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Old 01-26-2009, 04:27 PM   #16
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I think there's no point in discussing regulation of a technology, if it can be demonstrated that the technology itself is not worth using in the first place. At any rate, the fact that DRM cannot be secure and hinders sales suggests that any regulation is pointless.
I totally agree with your letter and your position above. I am just wondering if writing to say DRM should not be used is really relevant. I think the FTC is there to regulate things that exist. Then again if we could convince them that DRM restrains free trade will they take a legal anti-DRM stand? I can't see it considering the DMCA.

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Old 01-26-2009, 04:50 PM   #17
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I totally agree with your letter and your position above. I am just wondering if writing to say DRM should not be used is really relevant. I think the FTC is there to regulate things that exist.
They can also refuse to regulate something, and recommend that it not be used... or regulate it in such a way as to actually render it a non-issue. Convincing them (as I tried to suggest) that DRM was actually counter to existing Federal regulations could be a way to get the FTC to regulate it in such a way as to make it so ineffectual that no vendor will bother to use it.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:01 PM   #18
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They can also refuse to regulate something, and recommend that it not be used...
We can wish.

Thanks for taking the time to write and submit this.

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Old 01-27-2009, 03:26 AM   #19
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my comment
http://www.di2.nu/200901/10a.htm
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:43 AM   #20
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The next thing to do might be to take these comments we've submitted... and resend them to our favorite publishers...
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:08 AM   #21
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The next thing to do might be to take these comments we've submitted... and resend them to our favorite publishers...

Ask for a big advance.......
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:49 PM   #22
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Ask for a big advance.......
I meant the publishers that we buy books from. If you're an author... sending one of these to your own publisher might not be the best of ideas...
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I think there's no point in discussing regulation of a technology, if it can be demonstrated that the technology itself is not worth using in the first place. At any rate, the fact that DRM cannot be secure and hinders sales suggests that any regulation is pointless.

If you note the comment wording (https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-DRMtechnologies/), it doesn't specify commenting about regulation of DRM, just DRM in general.

Of course, if you have a different point to make, you should get it into your letter to the FTC...
Actually the biggest format for eBooks (although we don't like it) is PDF and it is not broken and has never been broken. This is part of the reason it is the most popular format. The same technique is being applied to ePUB. Libraries want DRM. As an aside LRX has not been broken. Only the PDA formats have been broken.

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Old 01-27-2009, 05:33 PM   #24
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Steve - I have all your books, the free as well as the purchased and I have not given any of them to anyone else, nor will I. I thoroughly enjoy your broad band mind. Keep it up.

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Old 01-27-2009, 05:47 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Actually the biggest format for eBooks (although we don't like it) is PDF and it is not broken and has never been broken. This is part of the reason it is the most popular format. The same technique is being applied to ePUB. Libraries want DRM. As an aside LRX has not been broken. Only the PDA formats have been broken.

Dale
True... but it's significant that even PDF can be circumvented, simply by printing out and re-copying with OCR. Essentially, no DRM system is perfect: If you can read it, it can be beaten.

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Steve - I have all your books, the free as well as the purchased and I have not given any of them to anyone else, nor will I. I thoroughly enjoy your broad band mind. Keep it up.
Ten-coo!
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:00 PM   #26
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True... but it's significant that even PDF can be circumvented, simply by printing out and re-copying with OCR. Essentially, no DRM system is perfect: If you can read it, it can be beaten.
But that is exactly the same as scanning a paper book. So this is not new. Most of the illegal posted books, I believe, are from Scanning paper books. They usually appear much before eBooks appear.

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Old 01-27-2009, 11:15 PM   #27
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But that is exactly the same as scanning a paper book. So this is not new. Most of the illegal posted books, I believe, are from Scanning paper books. They usually appear much before eBooks appear.
You're right, it isn't new. The point I was making was that DRM ultimately can't circumvent that... if someone wants to, they can still get at the text, even if it's the old-fashioned way. Therefore, DRM is ultimately pointless.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #28
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You're right, it isn't new. The point I was making was that DRM ultimately can't circumvent that... if someone wants to, they can still get at the text, even if it's the old-fashioned way. Therefore, DRM is ultimately pointless.
I wasn't totally disagreeing with the conclusion, just the argument that said all eBook DRM has been cracked anyway. Scanned eBooks are fraught with scan errors that are not corrected which makes them unsuitable for many users anyway which is a possible counter to your conclusion. However, I understand that many publisher eBooks have similar problems currently.

The biggest need, IMHO, is to get the copyrighted but out of print books available again. These do not need DRM to sell.

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:03 PM   #29
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Actually the biggest format for eBooks (although we don't like it) is PDF and it is not broken and has never been broken.
I'm not sure what you mean by "PDF has not been broken."

I work in litigation support; we regularly get discs & hard drives as part of the legal discovery process, with a notation to "print these out, and convert them to tiff to add to our database." When these files include locked PDFs, we crack them. (Legitimately. The original owner who set the password may no longer work for the company, or the files may have been obtained by subpoena from who-knows-where; finding a person who can open them without a cracker is often impossible.)

Cracking password-to-open PDFs takes special (i.e. costly) software. Cracking locked-against-printing PDFs does not. (It takes cheap software.) And once the lock is removed, they can be copied & converted easily.

Doesn't apply to Adobe Digital Editions files, which we've yet to encounter as part of legal discovery. (Hm. I don't think we've ever encountered standard ebook formats; I shudder to think of what our tech crew would do with a set of .lit and .prc files that someone had been using to keep up with their caseload.)

We wind up doing a lot of "convert to tiff & OCR" anyway, because a lot of the PDFs we get are image scans.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:30 PM   #30
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I was talking about neither of the things you mentioned. Stopping printing and passwords are not the DRM although stopping printing is a small part of it. Opening the file in the first place that is DRM protected to a certain id is what is being discussed here. The same algorithm is used for ADE and PDF files that are locked by a publisher to a specific id.

By cracked I mean code that available to the public to use to remove DRM and permit opening a locked eBook (not a password protected eBook). I suspect the NSA probably can decode any of it. Read the wiki article on DRM.
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