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gb18
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keriflur
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Re: Amazon and DRM


gb18 wrote:
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2013/10/11/leaked-contract-reveals-amazon-insists-drm/#.Ulgjt3iP_q...

I don't read this legalese the way the article writer does.  What this sounds like to me is that the default is DRM, which is a protection for Amazon as it errs on the conservative side.  If the vendor said, "Hey, I don't want this," and they put in writing, there's nothing to indicate that Amazon would put up a fight about it.

 

AFAIK, Amazon did not put up a fight when Tor went DRM-free.

flyingtoastr
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Re: Amazon and DRM

I think it's more the fact that Bezos has been running around in interviews talking about how he's opposed to DRM on principle while the company he micromanages has it in very hard language that DRM is always the default option that's the issue here.

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MacMcK1957
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Re: Amazon and DRM

[ Edited ]

What's in the contract seems different than what this writer reads into it: "Unless we mutually agree otherwise, we will use DRM in connection with the download of the eBooks, and we may use any available digital book DRM technology."

 

He reads that as Amazon "insisting on" DRM.  It could as easily be read as a default assumption: we'll use DRM unless you tell us not to.  If he could show evidence that Amazon refuses to agree to it his argument might hold up, but he doesn't and it doesn't.

 

For example, Orson Scott Card does not like DRM.  Earth Afire contains the note: "At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied."  Where's the insistence?

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keriflur
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Re: Amazon and DRM

[ Edited ]

flyingtoastr wrote:

I think it's more the fact that Bezos has been running around in interviews talking about how he's opposed to DRM on principle while the company he micromanages has it in very hard language that DRM is always the default option that's the issue here.


You consider that hard language?  LOL, that's just basic lawyerspeak for "this is the default, and to do otherwise, we both need to acknowledge it."

 

There must be a default, because Amazon's system has to have a default.  The lack of a default means that the default is no DRM.  Also, no default = legal quagmire, and no good lawyer would write a contract without some protection.

 

If the default is no DRM and the pub wants otherwise, that's a much bigger foul than the pub not wanting DRM and getting it.  So, the smart legal thing to do is to go conservative and make DRM the default.

 

"Unless we mutually agree otherwise" just means that both parties have to agree.  This protects Amazon from the scenario where the pub thinks they told Amazon, but Amazon never got the message, and protects the pub from Amazon just deciding what to do willy-nilly.  It's smart language.

 

"and we may use any available digital book DRM technology" means that if Amazon wants to make a change to its standard DRM, it doesn't need to get approval from every single publisher who was DRM.  Again, smart.

 

All this line of contract shows is that Amazon doesn't hire dummies for lawyers.  IMO it's completely fair and does not imply a preference for DRM, just a preference for not being sued and an acknowledgement that DRM is currently the industry standard.

flyingtoastr
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Re: Amazon and DRM

[ Edited ]

Ok, let me try this again.


If you indicate that digital rights management software (“DRM”) is to be applied to your eBook, Barnes & Noble will use commercially reasonable efforts to provide such DRM consistent with industry standards.


That is how the language in the legal agreement for NOOK Press describes DRM. 

 

Unless we mutually agree otherwise, we will use DRM in connection with the download of the eBooks, and we may use any available digital book DRM technology.

 

This is from Amazon's contract.

 

Note that they're both saying the same thing - the retailer will apply DRM if the author wants it and will not if they don't. The difference is all tone. The BN one is completely agnostic - it simply states that if the author wants DRM than BN will provide it. The Amazon one is far more aggressive - DRM encumberment is the default for all Amazon's books.

 

And this flies directly in the face of what captain Bezos tells the world he and Amazon feel about DRM. He's repeatedly said in interviews that it's the publishers who insist on DRM encumberment and that he would love to go DRM free on everything. He's scapegoating authors and publishers while at the same time secretly using language that aggressively promotes the use of a technology he said he doesn't want around. It's the worst kind of doublespeak.

 

All it does it confirm to me that Amazon's DRM has nothing to do with content protection - it's solely about keeping customers locked into their ecosystem.

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deesy58
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Re: Amazon and DRM

Does anybody believe that "tone" has any significance in a courtroom?

 

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keriflur
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Re: Amazon and DRM

[ Edited ]

The Amazon contract language is NOT from KDP, it's from a contract with a publisher.  Unless you have B&N publisher contract language, I'm not sure we can legitimately compare the two.

 

Also, see what I said above about no default and good lawyers.