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View Poll Results: Should companies focus on building sales or reducing piracy?
More sales are what counts; don't waste effort fighting piracy. 85 97.70%
Stop piracy first; we can't allow it to go unchecked. 2 2.30%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-20-2008, 12:59 PM   #31
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Just a point, I understand Fictionwise's position; technically making and distributing a copy of a book, even to family is a violation of fair use. That being said, it would not be a violation of fair use to lend one of your reading devices to a family or a friend with said book on it.

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:27 PM   #32
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Ouch! That strikes me as a completely unreasonable restriction, meaning that you're breaking the terms of the licence agreement if, say, you let your partner or children living in the same house read a book that you've bought, even if on your device.
It certainly is a rigid interpretation of copyright that I believe is incorrect. The idea of most software packages that allow you to load them on multiple machines is that you will only be permitted to use them one at a time. This is a consistent model that is modeled after book use. The idea is that you can only be in one place at one time. As applied the eBooks I think the restriction is similar to the book case where only one copy should be in use at one time. This permits sharing an eBook by loaning someone your device to read on or letting them use a version on a different device so long as you are not using it in parallel. This usage mimics the hardcopy book usage which is consistent with the copyright law.

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Old 10-20-2008, 01:36 PM   #33
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Ouch! That strikes me as a completely unreasonable restriction, meaning that you're breaking the terms of the license agreement if, say, you let your partner or children living in the same house read a book that you've bought, even if on your device.
But, look at it like this.. if you email me an eBook you've purchased, a copy has just been made. Now I have a copy and you have a copy. But if you delete your copy, then only I have a copy and that should be legal. But if I tell you I've finished reading and have deleted it from my reader and computer, do you know for sure I have? If I have not, then by your redownloading it, you've just broken the law. If this was a pBook, there would be only one copy and that's legal to loan out. I know you should be able to loan out an eBook. But you still have the ability to download it again if you originally purchased it. Nothing to stop you even when you know I've not yet finished reading it and still have it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:02 PM   #34
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Let me re-phrase it, then: if you buy a textbook from a reputable publisher, you will be be presented with information which is in accordance with generally-accepted theories. Whether those theories are "true" or not is a matter for philosophical discussion .
Or experiment. Susan Sontag once observed that science is the process of disproving theories. Those generally accepted are those that have thus far survived attempts to "cook" them.

If you can't set up an experiment to prove or disprove a theory, it's arguable that what you are dealing with isn't science.

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Like Dennis, some of the "facts" I see presented on the web make me cringe. It's fine to hold unorthodox views, but I think that it's unethical to pretend that those views are "mainstream".
And more important, the reader must have enough knowledge to make an informed judgment about whether the unorthodox theories are credible.

Too much of what I've seen on the Internet is posted by the ignorant, for the ignorant.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:09 PM   #35
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Anyway, I don't see "promoting e-books" and "reducing piracy" to be mutually exclusive... both could conceivably be accomplished with the same steps (an account setup, for instance, that provides extra benefits to the user and so discourages piracy).
The poll didn't present them as an either/or. It simply asked which was the more important focus for the seller's efforts.

You are an ebook author, selling your wares online. Do you spend more time and effort promoting your books so potential readers are aware you exist, and striving to provide books they will feel are well crafted and worth buying? Or do you spend more time worring about how to prevent people from pirating your work?

I know which way I think you jump, and I'd guess you've already voted.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:13 PM   #36
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But, look at it like this.. if you email me an eBook you've purchased, a copy has just been made. Now I have a copy and you have a copy. But if you delete your copy, then only I have a copy and that should be legal. But if I tell you I've finished reading and have deleted it from my reader and computer, do you know for sure I have? If I have not, then by your redownloading it, you've just broken the law. If this was a pBook, there would be only one copy and that's legal to loan out. I know you should be able to loan out an eBook. But you still have the ability to download it again if you originally purchased it. Nothing to stop you even when you know I've not yet finished reading it and still have it.
A good example of why the "physical matter" model simply does not work for e-books, and neither does any copyright or "fair use" statute designed to deal with physical matter. The "physical matter" model was imposed on e-books by the literature industry, because that was the only model they knew. They (and we) need to get outside of that box and work with a different model... either the broadcast media model I've suggested in the past, the software model others have suggested, or a new model altogether. Only in that way can we ascertain a "fair use" model that will be practical and workable.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #37
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Ouch! That strikes me as a completely unreasonable restriction, meaning that you're breaking the terms of the licence agreement if, say, you let your partner or children living in the same house read a book that you've bought, even if on your device.
It might be if taken literally.

But note that Fictionwise allows you to download the book to more than one physical device. You will only read on one at a time, but you might be reading the book on a PDA while a family member reads it on your desktop. Is it against the terms of the license? Probably. Will Fictionwise care (even assuming they know about it in the first place?) I very much doubt it.

They are far more concerned with passing the book along to someone who hasn't bought it, and will read it on a device it isn't licensed for. You could lend one of your licensed devices to someone else to read that book on it, equivalent to lends a paper copy, but how many folks would you lend your device to? I suspect it's a very short list.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:24 PM   #38
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Ultimately, I am far more convinced that DRM is about limiting fair use far more than it is about limiting piracy.
I think you may well be right, as content providers have been dragged kicking and screaming into Fair Use, and I'm sure most would throw a party to celebrate if it went away.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:27 PM   #39
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Well, how about this? Let's say I am visiting my sister, who also has a Fictionwise account. And one day, I am sitting at her physical computer, and it's logged in, and I see her bookshelf and go 'oooh, look.'

