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Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the remember-when-sharing-books-was-normal dept.

DRM 304

Nate the greatest writes "Whether it's EA and SimCity, the Sony rootkit scandal, or Ubisoft, we've all read numerous stories about companies using DRM in stupid ways that harm their customers, and now we can add Adobe to the list. Adobe has just announced a new timeline for adoption of their recently launched 'hardened' DRM, and it's going to take your breath away. In a video posted to Youtube, Adobe reps have stated that Adobe expects all of their ebook partners to start adopting the new DRM in March. This is the same DRM that was launched only a few weeks ago and is already causing problems, but that hasn't stopped Adobe. They also expect all the stores that use Adobe's DRM to sell ebooks (as well as the ebook app and ebook reader developers) to have fully adopted the new ebook DRM by July 2014. That's when Adobe plans to end support for the old DRM (which everyone is using now). Given the dozens and dozens of different ebook readers released over the past few years, including models from companies that have gone under, this is going to present a significant problem for a lot of readers. Few, if any, will be updated in time to meet Adobe's deadline, and that's going to leave many readers unable to buy DRMed ebooks."

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304 comments

good riddance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148789)

DRMed content deserves to die, as collateral damage of killing the DRM. If people stop buying it, eventually it goes away.

Re:good riddance (5, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | about 2 months ago | (#46149251)

They're training customers to distrust them. Remember Amazon's "delete 1984" fiasco? This may be Adobe's.

ask the ordinary citizen end users (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148791)

why would we lie http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=abuse%20history&sm=3

Non-Drm'd? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148797)

Or put another way, this is going to leave lots and lots of people unable to buy any DRM'd books.

I fail to see this as a bad thing.
DRM means you're giving someone else the ability to manage your digital rights.
Captcha - Vassal (I swear this thing is psychic)

Re:Non-Drm'd? (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 months ago | (#46148843)

Comments like this from victims are pretty common (from TFA):

had a bunch of books on my laptop & yesterday ADE wouldnâ(TM)t let me access them. I purchased them 7 years ago. So NOT happy.

People are slowly learning that anything with DRM wasn't a "purchase", it was a "rental".

Re:Non-Drm'd? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148897)

That is why you should buy hardcopy books over DRMed ebooks. You get to keep it beyond the commercial lifecycle of a software platform.

Re:Non-Drm'd? (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#46148943)

That's one argument. A better argument, in my opinion, is to only buy from vendors that offer DRM-free formats (eg.g: O'Reilly) and pirate DRM-free versions from those that don't. I've seen a lot of people choosing to buy older games from GOG instead of spending those dollars on games they might want more on Steam for this very reason.

Re:Non-Drm'd? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149085)

people choosing to buy older games from GOG

People who play DRM-free games or open source games are stigmatized as losers who play old crap. The stigma is still worth the freedom of not being hassled by DRM.

Re:Non-Drm'd? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149403)

Open source games that didn't come from commercial roots all suck, they really do. People who play those games deserve the mockery.

On the other hand, many old commercial games are still good and places like gog.com do get new titles sometimes.

Re:Non-Drm'd? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149435)

Indeed. I can't log in on this machine right now (mcgrew here, sorry, I won't be able to see if you reply), I'll be glad when I'm retired. Anyway, a couple of things: IMO anyone who buys DRMed anything is a fool, and anyone who employes DRM in their content is equally foolish. DRM makes your content harder to sell, because it has less utility than a pirate copy. If I buy a DVD I have to sit through piracy warnings (after paying for it!) and sometimes even trailers for other films. Meanwhile, a TPB download you click "play" and the opening creduits start; no piracy warnings, no trailers, no menus... which is how disks should be made. Some are, a few movies play right away and the menu only comes up after it's over. I keep asking myself why anyone would pay for an inferior version of something that's free, then I remember Linux vs Windows and kind of get it. Marketing rules all.

Like has been said, you can't buy DRMed content, you can only rent it. But you don't buy a novel, you buy a book. The novel belongs to everyone (although the author has a "limited" time monopoly on publication).

I personally think electronic data should be free, which is why HTML, PDF and ePub versions of Nobots [mcgrewbooks.com] will be released for free download on my web site March 15th (or perhaps earlier, I'm thinking of moving it up).

