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Book Piracy — Less DRM, More Data

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-bring-logic-into-this dept.

Books 304

macslocum writes "Ambiguity surrounds the real impact of digital book piracy, notes Brian O'Leary in an interview with O'Reilly Radar, but all would be better served if more data was shared and less effort was exerted on futile DRM. 'The publishing industry should be working as hard as we can to develop new and innovative business models that meet the needs of readers. And what those look like could be community-driven. I think of Baen Books, for example, which doesn't put any DRM restrictions on its content but is one of the least pirated book publishers. As to sales, Paulo Coelho is a good example. He mines the piracy data to see if there's a burgeoning interest for his books in a particular country or market. If so, he either works to get his book out in print or translate it in that market.'"

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304 comments

the pirates they dont read much... (-1, Offtopic)

gellern (1045842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828004)

no anna karenina

40000 novels , 8000 manuals, 50000 hacker texts.. (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828120)

ADD...500 RPG ebooks

I have read about 1000 novels, 200 manuals , 3000 hacker texts.
4500 TV episodes all sci fi
250 sci fi and horror movies
8000 games form 1989 to present.
pirated bryce and 3dsmax for 3d rendering
adobe photoshop and others for image stuffs
tons more self made apps and open source stuff.
NOW i have this now , i can create my fantasy and i am.DO i need , care or worry to badly that you are going to cap canada internet?
NO. i'll share freely in person to people.
THEN YOU DON'T GET taxes or a dime.


ILL BUY POT instead a internet. BIKERS can enjoy the new revenue. ILL Be inventing despite you.

DRM (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828016)

(Sarcasm)

You can never lock up content too tight.
Let's have each letter encrypted separately.
(/Sarcasm)

Just wait (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828084)

Soon you'll need a DRM chip in your optic nerve just to read a book or watch a movie.

I love my Kindle (2)

chispito (1870390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828058)

But just like with Apple and the itunes, Amazon is never going to convince me that the DRM they use is for my own good. It's about control and monopolies and always has been. (And yes I know itunes is DRM-free now that the ipod dominates the market).

Kindle is a great example (3, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828358)

The seemingly most popular eReader can't 'legally' load copyrighted ebooks from Borders, B&N, or public libraries. Any user doing so violates the DMCA to get it there.

It's worse when you see people advocating buying dedicated eReaders per store as a reasonable thing to have to do with the reasoning 'why would you expect to use Gillette blades with a Bic handle?'.

Re:Kindle is a great example (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828470)

There is very little cross use of DRM-burdened content for any of the devices out there, so it isn't just Amazon (and I know you didn't suggest that, just clarifying my stance). In my case, the Kindle was the best choice since I shop on Amazon frequently anyway and don't live near a B&N store. As for other devices/formats? I have access to a PC just about everywhere else I am and can read them on it if I choose.

It would be nice if Amazon went DRM free for books like they did for music, but it is the publishers that force the issue, not Amazon. Though I'm sure they are more than happy to profit from the limitation.

Re:Kindle is a great example (5, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828716)

Book "piracy" (e.g. rampant copying) has been going on for ages now. At the same time, I can't object to much of what happens with it.

I'm a collector of roleplaying system books. A large number of them are out of print. A sizable majority, not only are they out of print, the publisher itself is long gone. My options are to scour secondhand markets and convention auctions like nobody's business, but that can't find everything. Eventually, just to archive them and keep them around in case they get requested for reference, "piracy" is the last-and-only resort.

It's not half as good as having the physical book in my hand, but it's better than being unable to find the material. And when traveling to a distant convention, sometimes it's a "necessary evil" in order to transport the material in a 6-lb laptop rather than shipping an 80-lb suitcase back and forth.

Now, I'd be willing to pay $1-2 more to get a PDF copy of the book along with the print copy, but the same can't be said for Kindle/Nook/etc formats. Why? Because I have NO guarantee that there'll be a good reader for them 10 years from now. I'm hauling around (in some cases) 20 year old material here, I know I'll still be able to read a PDF a decade from now because it's non-DRM'ed, but the same can't be said for the DRM-laden formats.

Re:I love my Kindle (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828374)

And yes I know itunes is DRM-free now that the ipod dominates the market

Care to cite? Once the DRM model exists it it is a minor cost to keep everything under the same model. I highly doubt that Apple's marketshare has much to do with their dropping of DRM. If anything, Apple probably has even more competition than they have had when they had DRM in the past with major players like Amazon in the market.

Re:I love my Kindle (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828422)

But just like with Apple and the itunes, Amazon is never going to convince me that the DRM they use is for my own good. It's about control and monopolies and always has been. (And yes I know itunes is DRM-free now that the ipod dominates the market).

It seems like revisionist history to imply that Apple put DRM on iTunes because they wanted to. What evidence we have indicates the contrary - Apple wanted to be DRM-free, but the record labels wouldn't allow it.

Re:I love my Kindle (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828540)

But just like with Apple and the itunes, Amazon is never going to convince me that the DRM they use is for my own good. It's about control and monopolies and always has been. (And yes I know itunes is DRM-free now that the ipod dominates the market).

It seems like revisionist history to imply that Apple put DRM on iTunes because they wanted to. What evidence we have indicates the contrary - Apple wanted to be DRM-free, but the record labels wouldn't allow it.

Then please stop trying to revise histroy. Apple always wanted DRM (their whole OS is DRMed on a hardware level. Want to install OSX on non-Apple hardware? Lots of cracks needed. The OSX DRM is to check to make sure its Apple only hardware.) Apple only got rid of its DRM in its music because Amazon was in the final steps of getting the labels to agree that they would be able to sell DRM music on Amazon.com (look when Jobs wrote that letter declaring 'Oh we don't like DRM, we were strong armed...' a few months before Amazon started selling DRM free music). Apple had to drop the DRM in response to the threat Amazon was about to cause. Because if Apple really didn't want DRM they would remove it from every other digital product on iTunes. They just don't though because they love DRM, helps lock you to them.

