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Old 11-26-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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DRM is necessary and good, stop complaining

Property rights is one of the most important aspects of a republic.
Protecting intellectual property rights is in the US constitution, even before they mention free press. If people didn't get paid at the market rate for their intellectual property there would be far less intellectual property since people would lack incentive.

As we've seen with the music industry, intellectual property in electronic form can be successful if it has DRM.....and is a disaster without DRM. Some major music acts now make paying for their CDs optional since they know anyone under 35 can figure how to get it for free anyway.

Absence of DRM reduces the smartest and most creative people in society to hobos. This is an inverted incentive structure.

So, let's all applaud Amazon's efforts to protect the smartest and most creative people in society so that they can continue to live off of the intellectual property.

And I like how they did the DRM for the Kindle also. Looks robust.

Last edited by markbot; 11-26-2007 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:41 PM   #2
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I'm not against all DRM per se, just ones that restrict beyond reasonable fair use. IMO, Amazon's is rather restrictive (though I'm still buying a Kindle). I'd prefer to see something like a good watermarking system that would enable them to go after the uploaders but still give us the ability to freely use our content on any device we like.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbot View Post
Property rights is one of the most important aspects of a republic.
Protecting intellectual property rights is in the US constitution, even before they mention free press. If people didn't get paid at the market rate for their intellectual property there would be far less intellectual property since people would lack incentive.

As we've seen with the music industry, intellectual property in electronic form can be successful if it has DRM.....and is a disaster without DRM. Some major music acts now make paying for their CDs optional since they know anyone under 35 can figure how to get it for free anyway.

Absence of DRM reduces the smartest and most creative people in society to hobos. This is an inverted incentive structure.

So, let's all applaud Amazon's efforts to protect the smartest and most creative people in society so that they can continue to live off of the intellectual property.

And I like how they did the DRM for the Kindle also. Looks robust.
DRM is not good and not needed. We have a very bad tower of ebabel. You'll find books in MS Reader, eReader, Mobipocket and Sony BBeb. We will ignore PDF as it's not a real ebook format. If a book is available say in BBeB but not Mobipocket and you have a Gen3, you won't be able to purchase that ebook to read on your Gen3. DRM also treats me like I am a thief. I am not and do not want to be treated that way. Some sites that sell Mobipocket format ebooks let you enter 4 PIDs and some only allow 2 PIDs. If you have say 3 devices and want to purchase from a site that only allows 2 PIDs because the price is lower, then you either have to go to the 4PID site and pay more or give up one device. There are also cases where DRM has been known to prevent people from ever reading their ebooks again. Look at what happened to Blu-Ray. There was new DRM on some discs before the players supported it. So it was impossible to legally view those movies. The Major League Baseball website change DRM providers and all the content people had spent lots of money on in the past suddenly became useless. Mobipocket took down their DRM server to fix a possible security breach. For about 2 weeks (or so) most Mobipocket books were unavailable for purchase. Do you think these are good things? My copy of MS Reader will not read any of the DRM books I have purchased and the only way to get it to work is to strip the DRM. I think DRM is a bad idea as there are chances you'll get locked out of your legally purchased content. Look at Amazon... Anyone that needed to redownload their content because maybe the DRM needed to be updated have not been able to. The Kindle is relying on Amazon to keep a copy of all the books. DRM maostly relies on someone else. I'd rrather rely on myself.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:41 PM   #4
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So many people today take copyright for granted that they forget it was created for the public good and not the benefit of the creators. Already today with ridiculous copyright terms the public cannot use the works created by the authors for a long time after their death, and DRM further removes the possibility of them ever getting into public domain, where they rightfully belong.
Read these essays by Eric Flint, an author himself (especially Lies, and More Lies). He's much more eloquent than me.
http://www.ericflint.net/index.php/2...and-copyright/
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:03 PM   #5
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If a work becomes part of the public domain and it has DRM all over it that cannot yet be broken, that makes the DRM restricting something that should be freely available to everyone.

markbot, can you honestly say that DRM is good for me? If I purchase a content in a given format and then the device to read it breaks and lets say it is no longer made, what do I do with all the content I have?
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
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Dear markbot:

Once upon a time, reproducing the contents of a book required that a monk with good eyesight sit at a writing desk for many weeks on end. As a result, books were rare -- and very expensive. Monks made good coin in this gig. Then this German goldsmith figured out a way to automate the process, making it much faster and cheaper. Understandably, the status quo was not happy about this. This guy's innovation turned the world upside down, and not even the most powerful institutions in the world could stop it. (The most powerful church in the world even split in two as a result!)