The RIAA, IMO, really screwed the pooch with Napster, that was a really dumshit move on their part. They should have embraced P2P and advertised how superior CDs were to MP3s (and back then they really were vastly superior). P2P would have been additional, free advertising. I've found out with Nobots that word of mouth is crappy marketing, so along with owning terrestrial radio they have little to worry about from independants; they can bury any little guy.

Since registering the copyright and obtaining ISBNs I've been getting ads from marketers, Christ those guys are expensive! Writing a book is easy, getting anyone to read it is hard. So read it, it's free, both as in speech and beer. Only the hardcover costs (working on a paperback version, also working on getting The Paxil Diaries in print, I've been getting requests for ten years).

It will also have no DRM, I released an abridged PDF for free several years ago.

Re:Non-Drm'd? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148945)

Or just pirate your books. If you feel bad about that, then buy the books, but use pirated copies.

Not even rental. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148963)

You have certain rights to rental.

And it's cheaper than "buy to [not really] own".

RMS called this one... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148803)

There couldn't be a clearer example of why DRM on books is a bad f***ing idea.

Re: RMS called this one... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149031)

It doesn't require a moron of epic proportions like RMS to see this. Contrary to GPL cult acolytes' believe, RMS isn't the wisest and most intelligent person ever with a monopole on obvious observations.

In other words... (5, Informative)

Noryungi (70322) | about 2 months ago | (#46148811)

Hate him or love him: Richard Stallman was right! Read it and weep: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy... [gnu.org]

The whole thing was written in 1997, for pete sake - when ebooks where still pretty much prototypes.

Re:In other words... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148837)

Illicit debugging tools are a whole lot easier to use in 2014, too. Good thing they're not illegal yet!

Re: In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149083)

RMS was late to the party and NOT the father of DRM criticism.

Julie Cohen for example published a critical paper about DRM a year earlier (1996).

Stop sucking RMS dick and stop treating him like a demi-god.

Re: In other words... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149109)

Here is the source : Cohen, J. (1996). A Right to Read Anonymously, Connecticut Law Review 28, 981

Re:In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149431)

Who the hell is Richard Stallman?

*Shrug* (5, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 2 months ago | (#46148825)

I don't buy DRMed shit. I do buy titles from Baen Books and Tor, but they aren't infested with digital restrictions management. If I want a title, and I can't find it from a publisher that doesn't use DRM, I just pop over to my favorite torrent website. And normally I'll find what I'm looking for. (If I don't, I'll find it at my second favorite torrent site, easy.)

I.e. DRM doesn't work. Moreover, it has the opposite effect, rather than preventing copying, it encourages more copying!

(I might buy DRM infested titles, if Adobe made their software work on */Linux. But probably not. But considering I don't run anything else, there is no point in my forking over money for something I can't read or use.)

Oh, and ignoring all the above: why should I have to update the firmware or software on my ebook reader? It's an appliance. I don't expect to update the firmware on my TV, microwave or rice cooker. Why should I? It works now.

Re:*Shrug* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148915)

DRM is the reason I buy paper books and download DRM-less epubs via torrents. After all, the price for the paper book is almost the same as the e-book anyway.

Re:*Shrug* (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 months ago | (#46149003)

To be honest, I need to start locating and downloaded DRM-free versions of the Kindle books I've bought (or find something that cracks the kindle DRM). I have a lot of them, because I liked the convenience, but I'm sure they're going to fuck with their system and I'll lose my book collection.

Re:*Shrug* (3, Informative)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 months ago | (#46149037)

Calibre can easily strip the DRM off your Kindle books. Yes, it's a Linux app.

really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149093)

I think you mean it's ALSO a Linux app.

Re:*Shrug* (5, Informative)

afxgrin (208686) | about 2 months ago | (#46149263)

Calibre is a god send piece of open source software. I don't really use it for stripping DRM, most documents I read don't have any DRM. But for converting between formats especially when the default formatting is crap for ebooks - fuck yes this is the shit.

Main website [calibre-ebook.com] and for the sourceforge page [sourceforge.net] in case you're are too lazy to Google search it yourself. Apparently this guy [wordpress.com] is hosting DeDRM the DRM stripping tool. I've never had to use it.

Re:*Shrug* (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#46149013)

That's the part that's always bugged me. The big cost in publishing is the printing, shipping, warehousing, distribution of the dead trees (that's not even counting more costs if you sell through a brick and mortar store). If you double sales, all of the overhead doubles. Ebooks have almost negligible costs to do all that - which gets even closer to zero if you share resources (e.g sell through Amazon).