Re:I love my Kindle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828732)

I think the only real DRM an ereader needs is not giving the user the ability to connect to other online stores from within the device. I know that given the choice between buying from several stores and managing the books on my e-reader myself and letting Amazon have all my buisness in exhnage for them handling the lybrary managment and content delivery for me I'd choose the later.

I used to have a Bookeen Cybook which i chose over the first generation Kindle because it was more "open"; dealing with multiple book stores (perticularly remembering which book came from which store to re-downlowd if nesesary) was rather anoying. When an unfortunate accident rendered the screen unusable, and I looked into replacing it I decided to instead go with a current generation Kindle rather than another Cybook, and I can honestly say that since I did that I have not missed the ability to search multiple shops, and have bought more books than I had at the comperable point in my Cybook's lifespan.

Re:I love my Kindle (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829076)

And yes I know itunes is DRM-free now that the ipod dominates the market

Music from the iTunes store is DRM free, but unless it's changed very recently videos are still DRM-encumbered.

The real problem with ebooks (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828064)

The other major problem with ebooks is that the selection outside of the US is shocking. Most stores refuse to sell to us, the others will have something like "This book is not available in your region" for most of their titles.

Re:The real problem with ebooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828920)

Historically, distribution contracts did not cover distribution beyond a certain territory (e.g., the U.S). Those rights were retained by the authors/publishers, to be contracted out according to their best interest. This was actually true of "e" rights as well. Simply put, the fact that a publisher/distributor have rights to sell a paper book, does not automatically mean that they can sell the electronic version. People who have the rights have been sitting on them, trying to see how to best exploit the market(s). Now that there are major, mainstream distribution channels (Amazon, B&N, Apple, etc.) there is a chance that rights holders will start to relinquish their works.

Re:The real problem with ebooks (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828946)

> Most stores refuse to sell to us...

Because the rights for your country were sold to someone in your country. That's who you need to deal with.

Re:The real problem with ebooks (5, Interesting)

lahvak (69490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829000)

When I got a nook for christmas, I was looking forward for buying bunch of books from the country where I grew up. I would like to read some of the books that are being published there now, but shipping them across the ocean is pretty expensive. I was extremely disappointed by the small amount of ebooks that are available. In addition, when I tried to buy some, it turned out I would have to have a mobile phone number in that country. The only books that are available to me are either free out of copyright books that were digitized by libraries or volunteers, or pirated and illegally digitized books.

Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (2)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828074)

Because if the only way for me to load text onto a text reader is to buy it an inflated price from the company's book store, then I'm just not going to purchase the device.

If I'm going to spend money on a device that's solely for reading text, I'm going to want to use it to read the long volumes I encounter on a daily basis because seeing them on a backlit screen is far more comfortable than seeing black text on a white background on a computer monitor. If I can't put whatever I feel like onto a reader, which is what serves as an open door to piracy, then it's not very useful to me.

Re:Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (5, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828310)

Because if the only way for me to load text onto a text reader is to buy it an inflated price from the company's book store, then I'm just not going to purchase the device..

Isn't that exactly what the publishing companies want? Ebooks are a threat to the publishers' bottom lines. They're easy to share, they don't get old or fall apart, and authors can self-publish for basically nothing. Anything they can do that make ebooks unpopular keeps them relevant a little longer.

Re:Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828444)

At the same time, though, publishers are desperate to find a way to kill the used book market, which is an even bigger threat to their bottom lines. You see the worst sorts of tactics to kill used book sales in the textbook market -- publishers often release a new edition of a textbook with little more than the order of the practice problems changed. Publishers love the idea of DRM because it allows them to kill used book sales; of course, they are in for a hard dose of reality when they finally learn that these restriction technologies were doomed from the start.

Re:Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (5, Insightful)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828462)

You might be looking at the wrong end of the dog.

Plain text eBooks (or ones using open unDRMed formats) represent a threat. However, book publishers have found a way to have their cake and eat it too with DRM.

Through DRM, they eliminate the used market and lending, make it a challenge to share, and through obsolescence of the hardware will "get old and fall apart." Also, authors can't self-publish as easily, because while there's nothing stopping anybody from making a .mobi file that will load on just about everybody's platform, it won't have any of the DRM protections and none of the distribution advantage.

With DRM, eBook readers are a publisher's wet dream. /Disclaimer: I actually own and read books on a Kindle. I'm part of the problem.

Re:Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (3, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828618)

authors can't self-publish as easily

There is nothing in the DRM encumbered market that makes this true. The stewards of the DRM are the likes of Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. Even if an author *did* consider DRM a must-have for him to be comfortable publishing, the vendors will gladly help that author self-publish with DRM in order to cut out the publisher middle man. The publisher doesn't implement any technical infrastructure required for DRM to function.

Even if it were the case that DRM is inaccessible, sure they don't get DRM, but they also don't have to let a publisher gouge them for money in the middle.

Re:Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (1)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828892)

The process is not transparent to authors, and requires a small amount of technical savviness.

I know a good number of authors, a few of them you may have even heard of. None of them understand the technology enough to effectively use Amazon's self-publishing platform. Amazon's self-published e-books section are filled with books with typesetting problems. Hell, you could say the same thing about the professionally edited and published books: there are few eBooks I've purchased from Amazon that didn't have some oddity in the typesetting when read on the Kindle.

Even the most piss-poor publishing house offers a lot to an author: editing, illustration, typesetting, and promotion. They get none of that if they self-publish through Amazon.

Re:Don't try too hard to crush piracy. (2)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828848)

if the only way for me to load text onto a text reader is to buy it an inflated price from the company's book store, then I'm just not going to purchase the device.

