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Old 09-24-2010, 10:07 PM   #61
simonroyle
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I posted recently on my blog about this. As a writer really what I want is people to read what I have written. I'd like to get paid for that, to enable me to work at writing full-time. That may well be a dream, but last time I checked we were still allowed those. Now if someone wants to read what I have written so badly that they're willing to steal it, heck, send me an email - I'll give it to you.
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:53 AM   #62
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We'd like to pay you.

We just don't want to pay you more than we do for a retail hardcover, and get a fraction of the utility from it.

Publishers, this goes for you. In spades.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:52 AM   #63
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I see the debate continues. I find the subject matter fascinating.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:03 AM   #64
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We'd like to pay you.

We just don't want to pay you more than we do for a retail hardcover, and get a fraction of the utility from it.

Publishers, this goes for you. In spades.
I was thinking USD2.99 for the ebook. Seems to be a price at which a lot of people don't have to give themselves a headache wondering whether to buy or not.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:25 AM   #65
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$2.99 is an impulse buy price. It's the price of a snack. A small snack. That's something else the publishers don't get. If a book is $2.99, I'll pick it up because I think it looks good, and if it turns out I don't like it, I won't particularly care; if I like it, I'll get another half-dozen of whatever that author wrote. I'll try books at $2.99 that I wouldn't try at $7.99 and wouldn't dream of touching at $15. But the publishers would rather sell one book at $15 than ten books at $2.99. So other forms of entertainment out-compete books with the general public, and cheaper books out-compete publishers' offerings for MR readers. And they still don't get it. $2.99 sounds good.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:30 AM   #66
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Academia or research institutions? Sending spacecrafts to the planets also costs money and time, yet it gets done.
Because it results in scientific knowledge, which is publicy funded. There is no economic interest there (not yet at least).

I am not saying that research which has no economic application will not be done, I am saying that research which has economic applications will be funded by said economy.

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That analogy is a little flawed, because this isn't a one for one scenario. ... Additionally, with the way DRM works, it is impossible to make the lock unpickable.
Firstly, people stealing a bike do not pick the lock in the majority of all cases. They break the lock itself with shears. Its actually pretty similar how evading DRM usually works. People do not calculate the decryption key or anything, they just remove the program code which enables the DRM.

Also, just if someone can circumvent a DRM it does not mean everyone can do that suddenly magically. The person who broke a books DRM can distribute the book to other people, but a theoretical ability to give it to everyone does not make it something which actually happens.

And what makes you think it is possible to make a physical lock unpickable? EVERY protection, be it physical or digital can be circumvented. The perfect protection does not exist.
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Old 09-26-2010, 08:30 AM   #67
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Its actually pretty similar how evading DRM usually works. People do not calculate the decryption key or anything, they just remove the program code which enables the DRM.
Actually, for ebook DRM, (and DVDs and BluRay) the file content is encrypted. Someone has to discover the encryption method and then calculate the key in order to decrypt the file. The program code which enables the DRM resides on the corporate servers - not much chance of us removing it.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #68
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And what makes you think it is possible to make a physical lock unpickable? EVERY protection, be it physical or digital can be circumvented. The perfect protection does not exist.
Exactly. If someone wants to steal your car badly enough, they'll show up with a flatbed and a fake repo order. The trick is to make it economically unprofitable to steal most cars. Not leaving your keys in the ignition is a good start.

If it's not economically viable to steal your car, the thieves won't bother with it. The people pushing DRM, on the other hand, are doing it backwards. They're making breaking the DRM more viable than buying the book, and getting a pre-cracked book off the darknet even cheaper than either. They're trying to use laws to go against the economic interest of the public at large -- not to level the playing field between honorable and dishonorable, but to oppose the economic interests of, well, everyone but themselves. This works approximately as well as pushing a rope.

Then you get publishers like Baen, who get it, who are making money hand over fist. They're working with the economy, not trying to swim against it. They know their stuff.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:57 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by pholy View Post
Actually, for ebook DRM, (and DVDs and BluRay) the file content is encrypted. Someone has to discover the encryption method and then calculate the key in order to decrypt the file. The program code which enables the DRM resides on the corporate servers - not much chance of us removing it.
You're forgetting that the playback devices owned by the customer need to have both the decryption software/hardware and the decryption key in order to display the content.

