11-19-2013 01:22 PM
If publishers are going to release egalleys, they need to watermark them, which makes tracing bad reviewer behavior fairly simple. A few years back the motion picture industry went after a minor actor when they found that large numbers of bootleg videos had been copied from his Oscar screening copies. They had finally gotten smart and added unique digital watermarks to every copy sent out.
They do, but watermarks are easy to remove, and watermarking hasn't stopped the issue. It's been pretty bad, with some authors refusing to allow the pub to release them, because their experience has been that the increase in piracy is not worth the boost in word-of-mouth. On the flip side, an author I know of had to request that her pub release a free sample - she wanted something for her fans, and her pub wasn't allowing ARCs and egalleys because of the piracy issue.
The problem here is that people can't resist an exclusive. The book isn't out yet, and everyone wants to be the first of their friends to read it. And the fact is that most people who get early copies do not go out and buy the book, and many of them are legitimate lost sales, folks who would have been happy to buy the book on release day, but now they've read it so why spend the money? Egalleys are a bigger issue than illegal downloads after the book is out, because once the book is out, people can choose to buy legally. With egalleys, people can choose to wait to buy the book, but the temptation to "have it now" is much higher, especially for series books.
11-19-2013 01:36 PM - edited 11-19-2013 03:04 PM
One of my favorite tech publishers is O'Reilly. They've dropped DRM for some time, and make a point of providing a host of downloadable formats for every title purchased (epub, mobi, pdf). They provide 40% discounts on paper books for every ebook purchased. They provide bundles of print and electronic books at significant discounts. They provide meaningful discounts -- 50% off for members -- in a no-cost membership program. This includes both O'Reilly and a number of other publishers as well. I've purchased several hundred dollars worth of ebooks (at 1/2 off) from O'Reilly in the last year alone as a result.
Tim O'Reilly was interviewed in Forbes back in 2011 and had some great observations on piracy: "... Let’s say my goal is to sell 10,000 copies of something. And let’s say that if by putting DRM in it I sell 10,000 copies and I make my money, and if by having no DRM 100,000 copies go into circulation and I still sell 10,000 copies. Which of those is the better outcome? I think having 100,000 in circulation and selling 10,000 is way better than having just the 10,000 that are paid for and nobody else benefits."
With ebooks now making up nearly 1/2 of their sales, I'd say O'Reilly has some knowledge of the realities of the market.
11-19-2013 02:01 PM
It seems like lithium ate some of your quote Bobstro. Though the basic idea should still be clear.
11-19-2013 03:03 PM - edited 11-19-2013 03:04 PM
I have no idea what Lithium is trying to do. I've quit using Firefox for B&N sites, and it's even acting weird with Chrome now. I just did a cut & paste on the quote and it looks good... for now.
11-24-2013 08:52 AM
The books that have DRM you "buy" from Companies like Barnes and Noble, Google Books and Amazon you never truly own. You only buy the right to read them. In other words you rent them. Barnes and Noble has some Books that you truly buy and own DRM free. This a good reason to not buy books that are rented "sold" to you by Book Companies. It's your Choice. Amazon and Google books have also removed books from people who thought they "owned" them but had DRM rights only. Some people feel very strongly about this and have gone to the web and found ways to remove DRM from their books or bought books that are DRM Free. They are out there. You can more easily find them when sold by some small book sellers that don't recognize or impose DRM rights and or allow you to remove them. There are programs that can remove DRM rights that have been imposed by Book sellers. Some countries don't recognize DRM at all. Exercise your right to look elsewhere for DRM FREE books that you can actually own not rent. If you feel strongly about DRM you may look for ways to remove it. It should be your rights not their rights that's important to you. It's a good way to send a message to companies that would like to take you rights away. Vote with your feet used to be the old saying, now it should be vote with your browser.
11-24-2013 11:20 AM - edited 11-24-2013 12:14 PM
Unfortunately, the publishers determine what gets DRM applied, and they also control many of the big name authors. You can't just decide to buy any given title without DRM.
Some publishers and authors are coming around, but it's a slow process. Consumer pressure is important. If you really feel strongly about it, though, the choice comes down to simply not buying certain titles that can't be had without DRM.
How do you back up all of your ebooks that you bought from B& N? I can't even save them to a very expensive and now useless sdmicro card that I installed in my nookHD as per their instructions
Even simpler is to use Calibre Companion (3 bucks, I think, at the Play store) and calibre on your PC.
CC will connect to Calibre on your PC and let it reach into your Nook and let you know which titles are on it and back them up to your PC. Should any go missing from your Nook for whatever reason they can be restored painlessly.
They can also be restored to any other computer or tablet running the Nook software or other epub reader that knows ADE and read there. (that is, the files can be copied and used without removing DRM. Removing DRM is of course an option once they're off the device.)