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LauraHJ
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-27-2010

ebooks and DRM

I just bought a new nook for my husband for his birthday - he travels a lot, so it's much easier to carry periodicals, books, newspapers in this format.

 

We got it registered, and I was dying to share a couple of books I have on my Adobe Digital Editions on my mac, so we figured out how to get ADE to recognize the nook, but then were unable to share the books because they have to be registered under the same account.

 

Now, let's get sensible.  If I had a paper copy of the books, I would just give them to him to read.  I'm planning to get my own nook eventually (or at least, I was!), so I don't want to register my ADE to his account, and he doesn't want his nook registered to mine.  Not being able to share ebooks in the same household is an insane restriction that has officially pissed me off.  I was becoming a great fan of ebooks for a huge number of reasons, but this just about nullifies all of that.

 

i went so far as to look for hacks to disable DRM, but I don't feel like I should have to do that.  It's not like I'm trying to do anything I couldn't already do with a paper copy, nor am I trying to steal or make money off the hard work of the author and publisher.

 

Get real, and get DRM policies that are logical and make sense.  We've been through this whole cycle already with music and iTunes - you'd think the lesson wouldn't have to be learned again from scratch.

Inspired Bibliophile
FrogAlum
Posts: 3,425
Registered: ‎12-25-2009
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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

The DRM discussion has been beat to death in other threads here.  I kindof doubt that anything new will come from a new discussion.  That said ...

 

As I was reading another discussion on this topic it dawned on me that the DRM angst is somewhat new.  I have been reading ebooks, mostly from eReader.com, for more than 10 years and I never considered the DRM a big deal.

 

Not only that, it was never a big topic of discussion on ebook forums that I saw "back then."

 

I wonder if the younger crowd adopting ebooks now (the Napster generation?) or perhaps just a broader cross-section of people has something to do with this issue gaining such heft?

 

I like Lend Me (beta :smileyindifferent:) and hope it evolves into something useful.  But I'm having a real hard time getting worked up over the so-called ownership restrictions.

 

Just my 3 cents.

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keriflur
Posts: 6,552
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: ebooks and DRM

[ Edited ]

eDigest - Sorry us young kids are bothering you with our desire to have rights over what we're paying for... LOL.  I'm 33 by the way.

 

DRM is surfacing again as an issue in part because of the price increase.  Why should I pay hardcover prices for an ebook file that I can't use on whatever device I want, regardless of whether my credit card is attached to that device?  Why should I pay hardcover prices for a book I can't give to my husband to read, or my mom?  Why should I pay that same high price for something I can't sell after I use it, the way I could if I paid the very same price for the hardcover, or paid less for the paperback?  Basically, DRM decreases the value of the ebook.  If I'm going to have restrictions, I better be getting a deal.

 

The other reason DRM is coming up is that a lot more people are buying ereaders and using ebooks.  Amazon makes no secret of the fact that you have to have a kindle to read kindle books, and you could only read kindle books if you bought a kindle, but B&N marketed the nook in a way that implied more flexibility - ePub files, the ability to read books you already own from other sites, etc.  So basically there are a lot of people thinking they can easily use their existing files, or that they can do things with their ebooks that they really can't, or can but it's a lot more complicated.

 

IMO DRM is an issue.  A lot of us who purchase digital music have seen the DRM wars, but with the music there was always an out - burn the songs to a CD and then rip them in whatever format you wanted, DRM-free.  No such option works for ebooks.  I suppose you could take screen prints and scan them into a PDF, then use Calibre to convert it to an epub file, but that's extremely time consuming and a lot of quality would be lost in the process.  The music companies did eventually get over their irrational fears and give in to the process, and now it's easy to buy DRM-free mp3s.  The only question is, how long will we have to wait for the publishers to figure it out, and what will we lose in the process?  As a 33 year old, how many different computers, ereaders and credit cards will I have in the remainder of my hopefully long lifetime?  Probably enough to make the existing DRM process a nightmare for both me AND the ebook providers.

Distinguished Wordsmith
eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009

Re: ebooks and DRM

Hi, Keri,

 

I will ignore the gratuitous slam and chock it up to you being a young kid.  :smileywink:  Though you addressed your note to me, I will also avoid pointing out the non sequiturs in your arguments.

 

But since you mentioned rights, let me ask about that.  What about the rights of the author and publisher?  Do they have any?  Does your convenience supersede the authors right to a fair return on his or her art?

 

Do you believe authors and publishers should shoulder the entire risk and cost of theft by removing all DRM from their work?

 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the anti-DRM argument because I produce a product that is also easily pilferable and I have heard every excuse and rationalization under the sun from those who steal my work.

