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Old 04-19-2010, 01:48 PM   #16
mr ploppy
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The point from a publisher perspective is protecting content from unauthorized distribution. ______
Dennis
Except it doesn't. It is easily removed, and it only takes one person to do it. At that point you have an unauthorised product that is much more appealing than the authorised one. Especially after someone proofreads it. The way to compete with piracy is NOT by offering an inferior product at a higher price.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:54 PM   #17
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... At that point you have an unauthorised product that is much more appealing than the authorised one. Especially after someone proofreads it. ....
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
Except it doesn't. It is easily removed, and it only takes one person to do it. At that point you have an unauthorised product that is much more appealing than the authorised one. Especially after someone proofreads it. The way to compete with piracy is NOT by offering an inferior product at a higher price.
I know that. You know that. It's publisher's that haven't figured it out, which is why I talked about "dubious value".

Mind you, I think we need to keep in mind that MR readers are a sophisticated audience. We know most DRM is easily removed, and know how to to it or how to find out how to do it. I don't the larger market for ebooks is that savvy.

But ultimately, I assume the majority of the market is honest and pays for value. Theft has always been there: retailers call it "shrinkage" - stock not on the shelves for which there isn't a sales receipt - but somehow they survive.

You make money and stay in business by providing value, charging a fair price, and making it as easy as possible for the customer to give you money. I know one author who commented years back that he had electronic editions of his books and had seen perhaps a couple of hundred dollars in royalties from them. No surprise: his publisher was one who "didn't get it" about ebooks, and it was hard to discover he had ebook editions, let alone buy them.

Ultimately, convenience rules. Amazon is successful providing ebooks despite DRM because of it. They charge prices the customer considers reasonable for ebooks, and if you have a Kindle or device running a Kindle app, you can purchase, download, and read a new book at any time, day or night. Instant gratification!
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #19
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DRM? I hate it. It's just a damn inconvenience. I understand why authors and/or publishers thing they need it though.

Quote:
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(I spoke to a woman at a New York City ebook event a while back who was an ebook romance publisher. She agreed that DRM was ultimately doomed to failure, but used it because her authors demanded it. They were afraid they would lose sales if buyers could freely copy and share it once purchased, which I thought was an interesting view of their readers.)
______
Dennis
Yeah, will have you read some of the posts here from people who claim, presumably with a straight face, that getting their e-books free from pirate sites instead buying the book DRM'ed or not, is not hurting the authors or publishers a bit. I understand the logic; getting stuff for free is just so much nicer than having to pay for it.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:47 PM   #20
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Not all of us authors think it's necessary. And people are going to get it free one way or the other if they REALLY want to.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:23 PM   #21
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My preferred option was not in your poll. 'I will only buy books with DRM if they can easily be stripped and converted.' So for example I will buy epubs with DRM but not Topaz In a perfect world, I would prefer no DRM (or else for Amazon to adopt ADE support so at least everyone is using it). But in the present, I will buy it if it is in a format I can strip.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:51 PM   #22
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Yeah, will have you read some of the posts here from people who claim, presumably with a straight face, that getting their e-books free from pirate sites instead buying the book DRM'ed or not, is not hurting the authors or publishers a bit. I understand the logic; getting stuff for free is just so much nicer than having to pay for it.
Color me an optimist. I happen to believe that the majority of the market is willing to pay for what they get, if they want it, it's properly priced, and is easy to buy.

I think DRM implicitly presumes the majority of the market isn't honest, and will cheerfully rip you off given a chance. The question I always want to ask folks who hold that opinion is "Why do you think so? Is it because it's what you would do, and you think everyone else is just like you? Or do you assume that no, tyou're a good guy who wouldn't do that, but you're in the minority and everyone else would?"

I find either position anathema, though I can intellectually understand why folks might hold them.

I don't understand folks who think getting stuff free from pirate sites isn't harming authors or publishers. There is lots of stuff out there on pirate sites, and you can download torrents with thousands of books in on go. That in itself is meaningless. Simple downloads don't count. What matters is books that are downloaded from pirate sites and read instead of buying a legitimate copy. That's an actual lost sale, but quantifying those losses is likely impossible. You can track illegal downloads, but you have no way to know what is actually read.

Meanwhile, I still think the folks who prefer to grab pirate copies instead of actually buying a book are a small enough minority that ebooks and publishing can survive without DRM. Again, convenience rules. There's a new ebook out you want. Which is faster and easier - going online to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or the like and buying a copy, or searching for it on a pirate site? (And depending on the book, the legit copy may be a better quality edition.)
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:12 PM   #23
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What matters is books that are downloaded from pirate sites and read instead of buying a legitimate copy. That's an actual lost sale, but quantifying those losses is likely impossible.
Especially when they're a lost sale for *that* book, followed by sales of the author's other books, or that one in paper, which would not have been made without the free read.

We've got no way to quantify those sales, either.
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #24
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The results of my book buying poll are posted at my site. I have a new poll up on what people think of DRM.

Please drop by and vote at http://davidhburton.com

Cheers!
David
You forgot the most important choice:

"Stand the developers and advocates of DRM against the wall, blindfold them, and execute them."



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Old 04-19-2010, 04:47 PM   #25
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Come on...is blindfolding really necessary?
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:53 PM   #26
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Especially when they're a lost sale for *that* book, followed by sales of the author's other books, or that one in paper, which would not have been made without the free read.

We've got no way to quantify those sales, either.
Good point, and thank you.

It's essentially what the Baen Free Library is all about, and it's worked well for them. Baen promotes authors. You download one or more full length novels by an author from the Library, yiu decide you like what they do, and you buy the next one when it comes out (likely in hardcover). Baen credits the Library with driving their metamorphosis from a struggling mass market paperback house to a thriving hardcover publisher with a 70% sell through rate.

Of course, the Baen offerings aren't "pirated", they are legit freebies offered by the publisher to promote the line. Perhaps there's less illicit pleasure for the freeloader in getting those...
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:19 PM   #27
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Would it be possible to subtract one vote from "prefer not" and transfer it to "no way"?
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:59 PM   #28
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Done.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:18 PM   #29
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I don't really see the point of it, either from a writer/publisher perspecive or from a reader perspective.
There is but a single use for DRM it where I find it justified and even desirable. And that is for our public library (overdrive) loans. I don't mind DRM (even unbreakable one) applied to any freebie or loaner.

However, I won't buy content that I can not immediately "liberate".
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:17 AM   #30
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Come on...is blindfolding really necessary?
Hah. Clubbing them with Kindles would probably get more youtube views and save bullets, too. ;-)
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