These are the targets for DRM removal.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:40 AM   #70
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Firstly, people stealing a bike do not pick the lock in the majority of all cases.
Yes, it was a poor analogy. Wasn't mine.

Quote:
Also, just if someone can circumvent a DRM it does not mean everyone can do that suddenly magically. The person who broke a books DRM can distribute the book to other people, but a theoretical ability to give it to everyone does not make it something which actually happens.
"Bad pirate person" circumvents the DRM and then puts the non-protected content up on a filesharing site. It happens all the time. Most people with pirated material don't circumvent the DRM themselves.

Quote:
And what makes you think it is possible to make a physical lock unpickable? EVERY protection, be it physical or digital can be circumvented. The perfect protection does not exist.
But in a physical world, you can't just bypass the lock once and then share unlimited number of copies of the product with everyone. That's what makes DRM on digital products silly.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:43 AM   #71
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Actually, for ebook DRM, (and DVDs and BluRay) the file content is encrypted. Someone has to discover the encryption method and then calculate the key in order to decrypt the file. The program code which enables the DRM resides on the corporate servers - not much chance of us removing it.
No. For eBook DRM, they give you the content and then hand you a copy of the key. That's why there is no such thing as DRM which cannot be circumvented. The entire point is that they have to allow you to circumvent/decrypt it in order to use the product in the first place.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:18 PM   #72
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No. For eBook DRM, they give you the content and then hand you a copy of the key. That's why there is no such thing as DRM which cannot be circumvented. The entire point is that they have to allow you to circumvent/decrypt it in order to use the product in the first place.
It doesn't have to work that way.

For example, you could have a scheme whereby, when buying a book, the ebook reader generates a per-book public/private key pair and sends the public key to the fulfillment server, which then encrypts the book. The reader stores the private key in readout-protected memory. The decryption parts of the reader software are in write protected memory (such that reflashing that area of memory causes the readout protected area to be erased). This sort of readout protection of memory is very common in processors aimed at embedded use.

I.e. the reader can circumvent the protection, but you have no way of knowing the key used to do it (short of looking at the memory contents using some very high-tech and expensive scanning equipment - unlikely to be of interest for a single-book key).

Clearly there are other ways around this (e.g. you can decode the electrical signals which drive the screen), and the scheme as described is not complete (e.g. the fulfillment server has to authenticate the reader), but it's not the case that the decrypting key has to be *given* to the reading device.

/JB
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:20 PM   #73
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The one thing you have to remember, when you're saying how well ebook DRM will work if people have to be connected to the Net whenever they want to read a book:

The Harry Potter books have never been released as ebooks. Yet they're out there. In fact, the last one was out as an ebook before the pbook reached customers.

The solution isn't better DRM. The solution is to make DRM unnecessary. Baen did it. O'Reilly did it. A lot of little indie publishers did it. It's only the "big names" that think the goal is to license limited readings for $15 each, instead of selling books by the bucketload and raking in money accordingly.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:34 PM   #74
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For example, you could have a scheme whereby, when buying a book, the ebook reader generates a per-book public/private key pair and sends the public key to the fulfillment server, which then encrypts the book. The reader stores the private key in readout-protected memory. The decryption parts of the reader software are in write protected memory (such that reflashing that area of memory causes the readout protected area to be erased). This sort of readout protection of memory is very common in processors aimed at embedded use.
I think that's similar to what the IEEE is trying set up with its "Consumer-Ownable Digital Personal Property" system? Maybe?

However, the point is: You can't hand someone content, and make it impossible to copy. At the *slowest*, you can hand them content on a screen that requires no other programs to be open, so they'd have to use a second computer to manually type in the ebook. Which is what people did before scanners got cheap: they opened their paperbacks and typed in the contents.

And consumers aren't mostly going to put up with something as exclusive as an iPod app on their desktops. Aren't going to deal with "you must close everything else to read this book." Which means you can get screencaps & OCR, even if there's no simple way to crack the DRM itself.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #75
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Just because there are no studies doesnt mean it isnt working. At least to some extent.

I've been reading lately how journalists and posters are recommending owning two ereaders. A kindle and an epub reader. Why? Possibly because of DRM.
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