I'm not aware of any reader that doesn't let you load content via USB. It's really not an issue.

When the pirated content is higher quality (4, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828088)

If you decide to only sell DRMed books, then you are selling a lower quality product than the pirates are given away. DRM can be a huge bother.

So I hope they are taking into account people who would have bought a non-DRMed ebook, but will pirate ebooks if only DRMed ebooks are available for sale.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (2)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828264)

The Kindle user experience is a data point against the "lower quality product" argument. It's certainly locked down, but the delivery path is pretty damn good. I've seen both DRM and pirated books, and buying a Kindle ebook is a better experience. Period. It just costs more.

This is very different from music and movies, where pirates perfected digital downloading long before a commercial option was available. Amazon, not stupid about these things, is hammering down ebook prices to get people on their platform before competitors can get off the ground - legal and illegal. Would I prefer to move books from my Kindle to my Nook, and buy books for Kindle from the store of my choice? Sure. But if quality user experience is the only argument against DRM you can muster, then it's a very DRM future in the ebook world, my friends.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828356)

It costs more and you lose your entire library if you switch to the competition.

But yes, the delivery path is quite straightforward. At least with the competition you're not quite as locked down and can move to a different device.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (3, Insightful)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828576)

The average consumer doesn't understand that. The average consumer has already purchased their copy of "Neverending Story" on video tape and now DVD, and is waiting in queue for their copy on BluRay. Yes, they've bought the same movie three times over the last 20 years (four if they paid for a movie ticket).

Yes, you and I know (as geeks) that today's current crop of monochrome-display eInk readers are almost identical to tomorrow's crop of color display ones, or today's tablets. Being as the latter can run Kindle/nook/Border's store, that's not a big issue.

Most people don't honestly care about library retention, and they never have in any other mass electronic medium to any large degree. Most consumers expect tomorrow's technology to not play today's media. Very few consumers who invested in large Laserdisc libraries yelled very loudly when they had to repurchase their libraries on DVD.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828876)

If you care about that, you probably have already figured out that ebook DRM has all been cracked.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828500)

Plus you get the bonus of having all your books and historical documents redacted and updated to the current version available from the ministry of truth with out any fuss or fear of the thought police busting down your door.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828372)

The problem with eBooks is that the pirated content is often poor. Numerous formatting errors, glaring OCR errors that never get fixed, straight up page scans, headers on every page (mostly a problem with reflowing PDFs)... it makes some books nearly unreadable on most devices. For $5-15 I can buy a book that (depending on my free time and the length) will take me 3 days to two weeks to read and I often read books several times. It isn't a bad investment and the formatting is good and I have no issues reading it on my device. I would prefer things be DRM free, and it would be nice if the kindle supported ePub (that's the primary reason I chose the nook) but eBooks are definately one area where the digital rips of paper books simply don't cut it and the cracked versions of published eBooks don't make it onto the pirating sites with enough frequency to offset the horrible OCR that plagues pirated books.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (1)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828678)

The problem with eBooks is that the pirated content is often poor. Numerous formatting errors, glaring OCR errors that never get fixed

To be fair, that's a problem with some legitimate content as well. I bought an E-Reads title recently and it was just appalling - probably averaged around an error per (small) page, including one in the very first paragraph. It was very very obvious that nobody had even glanced at the text after scanning it.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828944)

This is true. I can't count the number of Nookbooks that I've bought that have very obvious spelling, grammar, and/or typesetting errors. If you try to complain about it they treat you like you are crazy and give you the old "works for me". Usually they are oblivious to what it is you are trying to tell them is wrong with the book no matter how many times you repeat it for them.

Honestly, I'd pay more for a guaranteed proofread and 100% error free copy, even more if it were also DRM free.

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828624)

Well, I also recalled spending hours looking for books in a epub (even drm-ed) format and I couldn't find it. I finally resolved to look for it on TPB and I found it in 2 minutes. I wanted to buy the book. But I couldn't find it!

Re:When the pirated content is higher quality (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828670)

Yes. I have a substantial library of DRM-protected Microsoft Reader and Palm Reader books, which I'm now trying to deprotect and convert to read on modern hardware, as those formats are now practically abandoned. I gave the DRM a fair shot, and I'm not feeling like I got a good deal. I'm not aware of any stores that let you re-download a book in a different format if you buy different hardware, which they could easily do; seems to me the DRM is as much about trying to lock you in to a platform as it is about copy protection. Anyway from here on in, I'll only accept DRM-free books, whichever way I have to get them.

Baen Books (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828138)

One must examine all possibilities before jumping to any conclusions. Maybe Baen Books doesn't publish anything worth pirating. :^)

Re:Baen Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828238)

One must examine all possibilities before jumping to any conclusions. Maybe Baen Books doesn't publish anything worth pirating. :^)

You can't tell me that Chicks in Chainmail [webscription.net] is not worth pirating!

Re:Baen Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828252)

They publish Mercedes Lackey books, so I think your argument is refuted.

Re:Baen Books (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828312)

Really? So if you find an album that only has one solid song you buy the entire thing because, you know, it's all on the same album so the entire album must be good by some twisted logic?

Re:Baen Books (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828378)

The GP is correct, the assertion that they don't have piracy because there isn't anything worth pirating only requires a single exception to be refuted. I'm not familiar with the Mercedes Lackey books, but assuming that they're at all popular, that would meet the necessary level to set aside the argument.

Re:Baen Books (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828492)

You're just trying to bring this all down into a question of the literal interpretation of the point being made. Feel free but those of us who live in the real world aren't fooled.

