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Old 11-25-2009, 08:39 AM   #1
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Publisher 'Prentice Hall' & DRM Frustrations

The following is an e-mail I sent to InformIt a site for technical books that I would have happily recommended in the past. Unfortunately, I did not read the small print or I would have realized the book I was purchasing was DRM protected and I could have spared myself the resulting frustration.

Quote:
Last night I ordered a book from your web-site, sadly it ended in several hours of frustration and my firm resolve to not repeat the experience.

I had bought several books from you in the past with no problems and was quite happy with both the books and the buying experience. Last night looking forward to the same experience I bought a book not realizing it was DRM protected.

I bought the book "A practical Guide to Linux Commands" which is ironic because there is no way you can read it in a Linux environment, at least that I could find after messing with it for several hours. I had to settle for downloading Adobe Digital Editions on a MAC. Now I only have the ability to read it on ADE which is a very low-end reader in my estimation. It has a poor font, bad contrast, no ability to annotate and no ability to customize the font, background etc., not to mention no portability to Linux.

In simple terms a good product was turned into a heap of trash by adding DRM. Because of my experience, this is the last book that I intend to buy willingly from Prentice Hall, electronic or paper. I hope you will kindly take the time to pass my comments on to them so they can appreciate how their policies affect their customers or former customers in my case.

As for InformIt, unfortunately for you but fortunate for me, there are too many good sites that make all of their content available DRM free to tempt me to repeat my experience of last night again.

Thanks for listening
Afterwards I e-mailed the author and politely explained my frustrations with his publisher.

It amazes me that publishers feel it's good policy to look at each and every one of their customers as a potential crook. I am through with DRMed (rhymes with damned) publishers.

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Old 11-25-2009, 08:42 AM   #2
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Since you won't be buying content with DRM, that will leave you out of at least 90% of the eBook content out there.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Since you won't be buying content with DRM, that will leave you out of at least 90% of the eBook content out there.
Let's hope that the publishers get their sanity back and let all users buy their books (ie without DRM).
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
unfortunately for you but fortunate for me, there are too many good sites that make all of their content available DRM free
Such as what, for example? Can you name some mainstream commercial eBook sites that make "all their content available DRM free"?
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:46 AM   #5
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Such as what, for example? Can you name some mainstream commercial eBook sites that make "all their content available DRM free"?
I believe O'Reilly does.
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Old 11-25-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Such as what, for example? Can you name some mainstream commercial eBook sites that make "all their content available DRM free"?
O'Reilly, Apress, Pragmatic Publishers, No-Starch Press, Take Control Books.

They may not fit your description of "mainstream commercial eBook sites" but they are the principal competitors of InformIt, whom the e-mail was sent to.

Also, I notice when mainstream bookstores advertise their book counts, often most of the books they are counting are freely available through the public domain.

I don't have anything against them wanting to "make a profit". I do not approve of piracy and I don't buy bootlegged CDs, DVDs, Books etc., that's unfair to the artist and the supplier. On the other hand, I have no respect for their attempts to restrict the property rights of others.

Last edited by fbrII; 11-25-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbrII View Post
O'Reilly, Apress, Pragmatic Publishers, No-Starch Press, Take Control Books.

They may not fit your description of "mainstream commercial eBook sites" but they are the principal competitors of InformIt, whom the e-mail was sent to.
Apress isn't DRM free. According to their FAQ they have passwords on their PDFs. Also, the ebooks they sell in the Kindle Store are in Topaz.
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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Important Note!

I was just notified by InformIt that they are refunding my purchase. I did not request a refund and I admitted my mistake of not checking, so they deserve a lot of credit for performing above and beyond expectations.

While I don't feel any different about publisher's using DRM I do feel differently about InformIt and I will continue to buy non-DRM books from them (of which they have many) - despite my previous e-mail.

Cause, I guess good customer service deserves as much attention as restrictive publisher policies.

Amen
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Old 11-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Apress isn't DRM free. According to their FAQ they have passwords on their PDFs. Also, the ebooks they sell in the Kindle Store are in Topaz.
Nate,

It's true you have to use your password to access the book, however I am not limited to using ADE in order to read the book. I guess the issue with me is portability and just the plain useless hassle, that seems to be inherent with buying DRM products. Buying something should be easy and leave you with a good feeling - as in, maybe the time you spend working to earn money isn't such a bad thing after all.

If all products had the same DRM scheme and were portable to all reading devices I wouldn't have an issue with DRM. DRM should limit you from redistributing a product for profit, not the things you would normally do with a product. If I want to give it to a friend after I read it, that's my business, I paid for it, they shouldn't have to pay for it as well. If I want to donate it to the library that's my business and if I want to move it from one device to another - well that's my business as well.

Just my 2 cents.
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