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Old 05-22-2009, 06:29 AM   #1
gwynevans
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DRM != Piracy

[I want to respond to p3aul's post in a more suitable place...]

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Originally Posted by p3aul View Post
I never specically acused anyone of being a pirate. I just cannot think of a really ligitimate reason why anyone would want to ligitemately make many copies of a best selling book.
Paul, the point you're missing is that while DRM stops copying, also stops 'format shifting', which is the primary issue - anyone's who's wanting to many "many copies" uses other routes which avoid the DRM completely.

What the DRM actually means is that if I buy a book with DRM, I can only broadly read that on the device it's enabled for. There are limited exceptions, in that if I buy a Sony DRM book, I could read it on my PC & my Reader, while if I buy a MobiPocket DRM book, I could read it on my PC & my phone, but I can't read either on both my Reader & my phone, which are where I'd like to (as sometimes I've got the phone but not the Reader)
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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I am of 2 minds about DRM, which is why I prefer a social DRM if there has to be DRM.

I currently own a Sony 505 (with which I am very happy). But I don't know what I will own next year. DRM as currently constituted makes me a captive of Sony (for Sony DRMed books) unless I am willing to simply consider any money I spent at the Sony bookstore to be a charitable contribution to Sony.

As a general rule, a printed book will last hundreds of years if cared for minimally. Alas, I have yet to come across an electronic device that hasn't been deliberately preserved that is still functional 25 years after its purchase. Usually the device has been replaced several times over, perhaps because it has broken or because it is no longer capable of handling today's generation of files/media. The printed book today is the same as the printed book of 100 years ago; the Sony 505 is not the same as the Sony 500 of just 2 years ago.

So there has to be a tradeoff. If DRMed books cost less than $3, I think many of us would say, fine, keep the restrictive DRM because if I really want a copy of Foghorn Leghorn's biography on my new device, I'll spend another $3. But when DRMed books cost $10+, the restrictions become onerous; how many times are you willing to spend $10+ to replace a book you have already bought simply because your current device is now defunct?

If the real reason for DRM is to avert piracy, it really only works against the honest person. The dishonest person will crack the DRM or scan the book, as we have seen. And for the technology-challenged dishonest person as well as the honest person who wants to share a purchase with their spouse, doesn't social DRM fit the bill? How many people would post a file on the Internet if the file displayed their name, address, and telephone number (which information is readily obtained from the purchase information when you supply your credit card information)?

Of course, there is one missing bit of information: How well has the Baen model worked in terms of sales vs. piracy? Seems to me that this would be important information to have in resolving the problem of draconian DRM vs. social DRM vs. no DRM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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I am like gwynevans, I have three (actually more if you count a several of laptops, netbooks and UMPCs), my phone, a Sony PRS505, a jetBook, and a Nokia N800. There is no single format that will work on all of them.

When I lay my money down, I expect to have the right to read MY book on any and all of the devices that I own. So I buy Mobi formatted books, strip the DRM, convert them to the appropriate format(s), and load them on all of the devices that I want to read them on.

Am I violating copyright laws? I don't know, but as long as I don't redistribute the books en mass, I don't have any moral dilemmas with it. Now if there was just a convenient way to keep them synchronized!
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3aul
I never specically acused anyone of being a pirate. I just cannot think of a really ligitimate reason why anyone would want to ligitemately make many copies of a best selling book.
I think one of p2aul's misconceptions is that objecting to DRM necessarily means that you want to make lots of copies, or that you want to format shift, which he also seems to consider wrong.

I want to read my Mobipokcet format ebooks on my current mobipocket reader. I also want to be able to read them on my next one, when the current one dies. I want to do this without having to download them all again from the original source. This is both in terms of convenience (downloading many hundreds of books is inconvenient at best) and because it may no longer be possible to do so.

This is my objection to DRM. A DRMed ebook is one that I may well not be able to read any longer at some point in the not-too-distant future.

So I make sure that I don't buy any DRMed ebooks that can't have the DRM easily stripped from them.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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Well this msg is nt directed at any particular individule, but let be make another boring, simile. I go into a store and present them with a check. The say, "We can't accept checks, it's not our policy" I have two choices, I can pay cash or I can leave without my would-be purchases. What they are really saying is this. "It's our way or the highway!" I may be mad, I say " You ought to give it to me, but the bottom line is this. They own the merchandise and they have the right to distribute it as they see fit. Now the way I see it is this. They have a right to do what they want to with what is there own.

This is, I guess the point I was trying to make in another thread, when all I succeeded in doing was alienating everyone.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3aul View Post
Well this msg is nt directed at any particular individule, but let be make another boring, simile. I go into a store and present them with a check. The say, "We can't accept checks, it's not our policy" I have two choices, I can pay cash or I can leave without my would-be purchases. What they are really saying is this. "It's our way or the highway!" I may be mad, I say " You ought to give it to me, but the bottom line is this. They own the merchandise and they have the right to distribute it as they see fit. Now the way I see it is this. They have a right to do what they want to with what is there own.

This is, I guess the point I was trying to make in another thread, when all I succeeded in doing was alienating everyone.
You are absolutely right with your statement, p3aul, but if you are stating it like that, it is the absolute right of your patrons to just boycott what you are selling and go elsewhere where they can pay by card. Result: You're going bankrupt.

Last edited by mtravellerh; 05-22-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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P3aul, in your first post on the subject, you said that your wife wanted to write books. That should be applauded!

However, if you plan to self-publish, then you must be willing to compromise ease of access for your readers versus security for your sales. This clearly makes you uncomfortable and is probably spoiling your wife's pleasure in writing.