Re:Baen Books (1)

colesw (951825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828256)

Except people will pirate anything, even the crappy stuff (note I love Baen Books :)

Re:Baen Books (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828370)

Um, what? No they won't. How many mediocre Journey cover bands do you find on The Pirate Bay (who aren't just trying to build publicity), none. Yet their stuff is under just as much copyright as Journey songs legally. Its just no one bothers pirating crappy Journey cover bands because no one really likes it. People don't pirate "anything" they pirate what they think is either:

A) Easier to find via pirating than legitimate means (things like obscure Japanese ROMs, DRM-encumbered files, etc.)

B) Things that cost far too much to their actual value (such as textbooks)

C) Things that are better to get pirated than legitimately acquired (games stripped of DRM, etc.)

Unless things are in bulk (As in, get all titles with the author's name A-C), people aren't going to be pirating crappy e-books.

Re:Baen Books (1, Interesting)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828270)

Came here to say exactly this.

A lot of Baen's catalog is dry, hard sci-fi and fantasy, and a lot of it is sold in used bookstores for 25 cents to $1 a copy.

There's not a lot in Baen's catalog I'd really be interested in reading as a casual sci-fi/fantasy reader. Most of their stuff I find to be impenetrable and/or very dry reading. I'm sure the hardcore fan base will mod this down, but there's a lot to be said for "Baen's content is DRMed by being completely inaccessible to the mass market."

Re:Baen Books (1)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828744)

There's not a lot in Baen's catalog I'd really be interested in reading as a casual sci-fi/fantasy reader.

Oh, c'mon. Yes, Sturgeon's Law applies here like anywhere else, but are you really claiming that writers like Lois Bujold don't appeal to casual genre readers? Do you know anyone that's read the Vorkosigan Saga and not been utterly bowled over by it?

Re:Baen Books (0)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828902)

Do you know anyone that's read the Vorkosigan Saga

No, I don't, and neither have the vast majority of other people.

Re:Baen Books (0)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829022)

I tried to read it. I got about 30 pages into Dreamweaver's Dilemma (the compilation containing the short story of the same name) and literally fell asleep in my easy chair. (irony: it's the only book of his NOT published by Baen)

It wasn't a bad story, and I can perhaps understand why somebody would read it. In the end, I felt it was no better than the average Star Trek pulp, which contains characters I'm already familiar with and "care about."

Yeah, I'm getting old. Increasingly, I don't want to be "bowled over" by my entertainment. Tell me a good compelling story with characters I can identify with, and you'll have me hooked. The Bujold I read just didn't engage me, personally.

Re:Baen Books (3, Informative)

alSeen (41006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828918)

You need to read Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series. The series has 3 books that have won the Hugo for Best Novel and 3 others that were nominated but didn't win. It is one of the best scifi series out there.

Available from Baen. DRM free. Heck, completely free from here.

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

Go to the Cryoburn CD to find the files.

This is a site that is hosting the CDs that Baen will include in some hardcover books. The CDs are freely redistributable. Baen is aware of the site and while it doesn't actively support it, they haven't asked them to stop.

You can get the complete set of the Vorkosigan books (minus one story called Memory that was forgotten when they made the disc, ironic huh) including the most recent book that had the CD included. That's right, they included an ebook version when you bought the hardcopy.

The files are all drm free and they give you the option of getting the epub, mobi, lrf, txt, html and another format I'm forgetting.

Why I pirate books (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828152)

Because it's an absolute SIN that they charge the same or more than the dead tree version of the product. The costs are so much less compared to physical books -- no distribution costs, printing costs, materials cost, less middle men costs, etc. Recently three authors wrote an ebook and self-published at ~$3, they all made the same amount of money they made with a publisher. Yes, this is a different business model as the publisher does provide some value add services, and these three authors were already known authors but the point still stands as to the costs of middle men and old distribution models.

If ebooks were in the $3-5 range I would buy everything, but $10 is a rip off. It's not my fault the industry hasn't laid off all the middle men and are trying to protect their jobs. So until they fire the extra costs, I say pirate away.

Re:Why I pirate books (2)

cob666 (656740) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828402)

This !

I've always read books and I find myself reading more now on my Nook than I did before I got an ereader device. The biggest gripe I have with ebooks is the price. I can walk into any bookstore and buy a paperback book for around 7 dollars, the same ebook will cost me a minimum of 9.99. I buy enough ebooks where this is becoming a problem. I recently tried to 'borrow' ebooks from the library but the selection is just laughable and unlike physical or even audio books there is no secondary market for ebooks. I now have a policy where if I'm reading a collection or multi title series I will by one ebook and download the rest. My justification is that if I buy a used book the publisher and author get no money from the secondary sale.

If the price of ebooks was BELOW the price of physical media then I would have no problem paying for all the ebooks I read.

Re:Why I pirate books (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828558)

Because it's an absolute SIN that they charge the same or more than the dead tree version of the product. The costs are so much less compared to physical books -- no distribution costs, printing costs, materials cost, less middle men costs, etc.

But if you look at it from the publisher's point of view, he doesn't see a $1 eBook sale as a new $1 of revenue, instead he sees it as a $20 hardcover that didn't sell.

So he charges $10 for the eBook to make up for the fact that eBooks are eating into his paper book sales. Worse, he's still got to maintain that whole paper distribution model, but now instead of a title selling 100,000 paper books, it's only selling 70,000 so his cost per paper book is increasing making it more important to make up the revenue in eBooks.

The advent of eBook readers may expand his market and let him sell more total books than before, but that's not a given and I don't think that's proven to be the case (yet). I suspect that the eBook early adopters are many of the same readers that would have bought the new release at a bookstore.

Re:Why I pirate books (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828978)

Because it's an absolute SIN that they charge the same or more than the dead tree version of the product. The costs are so much less compared to physical books -- no distribution costs, printing costs, materials cost, less middle men costs, etc.