I buy two or three ebooks in a given year and about the same number of books in print because books are damned expensive. If you priced ebooks downward to have similar (or slightly greater) profit margins as print books, I'd probably end up spending twice the money on them overall because I would be getting much more value for my individual dollars, and the companies would end up with more profits overall. Ebooks are largely stuck due to using a similar profit model to music and movies.

Re:*Shrug* (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | about 2 months ago | (#46149149)

From the publisher's perspective, the ebook's costs are hardly "negligible", as the retailer gets to skim 30% off the top. Less than a print book (the retailer gets 40-50%), but a decent-sized chunk of change all the same.

Re:*Shrug* (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#46149201)

The costs are still significantly lower than print books. If a print book costs $20, I would expect the ebook version to cost $10 or less. The cost discrepancy is enough that the publisher would probably still end up with as much or more profits than the print book, and it would possibly increase sales. Although it's not as bad as a few cases where I've seen the ebook cost up to 25% more than the print book. Ebooks are also a format in which a publisher could much more easily sell it themselves rather than going through a retailer, because it doesn't have all of that other overhead. I'm fairly sure the only reason they keep ebook prices as high as they are is to prevent them from killing the dead tree market.

Re:*Shrug* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149359)

That's not a cost; it's a retail profit mark-up. The cost of a print book include printing, binding, storage and distribution, which amount to quite a chunk of that 50-60%-of-retail-price that the publisher gets paid per unit. With ebooks these unit costs are replaced with... nothing.

Re:*Shrug* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149363)

The biggest cost is the time it takes to read them. That's why you could not buy many more books even if they were a lot cheaper. If you want to generate a given amount of revenue as a publisher, the time cost of reading the book fixes the price per copy. The other costs are mostly seen as a risk: They're not high enough to stop you from selling a book, but if the title doesn't sell, then the sunk production costs of the unsold books cause problems.

Re:*Shrug* (5, Insightful)

Bradmont (513167) | about 2 months ago | (#46149379)

You can also get the paper books far cheaper if you buy them used. You can also sell them after you're done with them. It's called ownership, and it's becoming less and less accepted by the copyright industry.

Re:*Shrug* (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148927)

You can't really buy it, this is exactly what DRM is about.

Re:*Shrug* (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#46148935)

Oh, and ignoring all the above: why should I have to update the firmware or software on my ebook reader? It's an appliance. I don't expect to update the firmware on my TV, microwave or rice cooker. Why should I? It works now.

Nothing is forcing you to upgrade, since you know what you are doing and can find "alternate" sources. For the millions of ebook readers that don't have a clue what they are doing and think that they must buy their ebooks from Amazon, B&N, or whatever their device is configured to use, they don't know they have a choice when the store informs them that they need to upgrade to be compatible with the updated store. "Want to buy more books? Upgrade your device's software. It's free and easy!"

Re:*Shrug* (3, Interesting)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#46148987)

I buy DRM-infested titles, but that's because the current DRM scheme can be decrypted if the provider goes belly-up or does an Amazon-style "1984" on them. I'm not interested in piracy, but I AM interested in protecting my investment.

I don't but into the "rental" concept of book "purchases". If my bookseller starts using a DRM scheme that does not meet the criteria I just listed, they can expect me to stop buying ebooks.

Re:*Shrug* (4, Interesting)

Walterk (124748) | about 2 months ago | (#46149019)

It would be useful if there was a list of retailers that sell these DRM books, so they can go on my boycott list.

Re:*Shrug* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149039)

ARGH!!!! I"M BIG APE!!!! WATCH ME POUND CHEST!!!!!
 
Teh DRMz will be the def of de readingz!!!!!
 
But... But... But.... It's teh LINUC!!!!!
 
ARGH!!!!!

Re:*Shrug* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149205)

Mind sharing what your two favorite torrent sites are? I used to be able to find a lot of obscure things on Demonoid before they went down, and haven't been able to find a good replacement.

print is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148829)

long live the printed word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:print is dead (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148867)

Good news! That printed book you purchased was printed in disappearing ink.

Calibre (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148841)

...just sayin'...

Adobe sold ebooks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148845)

Maybe because I insist on remaining anonymous but I've never heard of Adobe selling ebooks. Does Amazon know about this?