 

Correspondent
Large_Marge
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎01-18-2010
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Re: ebooks and DRM

 


LauraHJ wrote:

We got it registered, and I was dying to share a couple of books I have on my Adobe Digital Editions on my mac, so we figured out how to get ADE to recognize the nook, but then were unable to share the books because they have to be registered under the same account.

 

Now, let's get sensible.  If I had a paper copy of the books, I would just give them to him to read.


 

 

If you have ebooks in your ADE library and want to share them on multiple devices without registering the devices to the ADE account this isn't exactly the same thing as sharing a physical book.

 

With the physical book, there is only one copy of the book floating around regardless of whom you share it with.

 

With an ebook, if you have a legitimately purchased copy in your ADE library and load it onto your registered nook you have two copies of the ebook, but the licensing allows / accounts for this.  Unlike a physical book you can have up to 12 copies of your ebook on different devices, provided they're your devices.  An electronic bonus, as it were.

 

But if you want to create more copies for someone not "licensed" to have a copy  (which is what you must do to lend your book in the manner you described above) then you have diverted from the physical book paradigm.  When you lend the physical book you can't go back to reading the same book as if it never changed hands.

 

I think there are two possible solutions to this problem.

 

One is B&Ns experimentation with "Lend Me."  Personally, I would like to see Lend Me expanded to allow lending multiple times (once at a time) but it is a small step in the right direction.

 

Another solution is to take the tack that software publishers use.  If you want to loan, give away, sell, etc, an ebook, you must unregister it so it is no longer accessible on your device.

 

Frequent Contributor
sabst79
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎01-15-2010
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Re: ebooks and DRM

 


eDigest wrote:

Hi, Keri,

 

I will ignore the gratuitous slam and chock it up to you being a young kid.  :smileywink:  Though you addressed your note to me, I will also avoid pointing out the non sequiturs in your arguments.

 

But since you mentioned rights, let me ask about that.  What about the rights of the author and publisher?  Do they have any?  Does your convenience supersede the authors right to a fair return on his or her art?

 

Do you believe authors and publishers should shoulder the entire risk and cost of theft by removing all DRM from their work?

 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the anti-DRM argument because I produce a product that is also easily pilferable and I have heard every excuse and rationalization under the sun from those who steal my work.

 


 

I'm all for DRM and authors right and publishers.  But I can see a point to making ebooks cheaper than hardbacks.  If I buy a hardback, I will read it, will let a few of my friends read it, and probably eventually sell it to a used book store.  The author and publisher makes money only off my purchase of the book and that's it.  If I buy and ebook, I'm not goint to share it w/ my friends since they're not on my  account.  I might use the Lend Me feature once if the book has it available, and I'm not going to sell the book to the used book store.  So if my friends and family want to read the same book, they will buy their own copies (ebook or DTB).  So even if the ebook is cheaper in price compared to a hardback, the author and publisher will still make their fair amount if they sell more copies of the cheaper ebook vs. one copy of the hardback.

 

Frequent Contributor
Paul58
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎12-20-2009

Re: ebooks and DRM

[ Edited ]

DRM is essentially a lock, and like any lock, it will keep the honest, honest, but the thievies will break it and steal what they want, like they always have...

 

I also have some concerns with how eBook DRM works, i.e. being tied to a specific credit card or device/computer.  I'm 51, but I can't guarrantee I will have the same credit card, computer, and/or eReader 5, 10, or 15 years from now.  I also can't guarantee I'll NOT remenber every place I had those old credit cards or equipment registered, so at some point in time, I truely believe I will have eBooks I paid for that I can no longer access and read...

 

I also feel there needs to be some form of lending ability incorporated into all DRM.  This would allow us to lend the eBook to a friend or relative (and not have access ourself when it's lent, just like a real book), but prevent the mass copying and distribution of the media, which is what ultimately hurts the Author/Publisher/Retailer. 

 

DRM is not necessarily a bad thing, but it definately can be improved upon to provide more value and flexibility to the eBooks experience!

Inspired Correspondent
Phigment
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎02-04-2010
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Re: ebooks and DRM

I know some support DRM and some Don't. Lets get hypothetical here.. lets say i purchase a book (hardcover or soft cover, don't matter) and it's a mystery book. Usually a mystery book is a read-once type of book. Once you know who did it, it would be a lot harder to get into it a second time (unless you have altzheimers). So at this point I have an item, that the odds are in favor I might never ever read again. What do I do with it? As a physical item, it have the option to give it away, no one loses any money but me for the initial purchase, or trade it in for either a pittance in cash, or a credit to another book. Again no one loses any money but me.

