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Old 01-22-2009, 08:40 AM   #61
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
Some interresting facts:

* you are only allowed to create a few copies (it's not specified how many a few is)
* you are only allowed to use those copies yourself, for practice, study or personal use
* you are allowed to tell others to make the copy (except for music)
* you don't have to be the legal owner of the material
Did you maybe miss one point: You are not allowed to profit off a copy?

Using phrases like "a few" illustrates that these laws are not considered "hard and fast" laws, but are basically guidelines designed to allow the law to selectively punish people who are seen to be abusing the system, while allowing others violating the same rules to get off. It's the kind of law you create when you know that you can't possibly punish everyone, but you want to be able to at least punish particular abusers using the legal system, with the idea of discouraging others from being abusers.

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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I take your point, but I really do wonder how many people actually care about such things. I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority really don't give two hoots about it - they just want to be able to conveniently buy a book and read it. We, on this board, certainly aren't representative of the "typical" eBook reader!
I agree. DRM is essentially used as a security device in electronic sales. Customers put up with all manner of security (in America, these usually include hidden cameras, metal detectors, anti-theft packaging and undercover cops), and often pay those security steps no mind, if it is convenient to getting their product. The trick is always to find the balance between convenience and annoying, and stay on the convenient end of the spectrum.

The Kindle strikes that balance. And yes, so does iTunes: DRM on music was acceptable, thanks to the convenience created by other features of the store, and as the market changes, removing DRM and depending on other security devices (like your registration) keeps things convenient.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:08 AM   #62
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Quote:
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I agree. DRM is essentially used as a security device in electronic sales. Customers put up with all manner of security (in America, these usually include hidden cameras, metal detectors, anti-theft packaging and undercover cops), and often pay those security steps no mind, if it is convenient to getting their product. The trick is always to find the balance between convenience and annoying, and stay on the convenient end of the spectrum.

The Kindle strikes that balance. And yes, so does iTunes: DRM on music was acceptable, thanks to the convenience created by other features of the store, and as the market changes, removing DRM and depending on other security devices (like your registration) keeps things convenient.
I agree with you about the security we accept as the norm because it is a part of everyday life. The issue of DRM as a security device is also valid, although most security devices that are on physical purchases made in a store are deactivated at checkout. It is that point that makes DRM frustrating for some.

I don't really have a problem with DRM as copyright protection, just as I don't have a problem with copywright protection on DVD movies I purchase; I have no interest in making copies for myself or for anyone else. Not everyone who buys an ebook is planning or even willing to upload the book for general distribution or to share with friends. I would imagine that those who actually do pirating are in the minority. The problem with DRM is that unlike DVD players, the devices that are available do not use one universal format. If I want to read a book on my Sony 700, Ebookwise 1150, HP Ipaq, Ipod, or whatever, I should have that ability without having to buy the ebook in multiple formats. A universal book format with DRM would be the ultimate solution, at least for me.

Apple realized this point and took steps to make sure that their would be access for anyone who wanted to buy music, regardless of where they played that music and what format that required. I can now purchase a song on Itunes and legally (and easily) convert it to a format that will play in Windows Media, which I could not do before the changes at Apple. Making things easier on the music consumer will only help the struggling music industry in the long run. Hopefully, someone in the struggling publishing industry will take note, although they are a few years behind the music industry when it comes to the digital market.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:26 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Did you maybe miss one point: You are not allowed to profit off a copy?

Using phrases like "a few" illustrates that these laws are not considered "hard and fast" laws, but are basically guidelines designed to allow the law to selectively punish people who are seen to be abusing the system, while allowing others violating the same rules to get off. It's the kind of law you create when you know that you can't possibly punish everyone, but you want to be able to at least punish particular abusers using the legal system, with the idea of discouraging others from being abusers.
You're only allowed to make a copy for personal use. Which means you can't sell it or even give it away. How could you make a profit then?

It's a kind of law that hasn't been changed since the dawn of humanity (from when the only real copies were carbon copies).

Also, "a few" depends on the media. Why would I need 10 copies of a book? I only have 1 reader, so I have 2 copies (one on my pc, one on my reader). But there can be good reasons why I have 5 copies of that CD. One copy in the living room, one in the bedroom, 2 for my kids and one in the car. In the end, that's where the judge comes in, to interpret "a few".
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:49 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I take your point, but I really do wonder how many people actually care about such things.
I think it is less about them caring and more about them not knowing. I bet the majority of iTunes users don't know that if they went an bought a Zune or a Sandisk MP3 player that none of their iTune songs would work on them. If that happens this will be the point that they DO card. Not only will they care, they will be quite upset.

BOb

PS: Yes, I know that most songs on iTunes are now DRM free and soon all will be. But, previously purchased music will retain the DRM unless you upgrade them which I am pretty sure you have to pay for $.30 a song.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:35 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazbates View Post

I don't really have a problem with DRM as copyright protection, just as I don't have a problem with copywright protection on DVD movies I purchase; I have no interest in making copies for myself or for anyone else. Not everyone who buys an ebook is planning or even willing to upload the book for general distribution or to share with friends. I would imagine that those who actually do pirating are in the minority. The problem with DRM is that unlike DVD players, the devices that are available do not use one universal format. If I want to read a book on my Sony 700, Ebookwise 1150, HP Ipaq, Ipod, or whatever, I should have that ability without having to buy the ebook in multiple formats. A universal book format with DRM would be the ultimate solution, at least for me.