Re:Adobe sold ebooks? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 months ago | (#46148961)

If their proposal for ebooks are DRM'd PDFs, i feel ok that they put a stronger DRM on it. It's simply the wrong approach, so making it even more evidently wrong will give reasonable alternatives (even a .txt is easier to read in all kind of devices than a .pdf that for viewing comfortably must have the same physical dimensions as the original paper book) more visibility.

Re:Adobe sold ebooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148973)

Maybe because I insist on remaining anonymous but I've never heard of Adobe selling ebooks. Does Amazon know about this?

Hey, is that you Jeff Bezos?

Re:Adobe sold ebooks? (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 months ago | (#46149043)

Did you read the summary? At all? Adobe is the company that came up with PDF. The article is about how they're changing PDF DRM and expect ebooks that use Adobe's DRM to comply with the new one. Many iPad and Android books are affected, as well as (possibly) B&N ebooks, which uses a variant of it. Kindle books should not be affected. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Adobe DRM isn't PDF, it's everything except Kindle (5, Interesting)

xenoc_1 (140817) | about 2 months ago | (#46149357)

It's not just PDF, nor even primarily PDF. It's reflowable standard EPUB. EPUB with Adobe DRM is the standard commercial ebook format for the "rest of the world that isn't Amazon". Barnes & Noble Nook (now mostly Microsoft Nook). Kobo, which is number 2 in much of the world. Google Play Books. eReaders from Kobo, B&N, iRiver, white-box Chinese brands affordable in emerging markets, even iBooks own Appleized format, have Adobe DRM inside. eReading apps from third parties like the well-respected Aldiko Reader and Bluefire reader use Adobe DRM. Only Kindle doesn't use it.

I've got Google Play Books and Kobo books on my Nook Color early-gen ereading tablet, because of Adobe DRM being near-universal. Have Google Play books on my Kobo WiFi e-ink eReader and on my newer Kobo AuraHD e-ink eReader. On my Android phone, whitebox cheap 10" tablet, and Kobo Arc (Android tablet with Kobo's shell but full open Google Play Store Jellybean tablet), I have the Aldiko app so that I can combine my Kobo and my Google Play books into a single library rather than reading in separate apps per bookstore. (Nooks can sideload and read standard EPUB/AdobeDRM but Nook books can't be read outside of Nook hardware or apps due to B&N weird variant AdobeDRM).

Adobe is breaking all this relatively open ecosystem. Sure, it's DRM, but it's an "anything except Kindle" open system. Adobe is screwing over all the people who bought into the non-Kindle commercial ebook ecosystem over the past half-decade or so.

I'm writing from the perspective of a normal human, not a /. geek. Normals don't break DRM because they don't know how, they don't even know it's a thing. They don't buy only non-DRM books, because they want to buy books from their favorite authors, not obscure corners of the web. Even many self-published books, if distributed through "normal channels" carry Adobe DRM (or Amazon DRM). They might, if they read the very simple info on the Kobo, Google Play, and other ecosystem-member web pages, have realized they can buy a book from Google and read it on their Sony eReader, buy a book from Kobo on sale and read it on their original Nook or Nook front-light newer e-ink reader. They may be all over Goodreads and ereader websites where there are lots of how-tos about just that, but they are nowhere near Slashdot. Nor near Linux. And O'Reilly tech books are irrelevant. As are, to most readers, Baen and Tor SF.

Hell, I don't want to deal with this myself, and I know how or can easily figure it out. Just going to the "Download Adobe DRM" link at Kobo or Google Play, getting the .ACSM (Adobe Content Server Mechanism) license file, double-clicking on the download and having previously-installed Adobe Digital Editions get the DRM-unlocked-to-my-ID content was simple. Bang, read it on my PC in Adobe Digital Editions, or tether my Android phone/tablet to drag into Aldiko or Bluefire, tether my Kobo eReaders (e-ink actual ereaders for readers) and drag it into their libraries, tether the Nook Color and drag it into its library.

Now I'd' have to go break DRM on all those files and future purchases. But that would be wrong...

And... (5, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 months ago | (#46148847)

The new 'hardened' DRM will be broken quickly and be of little use. If it is not broken, those who wish to pirate will get the material through other channels.

Meanwhile, customers get alienated, pissed off, pissed on, anally probed, and money taken from them. Those that get tired of it will add to the masses that go to pirate.