The technological change we are going through now is much deeper and more important than the one unleashed by the German guy. This newfangled "digital information", by its very nature, can be duplicated and transmitted perfectly, incredibly cheaply. This upends today's status quo in unimaginable ways. It is not surprising that the status quo is fighting back with clunky measures like DRM, that penalize readers in a feeble attempt to impose the limitations of the old medium onto the new. DRM is driven by fear of change.

We don't know how the digital revolution will play out, but this is certain: things will change. Perhaps we'll even find ourselves having to redefine many notions we hold dear: property, ownership, authenticity, and who knows what else. (IMO, it's a small price to pay for the increase in education and enlightenment that will result.) Change is not easy. The status quo will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into this new world; they will do many stupid things in the process to try to stop change. The historical record is not on their side: nobody could stop the revolution unleashed by the German guy six hundred years ago, and I doubt anyone will be able to stop the digital revolution. DRM has no future.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:43 PM   #7
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I will continue to crack any DRM protected pieces of property that I buy as soon as I buy it. I have bought the product, it is my property, no one will artificially restrict or make difficult the use of my own property. I won't buy anything with DRM unless there are easily available cracks to disable the DRM.

The music industry is coming around and starting to scrap DRM, what makes the book industry think they're special?
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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Not necessary. Not Good.

The problems with DRM are legion. The positives are...well....I am trying to think of one........I will have to get back to you on the positives. Once I actually come up with one that is.

Copyright law has a limited role and that role should be preserved and protected. But DRM and the direction it is taking intellectual property rights is draconian and counter-productive in the extreme.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbot View Post
Property rights is one of the most important aspects of a republic.
Protecting intellectual property rights is in the US constitution, even before they mention free press. If people didn't get paid at the market rate for their intellectual property there would be far less intellectual property since people would lack incentive.
WEEEEeeeeeeelll... Right off the bat, MarkBot, we've got a problem. Most readers are not in the US and fall under other rules for written works. (And please tell me how property rights of the creators are protected by megacorporations which take their property, diddle the accounts and stiff said creators on the royalties? Okay, I admit it. I've been on the receiving end of this kind of 'help' - which is why I'm totally behind the WGA strike against the major studios.) Funny thing is, there are TONS of manuscripts floating around out there, probably 99% of which never see the light of a published-day. Yet these manuscripts keep getting written and submitted despite the abysmal pay scale offered by the megapublishers.

Quote:
As we've seen with the music industry, intellectual property in electronic form can be successful if it has DRM.....and is a disaster without DRM. Some major music acts now make paying for their CDs optional since they know anyone under 35 can figure how to get it for free anyway.
If it were not inconceivably bad taste, I'd wonder just what you've been smoking - and where can I get some! Man, that is *CLEARLY* on hallucinogenic HIGH you're running on. First, most major bands have been making *THEIR* income for decades off their tours because the music industry finds ways to hog all the record profits for themselves. Second, while the publishing industry loves to sweep the facts under the rug, even the most cursory study of how DRM-free ebooks has boosted sales of dead-tree editions at Baen Books gives the lie to the whole 'no DRM is *bad* for sales' myth propagated by the megapublishers. Third, why *SHOULD* music lovers be forced to buy 13 crappy 'songs' on a CD for the one or two - at best - melodies worth listening to?

Quote:
Absence of DRM reduces the smartest and most creative people in society to hobos. This is an inverted incentive structure.
You must not know many authors. If you did, you'd realize that except for a few big-name authors, *MOST* don't earn enough to qualify better than middle-class. And once again, I have to point out that this is because so *MUCH* of each book's price goes to the retailer and the publisher. It ain't DRM that causes this, it's the megapublisher!

Quote:
So, let's all applaud Amazon's efforts to protect the smartest and most creative people in society so that they can continue to live off of the intellectual property.

And I like how they did the DRM for the Kindle also. Looks robust.
And I'm sure Amazon loves that you've so bought into the Big Lie the publishing industry is spreading. Don't worry, Amazon's DRM will be cracked, and probably sooner than anyone has predicted.

Look, I don't mind DRM. Lord knows I buy enough eReader, Fictionwise and Mobipocket ebooks loaded with the crap. But I have the power to choose which device I can read them on. Amazon's AZW takes that away from me. Three cheers to anyone who cracks AZW!