Kaz
Granted, but it is not only the format that is the issue, but the PID that is carried by each reading unit.
One book for your Sony 700 will not, immediately, be readable on a replacement Sony 700 - until you download the book (again) with a new PID.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I really do wonder how many people actually care about such things. I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority really don't give two hoots about it!
I agree with this. However, I also believe the overwhelming majority has no problem with free downloads from torrents or megaupload... they just don't know how to get them, and won't be bothered to find out.

And while they don't care about "DRM," they *do* care that they can't play their music on a new device, can't transfer their ebook to their iPhone. And finding out why teaches them about DRM, and then they become concerned about what other rights they thought they had have been removed by publishers and sales sites that don't explain what they're really selling.

Using the same language to describe e-products as they'd use for physical products ("buy this book!" and "new album by SuperBand at half price today!" and "collect the whole set!") leads customers to believe they're getting something that works, within the limitations of digital technology, much like a physical product... which means "I can take it anywhere" and "I can give it to a friend when I'm done" and "I keep it forever."

And while they blithely click through the "register your device" options when setting it up, they may not realize that means it's unusable on other devices--because they've been lulled by the concept that they are buying a thing, not licensing use.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:15 PM   #67
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And while they don't care about "DRM," they *do* care that they can't play their music on a new device, can't transfer their ebook to their iPhone. And finding out why teaches them about DRM, and then they become concerned about what other rights they thought they had have been removed by publishers and sales sites that don't explain what they're really selling.
To be fair, that problem doesn't exist solely with electronic files (I remember as a kid seeing people buying cheap portable radios, and only afterward discovering that they didn't play FM stations)... it's just that culturally, the tech and the differences are so fresh that most people haven't fixed it in their heads to take that into consideration, and most salespeople are not trained to inquire or specify the differences (or outright told not to mention them).

As time goes by, the public will pay attention to that detail, and companies concerned about alienating some customers will either switch to universal formats, or adopt the most popular formats (the way MP3 became popular).
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:53 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
To be fair, that problem doesn't exist solely with electronic files (I remember as a kid seeing people buying cheap portable radios, and only afterward discovering that they didn't play FM stations)... it's just that culturally, the tech and the differences are so fresh that most people haven't fixed it in their heads to take that into consideration, and most salespeople are not trained to inquire or specify the differences (or outright told not to mention them).

As time goes by, the public will pay attention to that detail, and companies concerned about alienating some customers will either switch to universal formats, or adopt the most popular formats (the way MP3 became popular).
Now they still buy analogue radios when there are timescales in the UK for radios to all become digital.....
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:57 PM   #69
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I think standard format is a bigger issue. Debra
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:13 PM   #70
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Quote:
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Granted, but it is not only the format that is the issue, but the PID that is carried by each reading unit.
One book for your Sony 700 will not, immediately, be readable on a replacement Sony 700 - until you download the book (again) with a new PID.
Thank you for the information. I have not downloaded any ebooks from the Sony store, so did not know about the PID! I'll be more careful where and how I purchase ebooks for my Sony from now on.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:44 PM   #71
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Surely DRM is going to go or get revamped into something more consumer friendly. I dont need all of my ebooks but some of them are for reference and they are used on multiple devices.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:12 PM   #72
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Surely DRM is going to go or get revamped into something more consumer friendly. I dont need all of my ebooks but some of them are for reference and they are used on multiple devices.
I'm sure DRM will continue to evolve. I expect to see different versions depending on the product, i.e., entertainment lit will probably use a different flavor of DRM than educational (textbook) lit, etc.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:29 PM   #73
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I think standard format is a bigger issue. Debra
Standard format is huge - and DRM is one of the biggest barriers to that standard format. I don't care about the copy protection issue so much as the fact that I can't read all my books on all my devices due to DRM restrictions.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:55 PM   #74
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Standard format is huge - and DRM is one of the biggest barriers to that standard format. I don't care about the copy protection issue so much as the fact that I can't read all my books on all my devices due to DRM restrictions.
Heh... One might think that a standard format would fix the sitch, but once EPUB files are available with DRM from either eReader or Adobe, I don't think the common format will help much. Then again, hoping for a single DRM solution doesn't seem to help either: most of the Kindle books use essentially standard Mobi DRM, but Amazon has still managed to partition off Mobi and Kindle customers into different stores with different books available.

I am becoming convinced that Gutenberg himself could climb out of his unmarked grave, just to give us a universal solution, and the major players would search for a way to fracture the market.

The Bandit
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:33 PM   #75
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I often wonder if content providers really think of DRM as security against piracy or as consumer lock in. It only takes one illegal copy going up on the Internet to have that book or song widely downloadable. For years, most songs you could purchase and download had DRM when anyone could buy the CD, rip it, and upload it. It only punished honest customers by keeping them tied to a given store/device partnership. You're not going to stop people from sharing files by tacking on DRM. It's hard to imagine that publishers could actually fail to understand this.
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