I am not sorry I read it but it would not have been something I would have picked out on my own and I did not, as a result of reading it, seek out any of the author's other books. The other was the first in a series. I really liked it. But as I said, my sister has different tastes than me. She did not like it so much and only had book 1. So I did go out and buy the subsequent ones on my own. I don't feel like I did anything illegal, either. I don't see the difference in that and in my sister loaning me a print book and then the same result happening: either it was not for me, in which case I would not have bought it anyway, or I liked it and am on my own for acquiring the author's other works, as it should be Either way, in e or not, the author who has won me over on their merits gains a sale they would not have otherwise had because I get introduced to their work by another reader. So what's the problem?

Because legally, you made a full copy of a work that you were not given permission to make a copy of by the author of said work. It would legally be the same as if you just made photo-copies of your sister's books for yourself (but much easier of course). Generally, I think the courts have found such copies to stretch beyond the bounds of fair use for private indivduals (I think it is sometimes ok for teachers....).

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Old 10-07-2008, 11:05 PM   #28
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It's listed as having Read-Aloud disabled for all formats except .LIT. But suppose I chose another format like Mobipocket or eReader and I wanted to enable those to be read aloud. How would I do that?
Note that this title is a FictionWise Multi-Format ebook, so it does not have DRM.

So far as I can tell, the only "major" Reader with a built-in read aloud option is MS Reader. There are also accessibility tools that can read off the screen, but the problem for DRMed reader software is that 3rd party text to speech starts with text and if the speech app can get the text so can a DRM cracking program. So none of the reader apps "cooperate" with text to speech programs.

I have never seen text to speech enabled on a DRM ebook (it would only be effective for LIT anyway, since the others don't have text to speech). This means that the following current, November 2006, exception from the prohibition against circumvention of access-control technology in the DMCA (see Wikipedia) probably applies to all ebooks, and they can all be format shifted for personal use by anyone in the US:

Quote:
Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book’s read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.
The only certain exception to the exception would be when the publisher makes a version available via an 'authorized entity' (a nonprofit organization or a governmental agency that has a primary mission to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities). Perhaps all publishers are routinely doing this, but I have not seen any "outreach" e.g. when I buy an ebook there isn't a FAQ saying read aloud disabled but go to this web site to get a free version if you need this capability.

Note that writing DRM cracking programs and helping others get them working is still illegal, even when using such programs is legal.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:18 AM   #29
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How do I know if my Mobipocket book is DRM? Its a .prc file. I thought I could use Bookshelf to read mobipocket books?
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:14 PM   #30
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Can anyone answer my question? Also is there a reader that I can use to read my purchased ebook from mobipocket? Its a .prc file
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