Models like Netflix, Steam, and iTunes show that light or zero DRM can work, and it allows customers easy access to products they want. You make it painful, difficult and costly, potential customers turn to other avenues. That may be forgoing that entertainment and going elsewhere, it may be pirating. The HBO/Game of Thrones model is a good example.

I have money in my wallet. I am willing to spend it, if the price is fair, and I do not have to get butthurt for it. Provide me that opportunity and you have my money. Do not, and you will not. There will always be a portion who steal or pirate, either because they are broke, or because they can. No amount of DRM will stop that. Instead you make yourself a target for those who politically do not like your methods, break your protection/racketeering schemes then provide it to everyone.

However here on /. I am largely preaching to the choir, so while my rant here may do little, remember this slash kiddies. Vote with your wallet, do your best NOT to support companies that do these things. Explain it to your family and peers. Even if they disagree, maybe you sparked a seed of thought that was not there before.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148971)

Please tell me how the DRM on my Kindle is more cumbersome to me the user than that of Netflix or Steam...

Re:And... (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 2 months ago | (#46149367)

Please tell me how the DRM on my Kindle is more cumbersome to me the user than that of Netflix or Steam...

Personally I find it is. With Netflix, all I have to do to watch is sign into my account and be on-line. If I'm abroad, it switches to the local content. That's not intrusive. The steam experience is pretty similar, TBH. I have just one gaming machine and I don't even notice Steam. Books, OTH, are different. I read on my phone, tablet, e-reader, and computer (Linux or OS X). I want to be able to get my books onto the device of my choosing reliably. To do this, I've stripped the DRM from every book I've bought. Some are MOBI books that I've converted to epub. It wouldn't be possible for me to use my books in this way if they were still DRMed (it would be much harder, anyway). It certainly wouldn't be possible if the supplier I purchased them from went bust.

Nope, Steam doesn't work. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148989)

Steam's DRM is entirely intrusive.

If you have two games and two computers, you cannot use one whist someone else uses the other if they're Steam titles.

If they were DRM'd with SecureRom or whatever, you would.

Re:And... (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 2 months ago | (#46149025)

Models like Netflix, Steam, and iTunes show that light or zero DRM can work

Netflix doesn't really apply here, as they're quite up-front about the fact that their streaming service is only all-you-can eat rental and that their content can disappear at any time (and frequently does). There is a big difference between that and companies that claim to sell you content that you presumably "own" into perpetuity--only for you to find out later that you were actually just renting it long-term.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149185)

On the contrary, the PS3 and newer show that DRM -does- work. Same with satellite encryption.

The PS3 took five years to be cracked, and one had a window of a week before Sony patched the vulnerability out. Satellites have been untouched since the patches almost a decade ago.

Even the iPhone's DRM is getting to the point where the dev team says that the 7.0 JB is the last one ever.

Even humble old Windows... seen a useful Windows 8.1 activation crack that works with Secure UEFI boot? Nope.

So, just like the Great Firewall of China which people initially scoffed at, but has proven damn effective (being able to change people's posts to sites mid-flight), so evolves DRM. DRM is winning.

Disturbing lack of imagination... (4, Insightful)

geogob (569250) | about 2 months ago | (#46148851)

I'm having a hard time following the train of though behind such moves. What do they expect the people will do once they are not able to buy ebooks and read them on their device. Worse, what do they expect people will do once they actually buy ebooks and then notice they can't read them on their device due to DRM?

It almost feels like dark scheme to push people towards piracy and undermine the profit of the compagnies. It somewhat reminded me of how Garmin handles its customer with its mapping product. I had a map installed on a handeld device and on old car device. After I bought a brand new device from that exact same company, I couldn't install the map on that new device as it was already installed on two device, one being the old car GPS replaced by the new one. The officiel support answer was "sorry, we can't help you. You can buy a new copy of the map _here_". With such a policy, they lost a good customer that was happy up to that point. I expect the ebook users to experience about the same kind of feeling being put in the situation that lays before them.

Re:Disturbing lack of imagination... (1)

Nokey (14772) | about 2 months ago | (#46148953)

I've got a garmin handheld and switched over to openstreetmap maps on it. Works real good for me, both for bicycle and car navigation (different maps, but can be switched on/off).

Re:Disturbing lack of imagination... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149067)

> I'm having a hard time following the train of though behind such moves.

Two words: loss aversion.

