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Old 03-22-2009, 10:21 AM   #1
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Lightbulb A serious topic

The lounge is being accused of being a silly place. So, I thought I'd present a topic that is important to all of us and have a discussion just to show that it can be done.

What would be a useable and acceptable replacement for the current process of copyright protection, known as DRM? This would have to satisfy all parties, allow for fair compensation for authors, and keep everyone from becoming criminals.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:25 AM   #2
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For some it would be the challenge that DRM presents that would always give them the incentive.
For ordinary readers, I suspect that the cost and availability of the book would be a main consideration. Reduce the cost of purchase and ensure all books are digitalised.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #3
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Well, cost is an important aspect of the DRM question, since the use of DRM is a solution that publishers have arrived at in order to protect their assets. The key to that aspect is that we need to find the appropriate price point to keep things flowing in a "legal" fashion. iTunes seems to have settled on $.99 as the place for songs to be DRM free.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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One major problem is that we have been told many times by publishers that their authors are not willing to allow them to publish their work DRM-free. See this thread, for example.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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There's a lot of fear on the part of everyone in the industry. The problem, as I understand it, is that we really do not have the foggiest idea of what will happen to literature in this brave new world of electronic writing.

Why write if you're not getting remunerated/

Why edit if someone is going to "steal" the product?

Why pay for something if you're just going to end up losing it when a media drops out of favor?

All the current schemes to keep this in tow are based on physical books that resemble the electronic books only in having the words in them in some form. What is needed is a real way of "selling" literature that keeps it durable, but can be used in perpetuity.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:30 AM   #6
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Clearly education has to lie at the heart of it. Educating authors that they really can make a reasonable return if they permit their work to be distributed DRM-free, and educating users that it's not "OK" to download pirated copies of books and music rather than paying for them.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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Ultimately, imho, self-interest is the deciding factor for where people position themselves on this issue.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:42 AM   #8
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DRM is one issue I did not consider before I purchased my Cybook.
It is, generally, not a problem for me - however I know it will become a serious one when my reader goes U/S - that is when DRM will become a BIG issue for me.....and is, this far, my only serious contention with its use...
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:48 AM   #9
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This does in any form answer your question, but is something that I have been mulling, and may indeed have already been discussed until exhaustion, but that is how are ebook prices worked out? Yes, the author needs to be compensated for their talents, but the savings on paper and all the associated expense needs to be taken into consideration. If a new HB sells for $25, how much of that amount goes into the actual physical construction of the book?
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:50 AM   #10
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Yet another aspect of the question. What does it cost to produce an ebook? A lot of debate has been tossed out that "proves" that it is either just as much as a pbook or next to nothing. Some education by publishers could go a long way.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krisk View Post
This does in any form answer your question, but is something that I have been mulling, and may indeed have already been discussed until exhaustion, but that is how are ebook prices worked out? Yes, the author needs to be compensated for their talents, but the savings on paper and all the associated expense needs to be taken into consideration. If a new HB sells for $25, how much of that amount goes into the actual physical construction of the book?
Very, very little. The HB print run of a book generally pays all the costs - the marketing and publicity, the editing, and all the rest of it. A subsequent PB release is pure profit for the publisher.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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An education by publishers or they need to take a sideways step into a new media that needs a new business model.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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An education by publishers or they need to take a sideways step into a new media that needs a new business model.
Well, yeah. But part of getting everyone to switch to that new model consists of getting everyone to understand the process and accept what is possible and what is not.

And by "everyone" I mean everyone who is not going to steal just for the joy of doing so. That is, I feel a fairly minute number of people.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:05 PM   #14
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I'm a strong advocate of a form of DRM that asserts the *rights* of the copyright owner without restricting the devices upon which the file can be viewed. Watermark the file in such a way that if it is found in a torrent or P2P sharing site it can be tracked back to the person who originally bought it. As everyone has noted, DRM seems to be more a challenge to programmers than a true deterrent to piracy.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:10 PM   #15
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That's called "Social DRM", Elsi. I personally see no harm in it, but there are those who assert that it violates their "right to privacy".
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