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Old 01-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #76
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I often wonder if content providers really think of DRM as security against piracy or as consumer lock in.
I'd say providers use proprietary formats to create customer lock-in more than DRM. DRM, though intended for security, mostly just helps to cement the lock-in. But as it does it in more of a threatening way, it turns off customers.

DRM in the e-book field is pretty much used as a clumsily-wielded stick. The e-book industry needs to start offering more carrots--like standard formats and reasonable prices--so customers will play their game, and they can put the DRM-stick down and out of the way.

(Say... does anyone else hear screaming, somewhere off in the distance?

Oh... I think that's pshrynk, running pell-mell through the halls. Anybody got a carrot for pshrynk, to calm him down?)
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:22 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I'd say providers use proprietary formats to create customer lock-in more than DRM. DRM, though intended for security, mostly just helps to cement the lock-in. But as it does it in more of a threatening way, it turns off customers.

DRM in the e-book field is pretty much used as a clumsily-wielded stick. The e-book industry needs to start offering more carrots--like standard formats and reasonable prices--so customers will play their game, and they can put the DRM-stick down and out of the way.

(Say... does anyone else hear screaming, somewhere off in the distance?

Oh... I think that's pshrynk, running pell-mell through the halls. Anybody got a carrot for pshrynk, to calm him down?)
I don't, but I have a Door Into Summer for him at only a modestly extortionant fee....
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:54 PM   #78
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DRM is terrible imo. It is aimed to reduce copyright infringement but it usually gets bypassed by crackers anyway. All it really ends up doing is annoying people who paid for an e-book but can't share it with a friend or colleague (like they used to easily with analogue books)
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:43 AM   #79
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This has been a great discussion. I'd just like to comment on a few things said. I agree that DRM isn't "evil". In fact I wouldn't even mind it if I didn't notice it was there. I got a kick out of DRM being described as a feature though. It reminds me of the early days of Windows when bugs were often referred to as features. Finally, don't make the mistake of thinking that customer attitudes for ebook readers will be the same as those for mp3 buyers. The average reader is not the same person as the average music customer. This is a professional opinion on my part as a teacher.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:54 AM   #80
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TI agree that DRM isn't "evil". In fact I wouldn't even mind it if I didn't notice it was there.
The same here. I only "noticed" it a week or so ago, when 6 of my books on Fictionwise were marked as not able to be downloaded again after January.

I don't know how it works with other formats, but I can add 4 PID's with my books and re-download them. That's more than enough for me, especially as I am able to change those PID's on file. So, if I buy a new PC, which would cause my PC PID to change, I can update it and re-download the book I want. But, now I can't redownload 5 of those 6 books (1 has been replaced with a format I'm not familiar with and don't even have a reader for), I will be pragmatic and strip the DRM as soon as I won't be able to read those books on my devices anymore (as I do plan on buying another device this year).
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:09 AM   #81
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"This isn't really a bug, but an undocumented feature" predates Windows by several years...

http://groups.google.com/group/net.b...n&dmode=source

is the earliest source I could find, but it's obviously in general use even then.

Paul

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I got a kick out of DRM being described as a feature though. It reminds me of the early days of Windows when bugs were often referred to as features.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:16 AM   #82
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At this point, I might as well forego the abstract discussion and go on record with my "official position," as an author and bookseller: That DRM is simply unnecessary.

My operating premise is that most customers who feel they are getting a good deal generally do not try to rip off the people who gave them that deal, nor do they encourage others to rip that person off. I sell my e-books at a low price, my customers can read my e-books on quite literally anything that can display text, and get a well-written story, cleanly produced and professionally packaged. Customers feel they are being treated well, getting a good book at a good price, and so they treat me well by not trying to take advantage of me.

I do not apply DRM to my books, because I accept that I have no control over the fate of an e-book file once it is in someone else's hands... once possessed, it can be re-ripped, converted, passed on, etc, as the possessor desires, and there's very little I can do about it, practically speaking. Therefore, I fall back on the reasoning of the first paragraph.

I operate based on this theory, in the understanding that if I continue to make money on my site, I will continue to sell e-books. If I find I am making no money, or feeling I'm just being taken advantage of, I will stop. (This is why I took my books out of the Kindle store, after a year of underperformance.) After 3 years online now, I feel I can say that the theory seems to hold water, and I plan to continue selling e-books accordingly.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:21 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I'd say providers use proprietary formats to create customer lock-in more than DRM. DRM, though intended for security, mostly just helps to cement the lock-in. But as it does it in more of a threatening way, it turns off customers.
That is only true if it is a very complicated format that is hard to program for. For the ebook formats it is the DRM that is the lock-in since it is easy to convert between different formats and get a useful result.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #84
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That is only true if it is a very complicated format that is hard to program for. For the ebook formats it is the DRM that is the lock-in since it is easy to convert between different formats and get a useful result.
Don't forget, the average consumer doesn't want to go through that much trouble. So they take formats (and DRM) as-is, do not convert from one format to another, and therefore get locked-in. The more tech-savvy customer may go through these steps, but they are in the minority. Regular format-shifting generally only occurs when easy-to-use SW tools become commonly available (like Adobe PDF).
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:31 AM   #85
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Don't forget, the average consumer doesn't want to go through that much trouble. So they take formats (and DRM) as-is, do not convert from one format to another, and therefore get locked-in. The more tech-savvy customer may go through these steps, but they are in the minority. Regular format-shifting generally only occurs when easy-to-use SW tools become commonly available (like Adobe PDF).
And I think that if there were no DRM then these tools would be commonly available on all platforms so it is easy to convert for everybody and when ePub rule the world the tools are not longer needed.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:28 AM   #86
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"This isn't really a bug, but an undocumented feature" predates Windows by several years...

http://groups.google.com/group/net.b...n&dmode=source

is the earliest source I could find, but it's obviously in general use even then.

Paul
I remember the simple definition of a bug from my days taking programming classes, long before windows came around (~1984):
Quote:
Is it a bug or a feature? If the program crashed, it's a bug; otherwise it's a feature!
Okay, Windows came out the next year, but did not really pick up speed until version 3.0, which was not until 1990.

The Bandit

Last edited by GntlmnBndt; 01-23-2009 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Added dates
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