But if you look at it from the publisher's point of view, he doesn't see a $1 eBook sale as a new $1 of revenue, instead he sees it as a $20 hardcover that didn't sell.

Sure, it's understandable if you look at it from the publisher's point of view.

But I'm not a publisher. I'm the (potential) customer. With the money. If the publisher wants my money, he damn well better start looking at things from my point of view, and catering to what I want, not what he wants. I don't care what he wants, or what his point of view is.

Re:Why I pirate books (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828586)

If ebooks were in the $3-5 range I would buy everything, but $10 is a rip off. It's not my fault the industry hasn't laid off all the middle men and are trying to protect their jobs. So until they fire the extra costs, I say pirate away.

You are, of course, almost certainly lying. If ebooks were in the $3-5 range you would be here with an almost identical complaint about how that is too high, but if they were around $1 you would buy.

Re:Why I pirate books (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828636)

If ebooks were in the $3-5 range I would buy everything, but $10 is a rip off. It's not my fault the industry hasn't laid off all the middle men and are trying to protect their jobs. So until they fire the extra costs, I say pirate away.

You are, of course, almost certainly lying. If ebooks were in the $3-5 range you would be here with an almost identical complaint about how that is too high, but if they were around $1 you would buy.

As long as it's a more reasonable amount, but not the same damn price as physical books!

Re:Why I pirate books (2)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828768)

$1 is too high for a separate purchase. I want to buy a hardcover or paperback and get an ebook free (or "free") with the same purchase. Kind of like how bluray/DVDs are now beginning to include digital copies of the movies in addition to the on-disc version; its a way (albeit, so far imperfect) to provide additional value to someone who actually wants to purchase your product.

Sometimes I like the paper copy, like when I want to take my reading outside, especially when poolside.

Re:Why I pirate books (1)

Pengo (28814) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828782)

You are, of course, almost certainly lying. If ebooks were in the $3-5 range you would be here with an almost identical complaint about how that is too high, but if they were around $1 you would buy.

Really?

Maybe i'm one of those burnt customers who have bought a Kindle with the hope that the eBooks will be more cost effective than tree-books.

I have just looked at my amazon account, and between myself and my wife we have over 100 purchased titles in our account. Both of us have kindles, as we're both avid readers.

A disturbing trend that seemed to occur when the iPad launched with it's book reader, the price of books nearly tripled, even more in the more popular books. Authors such as Steven King, have prices on their books that are drastically higher than the HARD BACK copies you can buy at Costco. Publishers such as Penguin are probably the worst of the publishers.

I'm not a pirate, nor am I going to threaten on Slashdot to start pirating books because the price is too high, but I will stop buying them. $15-20 for an eBook is ridiculous, and frankly i can understand why people would want to pirate the material when forced to pay such ridiculous prices.

The beauty of the price hikes that are occurring is it's pushing people to consider content from less popular, but just as talented authors that are selling their books in the $4-$7 price point, which from the reviews and popularity of these books growing on the top-100 lists on the Kindle store, appear to be a price point people don't mind spending.

Spammy article is spammy (1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828154)

How is this article anything but a thinly-veiled advertisement for Baen Books?

The reason why they are one of the least-pirated is because they have a bunch of books that nobody wants!

Baen (4, Informative)

sjpadbury (169729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828248)

In all fairness, one of the reasons there's such a low piracy rate on Baen's books is that they are free to distribute as long as you don't charge for them

Baen on their own website has many first books in series available: http://www.baen.com/library/ [baen.com]

Also, they've released CD's of books in many of their hardcovers over the years, with a license that allows copying, including online. One site that has them available is http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/ [thefifthimperium.com]

The only versions of their books that are electronically available and not allowed to be distributed are the ones purchased at http://www.webscription.net/ [webscription.net]

Odd that books have so much DRM (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828278)

Music has by and large ditched DRM efforts on purchased content (may still factor in subscription/streaming services, I'm not paying much attention there. I think music has found a comfortable low price point that renders the point mostly moot. Music may be DRMed on streaming, and the best protection their is that a lot of people who would deobfuscate their stuff have no motivation to since purchases aren't afflicted by DRM. It's almost reaching a point of sanity, that the per-unit cost can be brought low because the distribution overhead is minimal (even more minimal without DRM) and the production cost is sizable, but not horribly bad.

Books, on the other hand are still DRMed by the dominant vendors. They also charge outrageous amounts and want to compare the price to the hardcover editions, completely ignoring the fact that per-unit cost is next to nothing compared to even paperback. They don't even have a significant up-front cost to recover (Movies/TV have actors/sets/etc, music has engineers and sound studios that are really needed for respectable sound, books don't *need* much more than a diligent author with a computer, though editors and artists frequently help). The DRM on at least the epub stuff is laughably easy to remove (because without removing it, it's pretty damn hard to actually put it on many devices, so they get a large volume of people out to get it). I wonder if publishers are keeping prices high and the distribution overly complicated just to slow down the electronic market because they know full well they play a negligible role if distribution becomes trivial to do.

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828390)

Why? Books were pretty much always the most locked down form of media to consume. It took a lot more effort to pirate them than was generally worth, and the savings to the end user was minimal.

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828496)

The reasons for that are technical. Books on a technical level are more comparable to film reels and vinyl records without tape or any sort of digital representation existing.

With the popularity of eBooks, that playing ground is now nearly level on distribution, leaving little more than production cost distinguishing the mediums from a business standpoint.

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828748)

This. Ripping a book is nothing like ripping a CD. And even if you do it right, and the book doesn't have necessary non-textual elements, formatting the text properly is still a chore. And nobody seeds exactly the book you want on torrent sites, you have to hope it's in a collection of books that enough other people like, and hope the formatting of that book in that collection doesn't suck, and that it either IS or IS NOT a pdf, depending on your preference (reflowing a pdf on a portable reader loses ALL formating, also some PDFs aren't even OCRed, they're just images of the pages).

