5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 30, 2010 3:04 PM by Doug_Pardee

    Shouldn't Agency Model force universal DRM or no DRM at all?

      If you have to pay the same price for the eBook, no matter where you buy it, why don't publishers force the resellers to also use a standardized DRM, or to scrap it all together? It seems since they're eliminating the true "market" for the eBooks, then why not allow people to read what they purchsed on ANY DEVICE?

        • Re: Shouldn't Agency Model force universal DRM or no DRM at all?
          dElaphant

          Right now the ebook resellers all sell devices, so they have an interest in locking you into their device. And for the publishers, if you decide to change devices and want to use your books on the new device, then you have to buy your books again. So they make two sales instead of one. It's win-win. For them.

           

          I don't think the market will change until there are more major ebook sellers who don't sell their own hardware. The nook is part of the problem in that respect, although B&N is on the right track by also selling other devices and selling books that will work on other devices. 

           

            • Re: Shouldn't Agency Model force universal DRM or no DRM at all?

              Your second paragraph contradicts your first.  :smileywink:

               

              Going back to what Quite said ("then why not allow people to read what they purchsed on ANY DEVICE?") this is essentially the way Adobe DRM works (B&N uses a subset of Adobe DRM) in allowing you to authorize a dozen devices.

               

              Amazon is the odd man out in this respect with B&N, Borders (Sony) and others who are adopting ePUB moving in the right direction.

            • Re: Shouldn't Agency Model force universal DRM or no DRM at all?
              Doug_Pardee
              QuiteTheCharacter wrote:

              why don't publishers force the resellers to also use a standardized DRM ... why not allow people to read what they purchsed on ANY DEVICE?

              A noble cause, and I suspect that one day we'll get there. For the moment there are some complications.

               

              1. Amazon owns 90% of the e-book market and wants to continue that hegemony. In futherance of that goal, Amazon runs a 'walled garden' where only Kindles can read Amazon e-books and Amazon is the only supplier of DRMed e-books for Kindles.

              2. Apple thinks they can make iBookstore another iTunes by doing the same lock-in, but they got it completely backward. Only iPad can read iBookstore e-books with their FairPlay DRM, but everyone's DRMed e-books will work on iPad because all it takes is to install an appropriate app. Apple isn't even shipping their own iBooks app with the iPad, so Amazon and B&N are on equal footing with iBookstore.

              3. The obvious choice for a universal DRM—Adobe's ADEPT, used on EPUBs by OverDrive, Sony, and Fictionwise among others—has been cracked.

              B&N took the closest thing to a high road on this by working with Adobe to get B&N/eReader DRM on EPUBs included as part of Adobe's DRM system: Content Server and Reader Mobile. Since most e-readers use Adobe Reader Mobile (even Kindle, although it cripples RM to only handling PDFs), this could open up B&N EPUBs to a wide variety of readers. And since every e-bookstore putting ADEPT DRM onto EPUBS is already using Content Server, they will have the option of using eReader DRM.

               

              eReader DRM is useless for library loans, because it's essentially a simple password encryption scheme. ADEPT allows OverDrive to specify a time limit for the checkout, and to control printing and copying, but eReader doesn't. eReader DRM almost encourages copying within tight groups like families.

               

              My predictions, for what they're worth:

               

              I think the future is going to have multiple DRMs, with Reader Mobile able to deal with all of them. That will allow an e-book to be read on any device with RM.

               

              I don't see how iBookstore can succeed if they restrict their sales to iPad owners. Many iPad owners won't even be interested in using it as an eReader. The ones who do use it as an eReader have Amazon's much much wider catalog to choose from. So either iBookstore will totally collapse or Apple will have to work with Adobe to put FairPlay DRM into Adobe Reader Mobile so that the rest of us can buy from iBookstore (although I don't know why I would, since they only carry 'agency model' content).

               

              Amazon might well have the clout to continue to insist on its walled garden for a long time to come, in which case they might continue to be the exception just as they are today.

                • Re: Shouldn't Agency Model force universal DRM or no DRM at all?
                  Doug_Pardee wrote:

                  Amazon owns 90% of the e-book market and wants to continue that hegemony. In futherance of that goal, Amazon runs a 'walled garden' where only Kindles can read Amazon e-books and Amazon is the only supplier of DRMed e-books for Kindles.

                  Just asking out of curiosity: do you have a source re: Amazon owning 90% of the ebook market?

                  Doug_Pardee wrote:

                  The obvious choice for a universal DRM—Adobe's ADEPT, used on EPUBs by OverDrive, Sony, and Fictionwise among others—has been cracked.

                  As has AMZ.  Interestingly, AMZ has been cracked for quite some time and they seem to not be updating it very frequently. Adobe has gone through several iterations in the past several months so they seem to be somewhat interested in closing holes.

                   

                  But, as long as "losses" are relatively minor my guess is that DRM will never be more onerous than it is now.

                  Doug_Pardee wrote:

                  B&N took the closest thing to a high road on this by working with Adobe to get B&N/eReader DRM on EPUBs included as part of Adobe's DRM system ....

                  My personal belief is that this is the direction things will be going. It is more cost effective for a company to "buy" code than to develop it in-house and Adobe has a lot of experience developing DRM for software.

                  Doug_Pardee wrote:

                  My predictions, for what they're worth:

                   

                  Amazon might well have the clout to continue to insist on its walled garden for a long time to come, in which case they might continue to be the exception just as they are today.

                  Inertial will keep them on the path their on for some time now. But ultimately, I believe, they may well go the way of Apple with the closed system. It is interesting how many people listed Amazon's "walled garden" as one of the factors they used in choosing a nook.