I have an idea that no one seems to have mentioned yet. Why not encourage your wife to write, and then submit her work to a print publisher? If accepted, they will do the dirty work of the publishing biz, while the two of you can concentrate on enjoying her new career.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
I want to read my Mobipokcet format ebooks on my current mobipocket reader. I also want to be able to read them on my next one, when the current one dies. I want to do this without having to download them all again from the original source. This is both in terms of convenience (downloading many hundreds of books is inconvenient at best) and because it may no longer be possible to do so.
Case in point, I have dozens of ebooks that I paid good money for that I can no longer access because I no longer have the device I bought them for, nor can I re-download them in another format. Should I have to pay for them again if I want to re-read them? I think not! But that is the position I find myself in.

Second point, DRMed Mobi format allows me to read a file on no more than four devices, I own no less than eight (not counting several obscolete PDAs) devices capable of reading ebooks. Should I be forced to limit my reading to half of my devices? Again, I think not!

Does having the ability to strip DRM from Mobi files give me the right to make tham available to others for free? Once more, I think not! So don't ask!
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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There are many reasons why DRM is useless to the 'unpub'.

1. DRM doesn't protect a product.

2. A writer who enforces DRM / protectionist IP while marketing their work on the internet will only antagonise possible readers.

3. Physical analogies do not work when it comes to digital products.

4. File-sharing has been shown to improve sales rather than take away sales.

And the most important reason is the simplest of all.

If you write for love, then you may make money as a side-effect. If you write for money, there will never be any love.

Last edited by mtravellerh; 05-22-2009 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3aul View Post
Well this msg is nt directed at any particular individule, but let be make another boring, simile. I go into a store and present them with a check. The say, "We can't accept checks, it's not our policy" I have two choices, I can pay cash or I can leave without my would-be purchases. What they are really saying is this. "It's our way or the highway!" I may be mad, I say " You ought to give it to me, but the bottom line is this. They own the merchandise and they have the right to distribute it as they see fit. Now the way I see it is this. They have a right to do what they want to with what is there own.

This is, I guess the point I was trying to make in another thread, when all I succeeded in doing was alienating everyone.
And when they have accepted my cash, the merchandise becomes mine, and I have every right to fair use of the product. If the product is a book, I have the right to read it, on any equipment that I rightfully own!

I also have serious issues with stores that insist on seeing my receipt before they will let me out of the store. Once they have accepted my money the merchandise becomes my personal property, and the merchant has forfeit any rights to it, including looking through my packages before I can leave.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3aul View Post
Well this msg is nt directed at any particular individule, but let be make another boring, simile. I go into a store and present them with a check. The say, "We can't accept checks, it's not our policy" I have two choices, I can pay cash or I can leave without my would-be purchases. What they are really saying is this. "It's our way or the highway!" I may be mad, I say " You ought to give it to me, but the bottom line is this. They own the merchandise and they have the right to distribute it as they see fit. Now the way I see it is this. They have a right to do what they want to with what is there own.

This is, I guess the point I was trying to make in another thread, when all I succeeded in doing was alienating everyone.
Hi p3aul, let's try this out instead.

You go to a bookstore, you buy a book. The book comes in a bag and the store says... you can read this book as long as i) you carry the bag with you when you are reading and ii) if you rip or lose the bag you must pay for another copy of the book before you can continue to enjoy it.

Just because I want to get rid of the bag, doesn't mean I didn't pay for the book.

Also, I should have the right to carry my book around in any bag I want. No?
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:57 PM   #12
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Here's another analogy. Say I buy a hard cover book. The bookseller tells me I can only read that book in one room of my home. Of course, since I purchased the book I should be able to read it in any room I choose. It's mine. It no longer belongs to the bookseller, publisher or even the author. As long as I'm not making copies of it to give to other people who haven't paid, I should be able to do what I want with the book I paid for. I can mark it up, cut it up and wallpaper my bedroom with it, dip the pages in purple dye if I like because I own it.

DRM is telling me I can only read the book I paid for in one room.

I agree with Rhadin in preferring a social type of DRM which will get me busted if I step over the line and make copies of the book to give away to people who haven't paid but won't stop me doing what I want with my property for my own use.

In your check example, the seller still owns the product and may conduct the sale in whatever manner they please but once I buy it, it's *mine*.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #13
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Here we go again! Just carry on without me.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:27 PM   #14
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These are just factual arguments,p3aul!
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3aul View Post
They own the merchandise and they have the right to distribute it as they see fit. Now the way I see it is this. They have a right to do what they want to with what is there own.

This is, I guess the point I was trying to make in another thread, when all I succeeded in doing was alienating everyone.
I can see some sense in this argument. But I disagree.

When I had no choice whether or not to accept the DRM restrictions on certain ebooks, I chose not to buy.

Thanks to DRM removal tools, I now have a choice as to whether I accept the DRM restrictions. I think you're arguing that it's not legal and or ethical for me to buy the ebook and yet not accept the DRM restrictions.

No-one's sure whether it's legal or not to do this. I suspect it is legal for personal use.

Whether or not it's legal, I think it's ethical to buy DRMed ebooks and remove the DRM for my own use. The action has no negative impact on anyone - especially not the retailer, publisher and author, who now have made a sale that they would have previously lost.


Going to the more general point, retailers (or manufacturers or creators) are not allowed to impose any conditions they like on a sale. There are laws in most countries restricting their ability to impose conditions on the purchaser. In the US, I believe there's the "doctrine of first sale" that applies to books. In the UK there's the "Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts" regulations, and various other consumer protection laws.
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