 

When I compare (my views only) music with books, i see it as a vast difference. I see it as music being more flexible to more people than books are to more people. Whereas, I see books differently, lets say I like one or two particular genre's, out of those say 2 genre's I might like/enjoy 4-5 authors. Whereas a lot of other people will like even more different authors in the same genre. I'm not going to do a tally or spend months googling to try and find out if there's more authors than musical group/singers. SO... my belief is, there's more authors, compared to singers/groups, and i think music tastes for people might overlap more, and yet.... mp3's are drm free. At least they are when I purchase them from Amazon.

 

So, if they publisher wants to DRM the books, fine and dandy. They have the right to do what ever they want with them. My complaint is, I've purchased an electronic book, that the odds are I might never ever read again. So why not allow lending, and lending on a permanent basis. The author/publisher still didn't lose out on a dime, because until they change the law, it's still legal for me to buy any physical book, and sell it or give it away with out having to shell back money to the author/publisher.

 

I still purchase (key word is purchase) books only from baen, since I get them not only DRM free, but in many different formats for 1/2 the price of new releases anywhere else.

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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM


Paul58 wrote:

DRM is essentially a lock, and like any lock, it will keep the honest, honest, but the thieves will break it and steal what they want, like they always have...


This is a common aphorism that I don't completely agree with.  The thieves will steal it anyway.  The honest will remain honest regardless of DRM.  There is a wide group in between who will rationalize only giving away a few copies to friends and family.  (This very example is expressed by a few who decry DRM in these forums.)  That is something that cannot be done with physical books (without expense) so it is something that should be addressed by DRM, IMHO.


I also have some concerns with how eBook DRM works, i.e. being tied to a specific credit card or device/computer.  I'm 51, but I can't guarrantee I will have the same credit card, computer, and/or eReader 5, 10, or 15 years from now.  I also can't guarantee I'll NOT remenber every place I had those old credit cards or equipment registered, so at some point in time, I truely believe I will have eBooks I paid for that I can no longer access and read...


That is possible.  But how many places are you going to buy books from?  For me, it is eReader, B&N and now Kobo.  In the case of the former two, regardless of when I purchased or which credit card I used, I can update my account and re-download the ebook and it will work on any device I choose to put it on.  I bought some eReader books a decade ago and they work fine on my nook and new netbook using this method.


I also feel there needs to be some form of lending ability incorporated into all DRM.  This would allow us to lend the eBook to a friend or relative (and not have access ourself when it's lent, just like a real book), but prevent the mass copying and distribution of the media, which is what ultimately hurts the Author/Publisher/Retailer. 

 

DRM is not necessarily a bad thing, but it definately can be improved upon to provide more value and flexibility to the eBooks experience!


Very much agree with the last two paragraphs.  If B&N makes Lend Me useable in any way resembling what can be done with physical books, they will make a whole lot of new fans.

 

I would also add, "which is what ultimately hurts the Author/Publisher/Retailer" and consumer.  :smileywink:

Correspondent
illmunkeys
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎12-21-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

[ Edited ]

 

eDigest wrote:

 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the anti-DRM argument because I produce a product that is also easily pilferable and I have heard every excuse and rationalization under the sun from those who steal my work.

 

 

 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who steal.  However, I do agree completely with the Anti-DRM movement.

 

1.  DRM doesn't work.  At all.  One of the most advanced DRM schemes made to date (by Ubisoft which requires the user to be online all the time even while playing a single player game) broken in 1 day.  One flipping day.  They were talking about it at least taking a week or so.  The expense just isn't worth it.

 

2.   I buy a DRMed book.  I have less functionality than someone who steals it.  Awesome.  Some of the best examples of this have been certain DVDs made by Sony.  They had such crappy DRM that some DVD players failed to read the disc.

 

3.  10 years pass.  Company A abandons its proprietary DRM format (ala the MS fiasco with music) and hardware makers end support.  Book is locked and unusable.  Yippee!

 

DRM needs to die.  Its useless, someone who steals a copy gets more than one who buys it, and it isn't future-proof.

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Phigment
Posts: 417
Registered: ‎02-04-2010
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Re: ebooks and DRM

Unfortunatly, we're not going to get rid of DRM, quite that quickly. Until the publishers/authors realise, their work is not quite as desirable to steal as music was. I buy a song, and guess what, I'll listen to it on a play list quite a few times, since it only takes 3-4 minutes to hear that song. But will I read the same ebook over and over and over again? eh... not with out a couple of years seperating the reading times, and assuming i'm continuing purchasing books the odds of re-reading said novel, gets slimmer and slimmer.

 

If they insist they absolutly have to have DRM, then initiate on all ereaders the ability to Lend (give away)/Sell your ebook to someone else.

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trureader
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-15-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

Here's another take on DRM  You buy an eBook.You have got up every morning to go to work to earn the money for that book.After that eBook you have paid for has been delivered to your device,you are not allowed to open and read that book because you don't have a c.c. You don't get your money back because it is against store policy.