Re:Disturbing lack of imagination... (1)

geogob (569250) | about 2 months ago | (#46149155)

How did Garmin avoid the loss of a good client (and the multiple other I discouraged to buy their products) with such a politic? Although I agree with the idea of loss aversion, I think that believing such a move will avoid loss is flawed. It's even more flawed considering the fact that most of the people breaking copyright on an ebook, film, music or piece of software wouldn't have payed for it if it wasn't made available through piracy. So, in fact, by using DRM you not only loose real paying customers for piracy, you gain back very few from those who use pirated products anyway. How does that help mitigating loss?

It's not quantum computing. Some decision maker must have made this observation at some point in the decision process.

Re:Disturbing lack of imagination... (1)

davecb (6526) | about 2 months ago | (#46149231)

You're trying to re-use something. The (book) publisher's model is "read once and throw away". They don't care that it's not applicable to music, movies or even books other than "summer blockbusters".

The level of willful blindness is getting a bit high (;-))

Re:Disturbing lack of imagination... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#46149307)

They just don't understand that they have to compete with piracy. They get mired in the moral issue and overlook the simple economic one: it's an alternative option that people can choose that for many forms of media is so much better in convenience and price that it's worth the vanishingly small chance of a comically inflated financial penalty. The "No You Shouldn't" blind spot is killing them.

Adobe (1)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about 2 months ago | (#46148855)

Adobe can choke and die on its DRM if it wants. I hope the ebook community can find an open alternative.

Re:Adobe (3, Interesting)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 2 months ago | (#46148903)

I think open ebook community should thank Adobe for demonstating (at the cost of their reputation and revenues) to everyone who ever did something as stupid as buying a book with Adobe's DRM, what't it's all about and all the dangers of having someone else manage your access to the content you bought right to access. Only through these actions will people learn, as they only listen when they've been hit in their wallet. Luckily, ebook reader (hardware) manufacurers will also learn the hard way, that implementing an obscure DRM scheme is more expensive in the long run (and more damaging to the brand and sales) than partnering up with a shop that not only allows you to buy the books, but even keep them after it changes the technolgy (or goes down in flames) without taking all the books with them.

All that aside - those who suffer from it, deserve it. Hopefully this lesson will be painful enough to remember not to mess with DRMed content any more.

Now wait until we are required by law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148857)

Wait until we are required by law to buy DRMed shit. Through one of those super-secret international treaties where only lobbyists have acces to (cf. TRIPS, Transatlantic, Transpacific etc.)

Rats. Scum.

Re:Now wait until we are required by law (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148913)

Don't forget to require DRM by law on all copies of the New Testament. Christians everywhere will rightfully denounce DRM as the Mark Of The Beast.

DRMed Bible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149041)

Now this is a fucking interesting idea :-)

Re:DRMed Bible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149141)

Yes, let's use religion to destroy copyright!

Re:Now wait until we are required by law (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 months ago | (#46149203)

The Gideons would like to speak to you on this subject.

In fact they would love to hit you over the head with entire CASES of NTs for suggesting something this stupid.

but anyway the Crosswire/Xiphos projects are standing by for your bible needs

Re:Now wait until we are required by law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149323)

I'll gladly turn the other cheek and be beaten to death by Gideons, if it'll rid the world of DRM.

If you spent money on DRM shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148859)

You have nobody but yourself to blame.

Yippee! Fewer Adobe customers (1)

redelm (54142) | about 2 months ago | (#46148879)

foot ... aim ... fire!

Product "upgrades" always sound compelling to software "product managers" but are always less-so to customers. The managers do not suffer the upgrade costs (which are always far greater than relicence costs, especially when backwards compatibility is not advertised).

Any upgrade is always marginal -- the initial app solved the problem and captured most of the benefits. An upgrade hunts for scraps. Many upgrades are forced by obsolescence -- if customers could keep the old system running, they would.

Sure, with new systems you want the "latest" to have decent lifetime. And with really compelling uses (mobile), new systems will be bought.

I do not see anything remotely compelling about the new Adobe DRM, Amazon will eat their lunch even faster.

Adobe and ebook DRM? Color me surprised (1)

Speare (84249) | about 2 months ago | (#46148887)

So, we all know how well this worked out for Dmitry Sklyarov [wikipedia.org] last time. Learning how DRM is a self-defeating technology is kinda like the cycles in the fashion industry: everything old is new again. The stakes just get higher and higher with all the maximalist lobbying that goes on between each cycle.