Pirated ebooks suck. Best example of where the pirate product is vastly inferior to the paid-for physical product (the jury's still out on legitimate ebooks...).

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828416)

As long as they continue publishing books in dead-tree form, people will be scanning them. No form of DRM exists that will deal with that, so putting e-book DRM in place of any magnitude is basically a waste of time and an inconvenience to paying customers.

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828750)

The key difference is that it takes roughly the same amount of time per page to scan a book, and it has to be done for each book. OTOH, once you break a DRM system, it applies to all eBooks that use it. Of course, if you really want to scan a book quickly, you could find ways, but the only ones I can think of will destroy the book (such as removing the binding and passing through a sheet-fed scanner). That adds a cost to bypassing the DRM that you don't have on, say, a DVD.

more odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828536)

all mine dont

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828720)

"They also charge outrageous amounts and want to compare the price to the hardcover editions, completely ignoring the fact that per-unit cost is next to nothing compared to even paperback."

Per-unit costs of paperbacks are next to nothing. (The physical book, shipping, etc., come in at less than 50 cents.) Fully half the book price goes to the retailer or store where you buy the book. So for a $7 paperback, that's $3.50 to the store and $0.50 physical costs, which leaves just $3 to the author and to the publisher, who typically fronts the advance to the author. (That would be an "up-front cost" to you.)

Sorry, but $3 for something that takes a year or more to create isn't much money. Especially when the majority of titles only sell ten thousand copies or so. 100,000 copies or more is exceptional. Only a handful sell in the million copy range, and the profits from those help subsidize the vast bulk of a publisher's list.

And if you want to bring up paperback pricing, nearly any book on Amazon in paperback form is available for basically the same price as an ebook, the price again split between Amazon, the publisher, and from there to the author. Not everything is "outrageous".

Finally, I'm tired of people only looking at costs and using that to justify piracy. There's more to any business than per-unit costs. And if you think you're entitled to everything at cost, just go into MacDonalds and try paying a dime (cost) for a Coke.

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828814)

I'm no expert, but I believe a lot of musicians get most of their revenue from merchandise, live shows, etc--and all for items that probably took a few weeks of effort to finalize. Books take months or years of daily effort (no up-front cost my ass, that's a lot of lost productivity which might NEVER be recovered if publishers don't like it), require the services of a proofreader at the very least, and take enough time to be read that you don't typically buy several copies nor reread them more than a few times--and of course, with physical books, the secondary market is huge, which is automatically taken away from the authors/publishers. Merchandise? Maybe book signings, or if you're very popular, convention appearances. I guess.

If we were talking about serialized novels or comics (and webcomics do persist on far less than the music industry, being largely independent, but again: merchandise is a big factor), you could argue that it's similar to music, being that they're both served in bite-sized chunks. But we're not, and music isn't all symphony orchestras, either. I just don't see an apples-to-apples here.

Re:Odd that books have so much DRM (2)

TavisJohn (961472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829046)

For subscription services, I totally endorse DRM. You are paying a monthly fee to access music you are not paying for the songs themselves. If the company goes under I do not have a hard drive full of music or videos I purchased that will stop working. You are basically renting the music or videos, and you know that up front.

I am totally against any DRM for anything I purchase. Because if the company I purchased the DRM'd content goes under, their DRM servers stop, and the content I paid for stops working.

Depends on what books (2)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828286)

I find that this sort of debate really lies to the side of entertainment publishing. Books that contain real educational material, usually, are so steeped in the universities that online piracy isn't even considered an issue. Thus, you can find older editions of classic texts online for most of the real "learning" material. Math, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry and Biology all have large collections online for download. The math collections are particularly deep and contain so much content as to not be able to understand it all. When you can find books on applying stochastic processes to financial markets, you've gone pretty deep into the rabbit hole. The DRM issue, as I see it, really lies in the realm of "popular" entertainment. The top sellers list on amazon, the prize winners and Oprah boasted "books". I think all the information that's important is readily available online in stashes so deep it takes a life time to understand them all. It takes two university years to get through both Rudins, let alone all the other math texts. I can hardly imagine the number of physics and bio books available.

In summary, let them have their DRM... I'm not really interested in the next Glenn Beck tirade or ghost written political horse shit that seems to plague the top sellers lists.

absolut stupidity (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828338)

the entire journalism industry has been taken out and shot by the 'im not paying for anything' culture of unix beards, who apparently rely on McArthur Genius Grants and a fishing change out of old sofas for their sustenance.

now, you want to destroy the book industry too.

Borders is dying. It's about to close. It is going to be an ex-company. Dead as a doornail.

The only hope is somehow getting users to pay a tiny pittance to read. $10 for a 300 page book. . . how many hours of entertainment is that? I don't know, but I know that price point won't last long. $5, $3, $2. . . where does it end?

It ends with Amazon.com being the only book publisher left on the planet. It ends with libraries becoming the equivalent of the internet: a vast morass of garbage and fetid opinionized bullshit, the vast majority of which is generated by whores working off elance.com marketing campaigns.

You want ads inside books? Congrats! That's what the 'free model' will bring.

You want books payed for by corporate shills? Congrats! That's exactly what the internet is, and now you will bring it to the last, best hope for intellectuals.

You have brought the Last September into meatspace, and destroyed any semblance of civilization. Now, even the greatest minds of our time will have to publish work alongside ads for "1 trick to trim belly fat" and "You can refinance your home" and "earn an online military history degree'.

Linux Zealots, congrats! Your filthy hippiedom has made it's way into every nook and cranny of society, culminating in the worthless hipster invasion that is facebook - a massive privacy violation that Heydrich could only have dreamed of in his wildest fantasies.