Fair so far, right?

Now, let's say she says 'go ahead and download something if you want to.' Still fair, right? It's on her account, on her computer, at her house. Now, let's say we decide to go out into the backyard.

'Why don't I put that on your ipod for you,' she says. 'Then you can bring it out with you.'

Still fair? I'm on my device now, but I'm still in her house, and we know that only one 'copy' of the book is being used at a time...

Now, if this were a p-book and I didn't finish it before I left, I could just take it home with me, couldn't I?

My understanding of 'fair use' is that it applies to what an average person would consider reasonable in a given situation. If I forget to delete the book off my ipod before I leave my sister's house, would a reasonable person assume I am a criminal? Am I what's responsible for the downfall of civilization? I don't think so. In fact, most people would borrow the p-book, and most of us have discovered favourite authors in this way.

Another scenario: my sister decides she is not using her Fictionwise account anymore and tells me I am welcome to help myself to anything that interests me. The last date of download is clearly visible beside each record, so I know when I am logging in that it isn't stuff she is downloading right now. Is it fair for me to take her up on her offer so long as I have reasonable belief that she is really not using it and mine is the only copy in circulation?
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:42 PM   #40
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Ficbot, ultimately fairuse is determined by precedent. For example, we know that timeshift (i.e. recording and rewatching video and/or audio broadcasts) is fair use because the Supreme Court said so in the 1980s. Likewise, I am reasonably sure that they have similarly announced the same for format shifting (i.e., converting from mobi to txt, html, etc). If your sister lent you her reader and you read a book on it, that is a clear example of fair use because it is no different than loaning a regular book. What you are describing however gets to be a rather murky area. As soon as it involves a device that is not your sister's, you enter a legally untested area. My own feeling is that you downloading copies of a work someone else paid for (unless it was paid for as a gift) does not constitute fair use. That being said, the only way to be sure is to get fictionwise or some other ebook publisher to sue you, get the case taken to the supreme court and see what happens .

Let us know how that goes in about 10 years why don't you

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Old 10-20-2008, 03:52 PM   #41
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I think you may well be right, as content providers have been dragged kicking and screaming into Fair Use, and I'm sure most would throw a party to celebrate if it went away.
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I agree with you. In fact, I am quite sure media companies (not necessarily many individual authors) would like to see copyright law revised to establish perpetual copyrights and make all content viewable on some sort of subscription model.

Personally, I find the whole situation a bit silly. Copyright laws long ago extended the requirements that justified their creation (i.e., to encourage the production and publication of creative works). I can't imagine knowing that your grandchildren will continue to obtain royalties for your work is very high on the list of most author's reasons for writing and publishing.

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Old 10-20-2008, 04:12 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
You are an ebook author, selling your wares online. Do you spend more time and effort promoting your books so potential readers are aware you exist, and striving to provide books they will feel are well crafted and worth buying? Or do you spend more time worring about how to prevent people from pirating your work?
I realize others see this as two completely separate choices. I see them both as vital parts of a single business plan, neither of which can be ignored to emphasize the other. Limiting piracy is a prudent step that, like any theft-loss policy, would not be sensible to ignore altogether. They are both part of the same business plan... balancing customer experience against the inconvenience of store security (and perceived loss of profit) is part of the process of promoting the product and the store. It's pointless to promote product that people can get from someone else.

When I first began to create SteveJordanBooks.com, I worked on both issues in equal measure: I wanted to create a quality product, and I wanted to sell them in such a way as to satisfy customers, which would (in theory) limit piracy, as a satisfied customer rarely tries to steal from a vendor they like. At the time, I felt that if I could not do both, there was no reason to sell e-books. So I worked until I found a way to satisfy both aspects.

Today, I can concentrate on promotion and providing quality content, as my secure payment system is already in place and needs no further work at this time. IOW, I don't need to worry about loss mitigation right now... I did my homework. I've got it right where I want it.

This doesn't mean I don't think it is important to mitigate loss. Just like a craftsman who built tables, did not lock his store, and found most of his inventory gone the next morning, you keep working, but you also have to know when it's prudent to put a lock on the door, and to check it periodically to make sure it is working.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:19 PM   #43
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I just hope they will not start with annual licensing, like you pay to get a license to use the book for 3months to 1 year. Then you're no longer to watch it!

You may think it'ssilly, but an Anti-virus subscription works exactly that way and is driving me and many fellow people nuts!
If I buy an anti-virus, with a 1 year subscription, the least I expect is that whenever my computer crashes, and a re-install is needed, that I'd be able to download all the virus library and software updates up until the time my virus subscription expired.
I could agree to pay $60 for an anti-virus that would allow me to stay safe for another 10 years even if it didn't have the latest virus updates.
Maybe then pay for a subscription 3 years later, and download a whole bunch of more updates!

But I despise the anti-virus that just stops working after subscription expided!
I hope books won't get there as well...
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:46 PM   #44
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But I despise the anti-virus that just stops working after subscription expided!
I hope books won't get there as well...
Stop paying for Anti-virus an use free.avg.com. It is top notch stuff for free.

I actually stopped using anti-virus software on my PC. Of course I don't need it for my Mac.

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Old 10-21-2008, 12:13 AM   #45
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If a product is easy to use and reasonably priced people will buy it even if they could pirate it.
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