Re:Adobe and ebook DRM? Color me surprised (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 months ago | (#46148955)

DRM cannot work (Except in the USA) the logic is, here is a locked box, and here is the key, please only use the key how we say ... (in the USA it can be illegal to use the key except how specified! )

The fashion industry is an perfect example of why copyright is not needed... there is no copyright on clothing design, yet the fashion industry still exists and makes lots of money ... but is forced to continually come up with new ideas, which because there is no copyright quickly propagate around the entire industry

Re:Adobe and ebook DRM? Color me surprised (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about 2 months ago | (#46149023)

Yep.

"...we can add Adobe to the list."

Ridiculous statement—Adobe was a charter member.

You're missing a point about that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149199)

What Adobe was doing was ILLEGAL in Russia.

What Dimitry did was legally right in Russia.

Hell, it was legally allowed (interoperability clause) in the USA.

But Adobe has more clout in the US government than a Russian citizen.

Of course, if Adobe had been done for their crime in Russia, the US gov would then declare trade war on Russia, because heaven forfend that a US corporation obey laws.

What devices does it affect? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 months ago | (#46148889)

How much of a market share does Adobe DRM have in the eBook world? I didn't get a clear picture from any of TFA's (yep I read them) as to how prevalent this DRM is.

But yeah, if I had an affected system I would be pissed, and rightly so.

Re:What devices does it affect? (4, Informative)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 2 months ago | (#46148993)

Adobe Digital Editions and Adobe DRM is used by virtually all publishers (that actually use DRM) and device makers except Amazon. I.e. it is everywhere (sort of like how ePub is used by virtually everyone except Amazon). But, you don't have to use it. No device that I know of requires that an ePub file has DRM.

Two publishers in the SF/F field that don't use any DRM at all are Tor and Baen Books. Baen Books is excellent for other reasons, including their Free Library (you can download and read the first book in most of their series'). Tor is just part of one of the Big Six, and so otherwise has nothing to distinguish them from any other publisher.

Re: What devices does it affect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149137)

Apple doesn't use Adobe DRM, too.

Which makes the Adobe DRM completely irrelevant (relative to market share).

Re:What devices does it affect? (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 months ago | (#46148999)

Most of the ebook industry uses either ePub or is an Amazon Kindle, many if not most DRM on ePub is from Adobe

Note this will also affect some unexpected devices - iPhone, iPad iPodTouch ...

Re:What devices does it affect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149017)

I think it's the dominant ebook DRM right now.

Re:What devices does it affect? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#46149065)

How much of a market share does Adobe DRM have in the eBook world? I didn't get a clear picture from any of TFA's (yep I read them) as to how prevalent this DRM is.

But yeah, if I had an affected system I would be pissed, and rightly so.

It's a stealth thing. They provide DRM under the covers for a lot of ebooks and e-magazines, in addition to the more obvious lock on PDFs. The common ebook formats have places to plug in DRM, and thank goodness, publishers such as Baen, Tor and O'Reilly don't use them. Anybody can create and inject a DRM scheme into an eBook, but Adobe pretty much owns that market.

Overdrive, the ebook lending service does use their DRM, and their DRM reader. The particular schem that they use not only has the text encrypted, but time-sensitive so that the book "returns" to the lender after a set interval. I don't especially mind this, since library lending isn't supposed to guarantee me a permanent copy, but the only readers available that can handle this format are provided by Adobe. And they don't provide one for the Linux desktop.

Non-DRM'ed ePub-format books, on the other hand, can not only be read on the Linux desktop, there's even a Firefox plugin that can read and manage them.

Use Project Gutenberg for your ebooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148895)

For all your non-DRM, out of copyright (mostly, some creative commons material as well) ebook needs: http://www.gutenberg.org/ [gutenberg.org]

Also check out the proof reading project where material for Project Gutenberg is produced, http://www.pgdp.net/ [pgdp.net]

Re:Use Project Gutenberg for your ebooks (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 2 months ago | (#46148983)

Great advice for anyone not interested in ever reading anything written after 1923.

Re:Use Project Gutenberg for your ebooks (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 months ago | (#46149087)

For all your non-DRM, out of copyright (mostly, some creative commons material as well) ebook needs: http://www.gutenberg.org/ [gutenberg.org]

Also check out the proof reading project where material for Project Gutenberg is produced, http://www.pgdp.net/ [pgdp.net]

Unfortunately this is no longer a growing domain. The length of copyright extends [telegraph.co.uk] before anything can become "out of copyright".

