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Old 08-08-2010, 10:29 PM   #16
Zorz
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
With respect, Zorz, you stated that "those non drm'ed books never show up in ebook piracy circles". One counter-example is sufficient to invalidate this assertion, and this has been provided. So-called "pirates" have no respect for "the good guys" of the publishing business. You only have to look at the number of Baen books that are distributed illegally to see that.
Nobody ever actually provided a counter example. Quite the opposite actually.


I respond to everybody at once. Just because you can find a pdf online doesn't mean it came from a customer. I provided a link showing how pirated files actually are distributed. The way they are put online has absolutely zero bearing on DRM.

Last edited by Zorz; 08-08-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:26 AM   #17
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I have been in the IT for a while now. In my personal experience most O'Reilly's target audience will not download pirated books. People in Russia, China will do so. People who just hoard e-books and download them just because these books are there will do so.
But they are not and will never be O'Reilly's prospective paying customers. I think O'Reilly has done ok so far without DRM. If they hadn't they would have introduced it by now.

PS: No disrespect to Russia and China - I used them as an example of countries which have lax copyright laws and no ready access to mainstream e-commerce sites.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Zorz View Post
The way they are put online has absolutely zero bearing on DRM.
You surely realize that DRM has no bearing on piracy either, don't you?

They're two completely separate things that sometimes meet.

R.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:52 PM   #19
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I think O'Reilly is the perfect example of why DRM is really useless. They dont DRM their ebooks, though those non drm'ed books never show up in ebook piracy circles. What do you guys think?
I understand what you meant, but I think the way you phrased the question is a little confusing. There are pirate copies, but they don't usually come from the eBook versions. A better example would be the Harry Potter series. Those are definitely on pirate sites, but they don't exist as commercial eBooks (DRM or not).

The way I would say it is that DRM does not prevent piracy, and the lack of a digital version does not prevent piracy either.

Once an author makes their work available (either digital or physical), there will be some segments of the public that are going to do things with that work that the author doesn't like. There's no way to stop that from happening. Whether or not they like it, publishing their work means they lose control of it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:58 PM   #20
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The PDF versions of O'Reilly's ebooks have your name embedded on each page to discourage people from making them available to other people. ... I really can't imagine someone putting such a PDF up for everyone to access.
It's possible to get around that. I've got several PDFs like that; Wowio's downloads have your name on the first page & account # on every page, and many of the drivethrustuff.com PDFs are watermarked with name on the bottom of every page.

I like to edit my PDFs. I crop out the whitespace; I copy & paste sections of the text in to Word files to print booklets for my kids; I mash charts together to make reference pages. I don't want my account number getting in the way of that.

I remove the lock on the PDF and use Acrobat's Touchup Object tool to remove the annoying line of text. I have to go page-by-page to remove it, but it's only a couple of minutes for a very large book.

I don't think it's likely this is done by a lot of ebook pirates; it's amazingly monotonous work that requires expensive software (Acrobat Pro; the lock removal software is $10). But it's certainly possible, even if most people would probably find it easier to convert the PDF to jpgs, batch-crop those to remove the id info, recombine into PDF & run them through an OCR program.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorz View Post
Just because you can find a pdf online doesn't mean it came from a customer.
Are there eBooks (in general, not just oReilly) that are pirated by stripping the DRM from customer's ebooks... I'm sure there are.

Are there eBooks that are pirated by scanning print versions and creating a digital one... I'm sure there are.


I'm not sure of why it makes a difference though?
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I remove the lock on the PDF and use Acrobat's Touchup Object tool to remove the annoying line of text. I have to go page-by-page to remove it, but it's only a couple of minutes for a very large book.
I'm sure if someone really wanted to, they could figure out a way to automate all of that.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I remove the lock on the PDF and use Acrobat's Touchup Object tool to remove the annoying line of text. I have to go page-by-page to remove it, but it's only a couple of minutes for a very large book.
Curious about this, I checked Usenet and found a batch of more than 200 O'reilly books. I downloaded around half a dozen random books, and they seem to be "real" PDFs, not OCR jobs. Attached is a single page from one with registration marks on every page. I was going to post one page from another of the random ones showing the high quality of the formatting and text (real text, no typos, images are embedded objects) but it was still restricted from editing (I know that can be cracked or bypassed, but not worth bothering with for this.) These appear to be "real" PDFs to me.

Link to search results on Usenet search engine (which is not a download site-- just an index.)
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
Quote:
I remove the lock on the PDF and use Acrobat's Touchup Object tool to remove the annoying line of text. I have to go page-by-page to remove it, but it's only a couple of minutes for a very large book.
I'm sure if someone really wanted to, they could figure out a way to automate all of that.
Certainly. I don't speak code, and I'm quick enough with the manual process for my own use, or I'd've figured out how to automate it. Even without scripts, I can think of a few ways I could make it go much faster, with videogame software that automates a collection of keystrokes.

It's a form of security-through-obscurity; most people don't know that those features can be removed, and if they do, they don't know how. And because placement and exact method of establishing the watermarks is different for each publisher, it's probably impossible to create a single script like MobideDRM that would work on all watermarked PDFs.

Because of that, if such books do get released into the torrents/filesharing sites, they're likely to be assumed to be insider releases instead of consumer edited releases.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:22 PM   #25
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DRM or embedded user data are equally useless in protecting digital rights.
Piracy was alive and well in the 60's and certainly hasn't slowed down any.
O'Reilly probably has as many problems as any technical book publisher and I would guess more than most.
A new business model is needed.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorz View Post
Nobody ever actually provided a counter example. Quite the opposite actually.

I respond to everybody at once. Just because you can find a pdf online doesn't mean it came from a customer. I provided a link showing how pirated files actually are distributed. The way they are put online has absolutely zero bearing on DRM.
So, you're just trying to insinuate that the PDF I found, because it wasn't homebrew must have been leaked by the publisher themselves?
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:35 PM   #27
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The non-DRM books don't show up in piracy circles? Really? DRM or not, if it's something that's desired, it's gonna be up for download.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:14 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorz View Post
They dont DRM their ebooks, though those non drm'ed books never show up in ebook piracy circles.
Really? since decades I've been seeing so many O'Reilly ebook available "for free", I was even wondering wether they were actually free.
Even now, a simple search on your average darknetsite brings up tons.

Got any title that does not have a pirated version? I'll see if the usual channels provide them just to check.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by athlonkmf View Post
Really? since decades I've been seeing so many O'Reilly ebook available "for free", I was even wondering wether they were actually free.
Even now, a simple search on your average darknetsite brings up tons.

Got any title that does not have a pirated version? I'll see if the usual channels provide them just to check.
It was stated a little oddly, but I think the point they were trying to make is that the lack of DRM on the digital version doesn't really make any difference, because most of the pirate copies come from the physical version of their books.

At least, I think that's the point they were trying to make.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:35 AM   #30
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There is even an O'Reilly book on the subject:
Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales
http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596157876/
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