Hey, forget Jack London, forget We, forget 1984, Brave New World, and Farenheit 451 and . We stamped our selves with our own iron boots! We have drowned out any semblance of meaningful, thoughtful dialogue with advertising, spam, corporate shilling, incestuous link farms, copyright theft, and mass conformity. Good work, 'free as in freedom'.

God, sitting on this machine, this piece of hyper concentrated toxic chemicals that will end up being melted down and dumped in someone's drinking water table, while burning up coal fired electricity by the kilowatt-hour, I can hardly stand it. Its almost like im living the dream of true anarchy, as envisioned by the visionaries of free unix.

Pirates... (2)

theamarand (794542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828346)

One of my favorite books is The Pirate's Dilemma: http://thepiratesdilemma.com/ [thepiratesdilemma.com] It talks about the association between ancient methods of production and distribution, and streamlined methods of delivery. Piracy has always been on the bleeding-edge of mixing things up, and getting things out there faster than any large corporation could handle. I don't see that changing any time soon. Sure, the corporations might force governments to lean on the pirates, but they will just push them underground - won't stop the signal. Corporations and governments should earn from piracy, improve their business models, and give the people what they want - not what they think they want.

Lesson (not) learnt by music and games industry.. (2)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828354)

1. DRM sucks.
2. Drastically reduce prices for digital media, when there's no hardware cost/middlemen involved. The potential customer base is massively bigger so they can afford that, but I guess greed is greed...
3. Put LOTS of tempting offers
4. Aim for the customers' convenience when buying / browsing.

For pc games, in which piracy is rampant, Steam works great. It can't be that difficult to think of something similar..
Oh, and the mined data can be used for all above points.
The separate industries seem either incredibly dumb or incredibly arrogant. Or both. Cause they seem to think 'That won't happen to me - I'm better/different'.

Re:Lesson (not) learnt by music and games industry (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828592)

What they really need to do is make the cost so low that people don't even think of whether or not to buy it. It should be so low that I don't even want to bother pirating it. Music should be a dime a song, $1 for the album, books should cost $1. That way I could buy every song I even remotely liked, without even thinking about whether or not it was "worth it", or if I should spend the extra time to pirate it. With the distribution costs being basically zero, and the production being a fixed cost, people shouldn't have to think about whether or not to buy it. It should be so cheap that every will automatically just buy it, if they have any interest in it at all.

Here's my contribution (3, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828366)

While I'm still in the middle of writing a bunch of short stories (and working on one long-form story that could potentially extend past 1,000 pages), I only have one that I feel is "ready for release".

"Reversion" tells the story of a zombie that is slowly coming back to life. The whole story is done from the perspective of the zombie, although it's told from a "god's eye view". Completely and totally free to read/download. Enjoy! [scribd.com]

Re:Here's my contribution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828452)

No one bought it so you have to give it away? lol you suck

Re:Here's my contribution (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828524)

It's always been free, as will all of my short stories. I've been given a lot by the writing community, so I feel I should give something back. When's the last time you released something for free, so you could expand culture rather than your own bank account?

Re:Here's my contribution (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828598)

The plot doesn't really sound like my cup of tea, however I give you kudos for sharing your story.

Think of the fans (1)

subsonic (173806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828384)

I've never understood how ebooks, even compared to other media are so rigorously DRM'd. You should WANT people to share the content. Believe it or not, the concept of properly compensating someone for their work is an agreeable idea to many people. The trick of it is that getting it legally should be easier than trying to get it for free- I think both Apple and Amazon have shown that it is now much easier for most people to drop some coin and purchase books instead of trying to "pirate" them.
But what the publishers and the sellers still don't get, is that they should respect people who will become their most valuable asset: the fans. Imagine the ability to share that one book you love to five friends, not even five friends at once, just share it like you would with that physical book you bought at the store. I can share that book with anyone, and while it is shared I cannot read the book since its with someone else. When that person (hopefully) gives it back, then I will pass it on. Maybe that person will have loved that book so much that they will go out and buy it (or its sequel). Its the one thing that makes it seem like, "no matter what you think or do, we do not trust you as a person". Hell, I'd be OK with even keeping the "two week" limit on, just let me loan out the book to as many people as I want to share it with. Its amazing how DRM has that effect of essentially declining money from honest people to protect some perceived 'future value' to your intellectual property.

Situation in Spain (4, Informative)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828388)

Let me briefly explain what the current situation in Spain is and why it drives me nuts.

Over here in Spain all ebooks are sold and advertised as ePUB, until you notize its not really ePub, but Adobe DRMed ePUB. I think Barnes&Noble does the same. And there are lots of other platforms that use Adobe DRM to encrypt their PDF files.

It drives me nuts that adobe has such a high penetration in the ebook DRM market because they don't have tools for most platforms. AFAIK no official readers exist for any platform beyond Windows or Mac, which is great (sarcasm) given how many portable platforms exist nowadays (Symbian, BlackBerry, Android, iOS)

What good is using ePub if you are going to encrypt it in a proprietary format? I don't know why they took the time to advertise it in PDF and ePub (the two "biggest" and most popular cross platform formats) if they are going to screw everything up by turning it into a proprietary file.

I for one will avoid DRM ebooks, and like with movies and music, will just buy it from places where there is no DRM. If no such places exist then they have already lost because I'll just look through the net for hacked .epubs, simple as that. And if that happens too often I will just stop looking for legitimate ebook shops and start downloading everything. Maybe some people don't agree morally, but I am okay with it, and reality is most people will do the same...

I should mention that over here in Spain, amazon does not offer any spanish ebooks, same goes for the iBooks store and google books, all books are sold as a DRMed download and you need to register at Adobe Digital Editions, then register AGAIN at the online store where you are buying your books at (there is no "central store" like amazon.com, they tried to replicate the physical stores fragmentation to the online world), then validate your content with your device - granted thats even possible - its not possible for any android device for example, and THEN you are able to read your book, if you are lucky

It just amazes me how an industry that has been able to learn from the music industry and then the movies industry is so slow at adopting what consumers want.