Error in summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46148947)

They also expect all the stores that use Adobe's DRM to sell ebooks (as well as the ebook app and ebook reader developers) to have fully adopted the new ebook DRM by July 2014.

Those stores ain't selling any ebooks. They're renting you a license to read the book. A license they can revoke at any time... And now we know when that time will be.

I've never even heard of Adobe ebooks (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 2 months ago | (#46148967)

Unless this effects the Kindle or Nook, how many books could this even be? I wasn't even aware that Adobe HAD an ebook format. Realistically, how many books does this expiring DRM even effect, a few thousand, maybe?

1.8 million different ebooks (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149125)

Unless this effects the Kindle or Nook, how many books could this even be? I wasn't even aware that Adobe HAD an ebook format. Realistically, how many books does this expiring DRM even effect, a few thousand, maybe?

Adobe's ebook DRM is used by OverDrive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OverDrive,_Inc. [wikipedia.org] to let more than 27,000 public libraries and schools lend ebooks to citizens and students. They make than 1.8 million different ebooks from over 1000 publishers available to libraries and schools using this scheme.

Adobe's termination of the existing DRM mechanism means that those thousands of schools and libraries will have to buy new ereader hardware and the students and citizens who borrow ebooks from them will have to buy new ereader hardware. So Adobe's termination of the existing DRM mechanism is going to cost American tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions).

Re:I've never even heard of Adobe ebooks (1)

xenoc_1 (140817) | about 2 months ago | (#46149365)

It's everything that isn't Kindle. Including the Nook, Sony, Kobo, iRiver. Everything.

Re:I've never even heard of Adobe ebooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149419)

Or iBook/iTunes. Apple doesn't use Adobe DRM.

Will someone buy Adobe a clue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149001)

I've never bought a DRM'd book and never intend to.

Step 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149069)

1) Acquire ebook reader
2) Acquire book
3) Strip DRM from book
4) Read book
5) Re-read whenever you want to, on any device you want to, because it's no longer a crippled piece of media
6) ???
7) Profit!

Heck, I've even taught my parents how to strip DRM from the books they buy! If they can figure it out, anyone should be able to.

That's assuming you buy crippled books. There are alternative options available.

forward reverse forward reverse (1)

epine (68316) | about 2 months ago | (#46149077)

Would someone knowledgeable about this—someone who can refrain from jumping on one finger-wagging bandwagon or another long enough to compose a sober paragraph—please jump in and sort out whether this is primarily a problem of older hardware not being able to handle newer publications, or of newer hardware becoming unable/unwilling to render older content?

These are totally different things.

This circus of layered tread marks is not shedding much light.

Re:forward reverse forward reverse (1)

davecb (6526) | about 2 months ago | (#46149333)

I read it as
  1. - old hardware being able to read old content already on the device
  2. - old hardware no longer having a source for (old format) content.
  3. - new hardware being unable to read any old content

How'd that cloud based software work for ya? (1)

retech (1228598) | about 2 months ago | (#46149131)

/sarcasm/ Good job Adobe. You really know how to encourage people to use your licenses legally. /sarcasm/

Working Just the Way it was Supposed to... (3, Interesting)

avgjoe62 (558860) | about 2 months ago | (#46149135)

...that's going to leave many readers unable to buy DRMed ebooks.

Oh no, it won't. They'll be able to buy all the DRMed books they want, just with the new DRM. And they'll have to, because they won't be able to use the old ones they purchased from a company that no longer exists. Do you think this isn't what they had in mind? You insisted on buying a copy instead of a license to use the content for a set time, so the publishers have found a way to make you pay again...

Just more dumbness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46149355)

This is one of those things which absolutely only works to inhibit the honest user only. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that a person wants to copy a DRM'ed book. And, let's say that this DRM is completely unbreakable (no such thing, but humor me). They simply hook a video camera up to a computer with an OCR program and can copy the book as fast as they can physically swipe on the e-reader screen. A pirated ebook can then be made available at all the usual suspect sites. Adding more DRM to something is crappy management's answer to declining sales, not looking at their price points (really, why does an e-book which requires no physical production, shipping, and storage cost almost as much as a hardcopy?), or the change in consumer preference for different media, or general lifestyle, or maybe that people prefer hardcopy in lieu of looking at yet another screen.
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