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Old 07-05-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
ilovejedd
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Question No more .LIT?

Question, has there been any announcement from some publishers that they are steering away from Microsoft Reader format? I've noticed that some of the more recent releases I've purchased (particularly those from Simon and Schuster) are not available in Microsoft Reader format, hence, I've had to buy them in Adobe Digital Editions EPUB.

I'm happy that EPUB is becoming more popular, but concerned with the DRM aspect. I've always bought ebooks in .LIT format since that was the only format that can be "un-DRM'ed" back when I first started buying ebooks. True, it's now possible to un-DRM secure Adobe PDF and EPUB. However, Adobe seems to be a bit more regular than Microsoft with releasing updates, hence, greater potential to break existing workarounds.

*sigh* This can all be solved if publishers just don't use DRM in the first place. Seriously, when will they realise that DRM (at least in its current implementation) isn't doing anybody any good? I can get the same books I'm paying for (and more since some titles are not available as ebook) from illegal sources without the added hassle of DRM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #2
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Simon & Schuster started messing up the way they do ebooks around the first of the year IIRC. They've dropped formats (especially LIT) and raised prices a lot. I assume it has to do with what distributors they're using, but don't know for sure.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post
I can get the same books I'm paying for (and more since some titles are not available as ebook) from illegal sources without the added hassle of DRM.
Hate to say it, but that statement is exactly why there is still DRM. Maybe, instead of talking about taking from illegal sources, you talked about the legal non-DRM sources you willingly bought books from, publishers would be more interested in ditching DRM.

Just a thought.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
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Hate to say it, but that statement is exactly why there is still DRM. Maybe, instead of talking about taking from illegal sources, you talked about the legal non-DRM sources you willingly bought books from, publishers would be more interested in ditching DRM.
I do not think so. It is the "hassle" that is the problem. And that you do not want to support DRM. I refuse to buy DRMed books and finding crime fiction without DRM is pretty hard for example. So I can say that I bought paper books instead but I do not think that is a good example.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Hate to say it, but that statement is exactly why there is still DRM. Maybe, instead of talking about taking from illegal sources, you talked about the legal non-DRM sources you willingly bought books from, publishers would be more interested in ditching DRM.
I fail to see why. The illegal sources will be there regardless of whether the book can be purchased legally in ebook format - DRM or not. One of the effects I can see is people becoming so frustrated with the DRM scenario that they'd forego legal sources from the start and just download pirated copies. Wouldn't publishers prefer money in their pocket rather than people just downloading illegal copies from the dark recesses of the intarweb?

As for legal non-DRM sources - I've gotten a few titles from Fictionwise (MultiFormat) and Smashwords.

P.S.
Almost all the ebooks I buy, I already own paperbacks of. New releases (e.g. Star Trek Movie Tie-In by Alan Dean Foster) are the exception rather than the rule. My purchase of copies in ebook format is contingent on the fact that (a) it's not DRM'ed and can easily be format-shifted to my reader of choice or (b) the DRM can be removed and then, it can be format-shifted to my reader of choice. If it does not meet either of the above, then I can content myself with just grabbing the paperback from the bookshelf.

Last edited by ilovejedd; 07-06-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:56 PM   #6
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@Steve

The hassle and promise of hassle of having to deal with DRM will bring a legitimate purchaser to look for alternate sources for their eBooks, and when they find that they can get them easily for free they stop buying. The free alternative will have it's own hassles, but they're almost all certainly smaller than the ones they encounter dealing with bad DRM.

It's not about what's right and what's wrong. It's about human nature.

eBooks are still in their relative infancy, and it's possible that the slippery slope that the music industry fell down might be still be avoided, and Amazon may even have a partial solution. They need to stop messing around. They've canceled books that they've already sold. They're killing off the production of new readers that work with DRM'd mobi. They've set up a system where they're now one of many formats and one of many forms of DRM. You can't buy a device that naively works with it all. They're sending a message to consumers and that message is that if you buy into DRM, you'll eventually be left out in the cold.

I think when it all comes to a head, the publishers will be left out in the cold by their customer's distaste for DRM that's only effective enough to make legitimate customers miserable.

Edit: Oh awesome. I just realized that a bunch of my old purchases from fictionwise are now multiformat. I may have to start buying from them again. Maybe I'll resubscribe to asimov's and analog.

Last edited by bmfrosty; 07-11-2009 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Avoiding a second post.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:45 PM   #7
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If only some of those non-DRM sources actually had some decent selections.
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:02 AM   #8
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I can understand why MS Reader format is being left behind. It isn't on enough portable devices (laptops and netbooks do not count) and no eink has DRM support for it.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:43 AM   #9
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I buy in .lit if possible because
1) it's - supposedly - good (best?) quality source files
2) it's easy for me to strip the DRM.

I prefer using lrf on my Sony, so converting what I buy is my best option, so for me, the question of what to buy is not: what works on my current device, but what I can most easily convert. DRM free would of course be the way to go, but unfortunately much of what I want to read is DRM'd.

Before I learned to strip DRM I did download some books from illegal sources. I couldn't buy the books I wanted in a format I could use, and stripping DRM and converting was just too much hassle.
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:45 PM   #10
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It really kills me that Amazon isn't taking this as an opportunity to be inclusive. Instead they're trying to set up a system where they're the biggest player on the block and can then be exclusive. If they had released a device that could also deal with DRM'd Lit, Mobi, and ePub, then they might be considered a truly great migration point for existing ebook users. Instead, they want to be a virtual monopoly, and we have what we have.

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Old 07-12-2009, 03:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
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It really kills me that Adobe isn't taking this as an opportunity to be inclusive. Instead they're trying to set up a system where they're the biggest player on the block and can then be exclusive. If they had released a device that could also deal with DRM'd Lit, Mobi, and ePub, then they might be considered a truly great migration point for existing ebook users. Instead, they want to be a virtual monopoly, and we have what we have.
Adobe is not the problem here. Mobipocket is. Adobe is allowing other DRM to also be on the same device. It's Mobipocket that is saying... "If you want a different DRM, then we are talking our ball and going home."
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:03 PM   #12
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@JSWolf

Ever think one thing and type another? I meant to say amazon. I hope my post makes more sense now.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bmfrosty View Post
@Steve

The hassle and promise of hassle of having to deal with DRM will bring a legitimate purchaser to look for alternate sources for their eBooks, and when they find that they can get them easily for free they stop buying. The free alternative will have it's own hassles, but they're almost all certainly smaller than the ones they encounter dealing with bad DRM.
Take the game "Spore" for example. People bought the game and then downloaded the pirated version as that was much easier to use than the original (heavily DRM'd) one. You set people on the track of illegal downloads that way. And I agree that once people start on it, it's very hard to get them to the legal paths again. Especially if they can get it much cheaper (aka free) and free of all hassle.

In the end EA gave in, and removed a lot of the DRM hassle from Spore. Let's hope the publishers will finally wake up and do the same.
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