Derek
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:41 PM   #10
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As we've seen with the music industry, intellectual property in electronic form can be successful if it has DRM.....and is a disaster without DRM.
I'm sorry, are you watching the same industry the rest of us have? For years digtal music was available at a reasonable price 100% DRM free. You can use the tracks in any device without restriction. You could make copies also. The RIAA didn't sue every person that had a walkman. The media was an amazing device called the CD.

Now, all of a sudden there is a way to take that digital music and put it on a hard drive. All of a sudden the music industry decides they have to "protect" their copyrights. iTunes comes out and allows you to buy songs for $.99 a piece. Certainly reasonable price and about the same price as a song on a CD... but, now the digital file was protected. You could only play it on your "authorized" PC and your "authorized" iPOd. You couldn't put the music on your Creative Zen, or the MP3 player in your car stero. Getting song files became much more difficult.

So, what happend, people started shareing files becuase it was hard to get them legitamately. People like Steve Balmer and the RIAA were calling anyone that owned an iPod a music thief.

The DRM on iTunes music wasn't "protecting" anyone, nor was it preventing piracy... it was just making it harder for people that bought music to use it on the device they wanted to listen to it on. The majority of music was still being bought in DRM free (CD) form.

Even Steve Jobs saw this was the case an lobbied the publishers to let him sell DRM free tracks. Once they were available there was a surge of music BUYING!!! Yes BUYING not piracy. The level of piracy didn't go down when there were DRMed tracks... and it didn't go up when there weren't. Universal is set to open a DRM free music store as is Yahoo I believe.

All DRM does is keep the honest people honest and frustrated and buying LESS. DRM free content is easier to deal with, so people buy more of it!!!

BOb
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:54 PM   #11
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Look, I don't mind DRM. Lord knows I buy enough eReader, Fictionwise and Mobipocket ebooks loaded with the crap. But I have the power to choose which device I can read them on. Amazon's AZW takes that away from me. Three cheers to anyone who cracks AZW!
Even those others have limitations on choice, e.g. eReader has no option for the BlackBerry (although it is frequently requested). Peanut Press/PalmReader/eReader (my favorite DRM-encumbered service prior to Kindle) slowly evolved over years, adding more devices. They didn't used to have as many device choices as they do now.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:55 PM   #12
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The Government has decided that property rights are fine as long as they don't conflict with the Government goals. Case in point is the land snatch in CT from a homeowner to sell it to a company to build an office. There are thousands more examples. MS is getting creamed in some markets by rampent duplication and distribution of their products. In Japan bands make all of their money from concerts and zilch from CD sales.

It is up to the company to protect its own property -- physical and IP. DRM cost them money to implement. When they feel that they can sell enough additional units to justify removing the DRM they will do so. They worry about seeing their IP posted on the darknet. They wonder how many sales are lost by this practice.

I don't like DRM any more than the next person. Unlike most of you I seldom reread a book -- there are too many that I have yet to read to tread old ground again. If DRM is the price I must pay (along with a few dollars or so) for the reading material that I want, fine.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:55 PM   #13
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DRM doesn't have to be bad. I think it works wonderfully in a subscription model. I know a lot of people are collectors and want to keep their stuff, but for books, generally I wouldn't mind a subscription model a la the ZunePass or Rhapsody ToGo. Say $15 or $20/month to rent books. I've done that with the Zune and I love it, especially the ability to fill the device and sample a lot of new content. Granted with books, that might not be quite the same experience, but without DRM, the subscription model just couldn't exist.

I also don't think people would mind if you bought the tree version from Amazon, if they gave you the DRM .AZW version if anyone would mind. Also, I think Amazon allows you to associate their DRM'ed books with up to 4 Kindles. That is far more lenient than any other DRM model that I'm aware of (and I'll admit, my DRM knowledge is more in the music industry).
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:24 AM   #14
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markbot may never have been exposed to these rational arguments before.

It might be a good idea to take a look at Baen's articles about it.

http://www.baensuniverse.com/nodrm.html
http://www.baen.com/AboutUs.htm

Baen publishes digital books with no DRM in many formats.

I mainly like how they respect their customer by not assuming their customers are thieves.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:25 AM   #15
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markbot may never have been exposed to these rational arguments before.

It might be a good idea to take a look at Baen's articles about it.

http://www.baensuniverse.com/nodrm.html
http://www.baen.com/AboutUs.htm

Baen publishes digital books with no DRM in many formats.

I mainly like how they respect their customer by not assuming their customers are thieves.
I like the motto of hope for the best but prepare for the worst. So...hope that your customers aren't thieves....but just in case they are...DRM.
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