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Old 02-04-2009, 01:25 PM   #1
izaack
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Post new to epub & drm

Hi everybody,

my name is Izaack and i'm working in Clementina (www.clementina.net) developing web sites and applications.

we've started working recently on a new web ebook store that shall sell ebooks and ereaders (hanlin brand).

i'm looking for a DRM solution to embed to the epub books that shall be sold on the new store.

i've read about Adobe Digital Edition, but i'm not sure it's compatible with the Hanlin product.

does anybody know where should i look?

any help will be deeply appreciated!!

Cheers all

Izaack.M
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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The Hanlin V3 does not support ePub DRM. It does support MobiPocket DRM.
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Old 02-04-2009, 01:27 PM   #3
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Hi izaack and welcome to the Forum. I expect you'll get lots of advice shortly
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:10 PM   #4
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If you can manage it, forget DRM. You'll save a lot of money, and gain customers.

Sadly I suspect that at the moment many publishers will insist on DRM.

Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by izaack View Post
we've started working recently on a new web ebook store that shall sell ebooks and ereaders (hanlin brand).

i'm looking for a DRM solution to embed to the epub books that shall be sold on the new store.

i've read about Adobe Digital Edition, but i'm not sure it's compatible with the Hanlin product.

does anybody know where should i look?

any help will be deeply appreciated!!

Cheers all

Izaack.M
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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Hi izaack and welcome to the forum.

it happens there is another person in the same situation as yours who recently joined ; i recommend you read this thread for a discussion of why it's best to avoid using drm (don't make the same mistakes the film and music industry made before !).

there are also plenty of other discussions about drm on the forum ; please feel free to take a look around, i'm sure you'll find them very informative.

it's great to see more and more people getting interested in ebooks and we are always happy to discover new ebookstores and publishers. i'm glad you're taking the time to learn about the technology before you start, and i'm really happy to see that you are planning to use the new industry standard format epub. that is a big step in the right direction for ebooks. you'll find plenty of information about epub around here too ; please take a look at the epub forum for specific discussions.
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Old 02-06-2009, 01:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izaack View Post
i'm looking for a DRM solution to embed to the epub books that shall be sold on the new store.

i've read about Adobe Digital Edition, but i'm not sure it's compatible with the Hanlin product.
Adobe Digital Edition uses DRM supported in Adobe Content Server: http://www.adobe.com/products/contentserver/

I'd recommend going through contacts on that site to get further information
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:45 AM   #7
izaack
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Thanks!!

Hey zelda_pinwheel,

Thanks a lot for your advice.

i'm starting to get around the whole e-pub and drm thing, mainly through this forum.

i, like you, think that the best thing to do with the DRM issue is to simply drop it!

my 1,000,000$ question to you is:
how do i convince our client (big publishing house in Israel) to drop the DRM from the new store??

Thanks again & all the best,
Izaack.M
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izaack View Post
Hey zelda_pinwheel,

Thanks a lot for your advice.

i'm starting to get around the whole e-pub and drm thing, mainly through this forum.

i, like you, think that the best thing to do with the DRM issue is to simply drop it!

my 1,000,000$ question to you is:
how do i convince our client (big publishing house in Israel) to drop the DRM from the new store??

Thanks again & all the best,
Izaack.M
wow, that really is the 1,000,000$ question !

that might even make a good topic for a thread, to get more suggestions from the rest of the forum...

to get you started, here are a few ideas :

1. tell them to take a look at the industries which have gone down this road before them : music and film. both tried to use drm at first, both abandoned it when they realised it was totally ineffective. tell them to be smart, and learn from the experiences of the ones who came before them.

2. tell them to take a look at some publishers who are successfully publishing without drm : like Baen, PanMacMillan, and O'Reilly for example.

3. explain to them that drm will not stop anybody determined to "pirate" a book, but it *will* cause trouble for their legitimate customers, and therefore it will make their legitimate customers angry. this is not a good way to get a lot of return customers.

4. explain to them that drm is REALLY EXPENSIVE, and that they could use that money much better by investing in better ebook creation (even buying doughnuts for everybody who works for them would be a better use. ). plus, no drm means they can sell their books for less money, because that is a major cost they could eliminate : and lower ebook prices mean more sales.

5. have i mentioned IT DOESN'T WORK ?

there are more reasons and i definitely recommend you take a look around the forums (drm is a topic which keeps coming back...) but i think those are some of the key reasons. i'm glad to see more people like you in publishing ! the sooner we get rid of drm completely, the better for everybody and for ebooks in general !!
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:24 PM   #9
izaack
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Hi Zelda & thanks again for your advice!

a question regarding your 3'rd point: "...it *will* cause trouble for their legitimate customers ..." - what trouble will DRM cause their legitimate customers?

Cheers,
Izaack.M
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izaack View Post
a question regarding your 3'rd point: "...it *will* cause trouble for their legitimate customers ..." - what trouble will DRM cause their legitimate customers?
I'm not Zelda (but I play her on TV) but I can give you my take.

Mainly the customer will not be able to use the content as they wish. Just like when you buy a movie on DVD you want it to play on every player in your house.

If you buy a eBook from the Sony book store, you can't use it on your Kindle or your CyBook.

As a Kindle owner I can buy Kindle ebooks from Amazon, but I can't read them on my PC or on my Sony 500.

etc.

BOb
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izaack View Post
Hi Zelda & thanks again for your advice!

a question regarding your 3'rd point: "...it *will* cause trouble for their legitimate customers ..." - what trouble will DRM cause their legitimate customers?

