Re: [ebook-community] "Good" DRM.
- From: Robotech_Master
On 7/31/06, Ben Trafford <ben@...> wrote:
> How would Mary E Tyler answer me when I asked, "How do I get
> paid when somebody can instantly copy my entire book and give it to a
> hundred thousand of their closest friends?"
Funny thing is, Baen has grown significantly larger on the strength of
its free and sold unencrypted versions of its writers' ebooks. See
Eric Flint's flinty (if ever a writer was more appropriately named I'm
not sure who it would be :) introduction at
for more on the rationale behind it and his responses to people who
fear piracy. (And read his Prime Palaver articles for proof in the
form of financial statements cited with permission from the authors.)
Cory Doctorow's first novel, _Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom_,
reportedly sold much better than most authors' first novels, on the
strength of its free and unencrypted e-giveaway.
See also publisher Tim O'Reilly's article, "Piracy is progressive
taxation," on how piracy may be less of a threat than obscurity and
Now, I'm NOT claiming that piracy is a good and laudible thing, or
that the decision as to whether and how a book should be Available On
Teh Intarweb should be anyone but the author's. But it seems like a
lot of people who have tried this experiment have found that their
books get a significant boost out of it. It's something to think about
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I've visited the Baen site and I couldn't see the kind of giveaway you suggest. There were chapters [like site point does for its technical works] if you have the patience on dial up, and apparently whole older books.
The sample chapter idea has been around for yonks and is not an invention on the web. Did I miss something and do they really offer a whole new work in ebook for free, hoping for paper sales from that?
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I haven't been able to keep up with this discussion as I would like too my
computer was down for a while. This may of been brought up.
I am not for DRM. First they would have to make it backwards compatible,
and for some software this will be about impossible. A day will come
someone will have a ebook installed and it will be tied to a reader. No
other reader will work. They will release a security patch that may be
tied to the DRM for the reader, and the ebook that this person has been
reading for weeks will no longer work. Wouldn't you be pis..d? Same going
for any software that you may have tied to DRM. If you pay for a year
subscription, or even have files on your computer that you have had years
that are important to you. DRM could be the thing that breaks them. All
because its security related. It may be tied to safeguard the file itself,
but it could break the camels back. Same as what many business are facing
today. Quite a few are still running the old versions of Microsoft Office.
Why? Because they have files that depend on the older versions. The cost
is enormous for some to upgrade, you don't have just the software upgrades
to think about, that will cost you thousands, you have the original files to
upgrade also. That is many man/woman hours to be stuck at a desk retyping
files that date back to the 90's and even 80's. For some places of
business, it is impossible. For some files even it's impossible.
The second part of DRM that I don't care for is that DRM assumes you are a
thief. Either way it doesn't matter whom you are, you can't be trusted.
Now the consumer is the one with thoughts along this line. The one
controlling the file is only thinking of keeping his/her product safe and
secure from the thieves that want to copy it and resell it. The consumer
doesn't want to be bothered with your problems of theft. They just want to
be able to use the product when they want too, and where they want too. You
take this from them, they will balk, and move on.
It could be the end of certain file types and one of those could be ebooks.
Ebooks do not have the market like games, software programs, Operating
Systems, etc do. So you may gain DRM but you would be hard to try to
convince the masses to purchase your ebook even though the price was jacked
up, even though it has DRM, and even though it it's maybe tied to it's own
reader, and the content could or could not be up to par. You wont find out
the latter till after your purchase. Just too many if's for the consumer.
maybe some have money to blow, but I don't see DRM in ebooks ever working,
unless you come up with a far better marketing plan than what's already out
If you want to know what the consumer thinks about todays ebooks...
I do know quite a few people online, and off line. Not thousands, but a few
hundred. Most said yes they checked into them. They griped. One needs its
own type reader in order for you to view it, if you have to download a half
dozen ebook readers after while that gets confusing, and some of them wanted
you to pay for a reader also, so it could get expensive. Not to forget to
mentioning that a few hard drives could fill up quickly. You have quite a
few avid readers online. Another is a exe file, and there was no way they
would even mess with something like that unless there was some security seal
of safety approval accompanying it. Other gripes were most were to do about
nothing ...if they were free they would check them out, and others cost too
much, A couple were disappointed with the content, even though they didn't
spend that much on the ebook, the content was that of a third grader, and so
on. So they said the content is iffy, you don't know if its worth the money
and the download, and they didn't want to find out after they spent their
Anyone can put a page up to a download to a ebook and claim to have the
ebook of the century ready for download. Selling it is another story. What
it boils down too is add DRM to the mix and you will really see ebooks
suffer. If DRM will be a part of the whole picture, then some sort of
fixing the problems already being suffered by ebooks needs to be fixed,
before you add to the kettle. I don't have the money to put up a server for
ebooks that can be handled in such a way as some of your consumer stores
handle their customers. With nice reviews, Categories, and a seal of
security approval if needed, and no more than three different type readers.
Or ebook file types. One reader type is best. I will bite my lower lip,
and say three though. Plus anything else added to spruce up the sales of
them would be a plus. Oh! before I forget, a few of the ones I talked too
said that ebooks are nothing but a marketing tool to sell the consumer a
ebook on how to make money like they did. So it seems that ebooks have a
sore on their heel, and some consumers don't mess with them because that
sore is only a sales pitch.
Ebooks need to really evolve in order to sell the consumer.
I hope I didn't bore anyone, and if I did I'm sorry. But I work on the
consumer side of things, and can sometimes see what the seller can not. At
present I work with about average of 300 consumers.
There is no good DRM for ebooks right now from what I can see.