Just my 2c, :P

Re:Situation in Spain (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829018)

It drives me nuts that adobe has such a high penetration in the ebook DRM market because they don't have tools for most platforms. AFAIK no official readers exist for any platform beyond Windows or Mac, which is great (sarcasm) given how many portable platforms exist nowadays (Symbian, BlackBerry, Android, iOS)

When I go to this URL [adobe.com], it automatically recognizes that I'm running linux, and it offers me the linux version of Adobe Reader to download.

DRM is impossible (4, Insightful)

harl (84412) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828448)

It's impossible for DRM to work. The customer has to have both the lock and the key or they can't use what they paid for[1]. If the customer has both the lock and the key then it's impossible for DRM to protect anything.

What vendors need to realize is that a lot of piracy is done simply because they can. When the cost of acquiring things is literally 4 seconds of your time you go crazy and acquire all sorts of shit that you will never use.

Is the cost of the DRM more than the lost sales? Yes piracy does generate some very small number of lost sales but not a significant amount.

Stop catering to non customers!

[1]Yes there are central server methods but until we have 100% uptime wireless, usable anywhere, with central servers that have 100% uptime forever this method will never work.

this is all because copyright is broken (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828518)

Content is being protected by copyright laws that guarantees the revenue stream for the life of the author + 50 years. This form of law does not encourage the authors to produced, but instead encourages them to be lazy.

The kindle store killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828550)

IRC bot sits in one of the many IRC ebook chans, email is sent to bot via kindles experimental browser with search term. Bot searches and returns results via email. Download strong is sent back to bot, who downloads and unrars and then emails direct to myusername@free.kindle.com for direct delivery to Kindle.

Some kinds of books need to be modernized... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828616)

... I've been frustrated with the whole book publishing model in the era of the internet for many kinds of books, esp technical books and self-teaching kind.

No few people can write a whole book and make sure it is error free. It's time to put "teach yourself X book" and technical books in editable wikibook like format, then everyone who has knowledge can contribute to the work making the book more valuable over the long term.

So many books are just pump-and-dumps for cash grab... many people buy books to teach themselves stuff but so many of these books are beyond the scope of a few authors because they cannot see the frustrations and unmet needs of their readers.

DRM + Formats = Madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34828688)

The problem I have is that I keep finding books that are Amazon but don't want to use the Kindle App on my iPad. I want to keep all my ebooks in one place but this DRM/Format stuff is driving me mad. I buy my books, and I have no problem "taking steps" to get Kindle books converted to ePubs. Amazon and the author got their money, I got my ebook where I want it.

I'll keep print books, thank you (3, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828740)

I hate so sound so, "get off my lawn", but I really don't like ebooks or digital readers. I can appreciate having your whole library on a single device, etc. But there are too many disadvantages to ebooks as they currently work.

To illustrate: right now it's looking like Books A Million will be going out of business soon. That is a shame. However, I don't have to worry if that happens because I will still be able to read all the books I've bought from them over the last 20 years if they go out of business. Additionally, short of fire or flood, I do not have to worry much that their pages will get scrambled, lost, or damaged -- at least not in my lifetime. I also don't have to worry that anyone will steal my books, nor do I have to worry that Books A Million will come in my house and take my books back.

The only way I am going to enjoy and use ebooks is if they are in plain ASCII text format, like those in Project Gutenberg.

I do have an open mind. If someone can give me some overwhelming benefits of having ebooks over print books, i would love to hear them.

 

Re:I'll keep print books, thank you (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828984)

I can take 1000 ebooks with me wherever I go in under 300 g of weight. It's all about convenience. (And none of them have any DRM anymore.)

Require publisers to allow other readers? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828772)

Since eBook sellers dont' have incentive to allow books in other formats to run on their reader device, then maybe book publishers should be required to allow a user to have his books be revoked and reissued under any other reader that the publisher supports.

The publishers don't want Amazon to be the sole eBook reader maker - it gives Amazon too much power over them.

This gives users something more akin to a real book -- they can keep it forever, moving it to other devices as they are released.

And it prevents Amazon from becoming the defacto market leader due to people being afraid to buy eReaders from other makers in the fear that if the seller goes out of business that they'll lose access to their books (either because the DRM will stop working, or because the device may break down with no chance of repair/replacement).

I know that I shied away from the Nook reader and went with the Kindle for this reason, I don't trust B&N to be around in the long term.

Listen, Children . . . Go to Your LIBRARY (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828804)

The answer to ebooks is public libraries.

First, you need copyright protection so that loaning out ebooks by a library is fair use. I think that already exists, but I'm not sure how it works with scumsucking DRM.

Second, you need to make it so that people can donate their used ebooks to libraries. This will save your municipalities tons of money. This may require a copyright fix.

Third, facilitate inter-library loans of e-books.

Who needs to own a book? If you need it, download it from your public library. You may have to wait for a lot of other people ahead of you in line to read it, but that's a small price to pay for having a virtually limitless supply of books available to you.

The ebook is custom-made for the public library system. It's easy to manage (less expense for communities) and it maximizes usage by the citizens who pay for the books. If people can donate their books to the library system, books can also be acquired much cheaper.

This would be massively good for communities.

Ironic, from a Publisher (2)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34828832)

I've lost more money to publishers than I have to copyright infringement.

(My current publisher and I give away the electronic versions of Modern Perl: the book [onyxneon.com] for free.)

Library concept (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34829058)

When you think of the concept of a library - in the context of the modern day battle for content control - it totally doesn't fit.
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