Cheers,
Izaack.M
that is a good question. it will cause trouble ranging from inconvenience, to outright loss of legally purchased books, and it also unfairly limits the ways that you can use a book you've purchased.

you can lose access to your books in many ways : because your reader fails and your new one is not compatible with the drm system, or because you have to reinstall your computer operating system, or even worse, because the drm content provider goes out of business (this has happened many times, including previously with amazon's original ebook store, ironically, and more recently with Overdrive : more about that later). for inexperienced customers, they might accidentally buy the wrong format for their reader ; drm means they are stuck, and can't do anything with the file, and must purchase the book again in the correct format, unless the bookseller is understanding and willing to make the exchange.

drm is all about vendor lock-in. it sometimes ties your books to a specific device using an individual device id. but what if your device breaks, or you lose it, or replace it, or just want to upgrade it ? the new device does not have the same id, so your books won't work. if you're lucky, you bought them from a bookstore which is still in business, and you have the possibility of registering the new device and redownloading ALL the files again. this is not very convenient, but at least you still have access to your books. but what if the bookstore is no longer in business ? well, you're out of luck. what if your new device doesn't support the same drm format ? out of luck again. what if the format is obsolete, and no longer supported by any devices ? out of luck yet again.

to give you some concrete examples, i'll start with something that happened to me about 2 months ago. until recently, my main reader was an eb1150, which can only read the .imp format, a closed proprietary format no other device can read. imp can't be converted to any other format, and it's almost guaranteed that one day in the near future i will no longer have a device capable of reading it (because it's already obsolete), so i always bought a better archival format and converted the files to imp. some books are only available with drm. in this case, i would buy MicroSoft Reader (lit) format, because the drm can easily be removed and the format converted the lit format is a thin wrapper over an html core : once you convert it, you can save the html file for archival purposes, and also create whatever format you need for your device. the drawback of lit format, is that you can only download it using MS Internet Explorer, and only if you have an "authorised" copy of the MS Reader application on your computer.

about 2 months ago, my computer died, and i had to get a new one and reinstall the OS and all my applications. but, when i reinstalled MS Reader, it was reinitialised with a new authorisation code. so, i am no longer able to download any of the lit books that i purchased from fictionwise ! even though i paid for them, and they are still showing in my account at fictionwise ! but the drm code in my account doesn't match the one on my computer, so the drm server refuses to give me access to them.

in my case, it could have been worse : i had already downloaded them when i bought them, and luckily immediately removed the drm, and the html files were backed up on a drive which was not damaged. but if i lose those files due to a disk crash, i'm out of luck ; i have to purchase them again. not very fair, i think you'll agree.

also, i recently bought a sony 700 reader. the 700 cannot read the .imp format of course, so if i want to read the books i purchased before, i have to convert them to a format the 700 *can* read (like epub). well, unless i have removed the drm from the books i buy, that is impossible. how is it fair for a publisher to dictate to me how i read my books ? on what device, in what format ?

another example is the Overdrive incident i mentioned. as you can see in this thread, Overdrive, which is one of the major drm content servers, recently decided to stop serving fictionwise, which is a popular ebookstore. this means, that all drm books which came from the overdrive servers, would no longer be available for download AT ALL by the people who legally purchased them, through no fault of their own. effectively, they were being robbed of access to their own books that they had paid for, and Overdrive was offering no compensation at all ! i don't know how that can even be legal.

now, it happens that fictionwise had already had a problem like this in the past, and as a result they purchased the eReader drm format to be sure that there was one format they could control and always be able to provide their customers. and because fictionwise is a decent company, they went out of their way to negotiate with publishers and get the eReader rights to as many of the affected titles as possible, and replace the Overdrive mobipocket and lit format books with their own eReader versions, so that at least their customers would still have access to their books, although not in the format of their choice.

The drawback of that solution, of course, is that currently NO e-ink device supports the eReader format natively ! so these replacement books were no good to anyone without removing the drm and converting them to a different format. In essence, honest customers who just wanted to read the books they had paid for, were forced to jump through hoops of drm-removal and format shifting, because a major drm server abruptly decided unilaterally to stop service. add to that that drm-removal is technically illegal in some countries, and you have a truly absurd situation where customers are almost being forced into illegal actions despite their best intentions !

the overdrive incident is a recent example but that situation has happened many many times previously, both with ebooks (amazon...) and with music (too many too list).

i hope that answers your question. there are actually even MORE ways drm causes problems for honest, legitimate customers, but this post is long enough i think !
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:26 PM   #12
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ah, and i see pilotbob has given some other ways, so you have even more information from another point of view.

and, getting back to N°5 for a second, the big news of the week is that Adobe's Adept DRM has now been cracked. so spending 10,000€ on that solution is 10,000€ thrown out the window.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:27 PM   #13
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I posted a response to the other post which is kind of similar to this one.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...9&postcount=20
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:30 PM   #14
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thanks amalthia for the reminder, that thread is right on topic. izaack, if you haven't read it already, i highly recommend you do, for some more insight into your questions.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:03 PM   #15
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What I do these days is purchase only in formats that I can immediately remove the DRM, remove the DRM, and then I can convert to LRF for my Sony Reader. But if I was to purchase a different device that does not support LRX (LRF with DRM), I would have to repurchase all the eBooks I wanted to keep or reread when I've purchased them already in the first place.
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