 

     Everyone has been paid,you paid them.Now you don't get to read your book.Really really fair!!!

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Michael-V
Posts: 2,466
Registered: ‎03-01-2010
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Re: ebooks and DRM

When you purchase an eBook, your default credit card is charged. This is the default credit card defined for the BN.com account to which your nook is registered.

If you have Barnes & Noble Gift Cards/Certificates saved to your BN.com account, they will automatically be applied to your eBook, single issue newspaper, or single issue magazine purchases. If your eBook purchase is more than the amount on the Gift Cards/Certificates, then any available Gift Card balance will be redeemed first. Your default credit card will be charged for the remaining balance, if any.

 

So basically you have two options when purchasing eBooks at BN.com, but you must still have a default credit card saved to your BN.com account.

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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

illmunkeys wrote:

 

 

I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who steal.  However, I do agree completely with the Anti-DRM movement.

 

1.  DRM doesn't work.  At all. 

 

DRM needs to die.  Its useless, someone who steals a copy gets more than one who buys it, and it isn't future-proof.

I find DRM annoying at times, too  Usually it is transparent but occasionally a problem requires a little work.

 

If point #1 were really true we would not be having this discussion.

 

Sure, tools and instructions to break both Adobe DRM and Amazon DRM are on the Internet.  (I won't post a link ....)  But the majority of people won't find it, won't be able to make it work, or just plain won't try because they cross the line from casual theft to a premeditated act of theft.

 

I would agree with your last point ("DRM needs to die") if you changed it to "DRM needs to be overhauled."

 

All that aside, I have only one question which nobody has answered yet:

 

If you believe DRM should not exist, what do you propose to protect the rights of authors to be paid for their work?  Or do you think authors and publishers should shoulder the complete burdon of absorbing the loss of sales to theft?

 

Okay, that was two questions.  But, seriously, most published books already lose money.  If theft tips that even further who is going to publish books?  And if authors are not getting paid, who is going to write the books?

 

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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

 

trureader wrote:

Here's another take on DRM  You buy an eBook.You have got up every morning to go to work to earn the money for that book.After that eBook you have paid for has been delivered to your device,you are not allowed to open and read that book because you don't have a c.c. You don't get your money back because it is against store policy.

 

     Everyone has been paid,you paid them.Now you don't get to read your book.Really really fair!!!

 

So, if you don't have a credit card, how did you pay for the book?

 

Frequent Contributor
trureader
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-15-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

    I paid for my nook with cash.B&N used that to buy a B&Ngift card and paid for my nook with that.

 

    When researching nook after finding these boards,Ifound out about the c.c. issue.I had been told at the B&N store I would not need a c.c. to buy books.This is true.You may use cash,a B&N gift card,a VISA non-reloadable gift card (which worked fine until the 1.2.0 update)

 

     When I read on these boards about the c.c. issue I called B&N. Digital Support(polite!) said that all Google books would work.They don"t.

 

      Now I can read five samples on Space-Age Book.I have 104 eBooks & samples.The book I bought with my Visa non-reloadable gift card was the cheapest I "experiment" I could find.

 

       For $365.00 I have 5 samples and a really nice set of Alice in Wonderland screen savers.                                                                   

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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

[ Edited ]

 

trureader wrote:

    When researching nook after finding these boards,Ifound out about the c.c. issue.I had been told at the B&N store I would not need a c.c. to buy books.

 

     When I read on these boards about the c.c. issue I called B&N. Digital Support(polite!) said that all Google books would work.They don"t.

 

 

I would go back to whomever told you that you don't need a credit card and point out this item from the FAQ:

 

Credit Card Required

 

If you don't want to add a credit card to your B&N account, you're out of luck as far as buying  B&N books through your nook is concerned.  Since B&N gave you bad info, they should allow you to return the nook without the restocking fee.

 

That said, you can still read Google books, albeit with a bit of a hassle.  Rather than download from B&N (which, of course, you can't do) you can download them from Google books and sideload them to your nook.

 

Distinguished Scribe
sub_rosa
Posts: 812
Registered: ‎12-25-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM

I know from previous encounters that eD values precision in framing responses.  So I'm wondering - does B&N require an actual credit card or can you use a debit card with a Visa/MC logo that is linked directly to money that you already own in a bank account somewhere?  If it's the latter, then you don't need a credit card at all - just a bank account, money in the account, and a debit card that masquerades as a credit card.

 

(I use the word "if" because I don't know for sure, in case anyone is wondering).

 


Don't buy from Random House, Macmillan, or Penguin until the agency model is COMPLETELY dead.
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eDigest
Posts: 487
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: ebooks and DRM