Author Topic: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?  (Read 2339 times)  

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2013, 07:59:54 PM »
Fine with me. I don't want you to lose any sales.
Glad to hear it. ;)

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Offline ~Suzanna~

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2013, 08:17:38 PM »
No DRM. Every ebook I buy has its DRM stripped as a matter of course so I will always have access to the books I buy and can read them on any device I choose. It takes me exactly 5 seconds to do it. And if I can do it, you'd better believe every pirate out there knows how to do it. The only people who are inconvenienced are legitimate buyers.

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Offline Kathelm

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2013, 08:34:58 PM »
Quote
I'd say the market has spoken on DRM. Consumers don't care.

That's changing.  Look at the recent XBox One debacle.  At E3, Microsoft announced that the console would come with various DRM features that would have restricted offline play and the used game market.  The internet backlash was strong enough that they eliminated those "features."

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57590134-75/microsoft-pulls-a-180-reverses-xbox-one-always-on-drm-and-used-games-policy/




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Offline Kathelm

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2013, 08:39:17 PM »
Another good example is Sim City 4.  At launch, DRM prevented paying customers from playing the game.  EA ended up giving away free games to disgruntled customers, and the CEO resigned not long after the incident.  One top of that, they recently discontinued the Online Pass program, which required customers to enter a code to access online multiplayer aspects of games.  There was one code shipped with every game, and the idea was that if you bought the game used, you'd have to pay extra for the code to unlock online features.



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Offline Rinelle Grey

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2013, 03:32:14 AM »
This makes me feel better about my books being DRM free. I agree with it in principle, but I always wonder... I had no idea it was so easy to get rid of (having never tried). Makes it pretty pointless!

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Offline Austin_Briggs

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2013, 03:36:25 AM »
I'm DRM-free.

Don't see a point in it, and really dislike the DRM limitations.

Offline AngryGames

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2013, 04:41:25 AM »
I spent almost two decades in the tech (including video game) industry, and have seen every type of anti-piracy scheme come and go, and not a SINGLE ONE has kept anyone from pirating the product. None. Zero. Zilch.

It's true that all DRM does is make legit customers feel the pain when the DRM screws up (EA's 'always on' server connections for Sim City for instance, or Diablo III is another good example, probably plenty from UbiSoft). I'm also a huge believer that once a person buys my product, they are free to do with it as they please. If they want to loan it to a friend, awesome. That's one more person that sees my product. If they want to sell it to a friend, go ahead. Yes, even digital files that can be endlessly copied.

One of my favorite persons is Brad Wardell from Stardock who wrote a bit of a manifesto about piracy and his company's stance on it. Basically it goes 'we don't even worry about pirates because 1. they can't be stopped and 2. they weren't going to buy the product anyway, they came into it with the intent to steal'.

Now it's true that there has been some interesting albeit too-light research showing that music pirates and movie pirates actually spend more money on such products than non-pirates, but that's a different argument for a different time. My argument is always the same though, and it goes something like this:

1. Pirates cannot be stopped from pirating your work.
2. Seriously. Pirates cannot be stopped from pirating your work.
3. Dude...really. Any DRM scheme you name, I'm going to tell you which cracker group defeated it first.

4. Now that you understand that no form of DRM can stop pirates, let's talk about why this is not even important...

5. Imagine you are going to spend your $2 on a book from shadyivansromanianbookstore.com or spend your $2.99 on Amazon.com. This one is so easy that anyone answering other than 'Amazon' needs to relearn the internets.

6. Think about how easy it is to buy from iTunes/Amazon/etc (legit sites) and how the product is delivered right to your device without even plugging it in. Now think about the steps you'll have to go through to pirate the same product. Just to save $2.99 will you go through the hassle of trying to find the file online for download in an easy format that you understand (ie: not usenet or torrents or private sites because while some of you might know about this sort of thing, the majority of you are scratching your heads because you've HEARD of these methods but have never actually tried any yourself), download it, unzip/unrar it (possible step, easy I'm sure), then figure out how to put it on your device? And all the while hoping that the new DR._DEATHx32 trojan virus malware Comet Cursor thing going around didn't infect your precious computer or device.

7. Don't scoff at 'put it on your device' like I just said 'breathing air'. Because we are writers, there's probably not a single one of us that doesn't know how to transfer a file to our reading devices easily. We kind of have to know how to do this. But think of the average Joe, the guy who has a Kindle or iPhone but only knows that he buys books and music and they show up on his device. He doesn't have to find a cord to plug it in, navigate to the proper folder, drop the file, etc.

8. Even if pirates are spreading your product at a rate of 10,000 units per day, this is actually a boon to you, though you may resist this idea...if you are famous enough that 10,000 people per day are downloading your book, you are probably selling 100,000 per day at a legit site like Amazon. Seriously...if you are a nobody, no one is going to pirate your stuff because no one knows who you are, and no one cares. If someone does care enough to upload your book and make it available for free, at least you are getting eyes on it. If you are a nobody and 1000 pirates download your book, that's 1,000 readers who might recommend the book to someone else.

9. Continuing with #8, know this: Pirates are good at this stuff, but the people pirates recommend to are not pirates. Sure, pirates have pirate-y friends who will pirate it some more (getting tired of the word pirate, btw haha), but is a pirate's mom living three states away savvy enough to know what to do to get the product for free that has just been recommended by her pirate son? Probably not. Even if Pirate Son sends the file to Pirate Mom, he still has to explain how to get the file onto her device, and as you might know from experience, this can be a frustrating nightmare that makes you want to swallow Sani-Flush crystals and chase it with a half-gallon of bleach. And is pirate's mom going to be nonchalant about the fact that it is pirating? Probably not, she's probably not Mother Teresa's successor, but most people are decent and don't really like the idea of 'stealing'. How about Mr. Pirate's boss? Is Mr. Pirate going to explain how to steal the product to his boss? Sometimes yes, some bosses are 'cool' like that I suppose, but mostly...no.

10. What about Mr. Pirate's facebook friends and such who have just read his post saying "OH MY GOD JOHNNY COURAGE'S BOOK 'JIM DANDY' IS THE BEST BOOK EVER! YOU SHOULD READ IT!"? All three hundred friends are probably not going to go looking for it at The Pirate Bay. They'll be typing it into google and finding Amazon or iTunes or such are the first few legit links.

11. You might still disagree with me, and say 'but Travis, it IS stealing! Stop condoning it!' and some of you might even go see that my books are all for free on Amazon and say 'yeah but you don't have any cards in this game man, all your nonsense is free! I'm charging for mine!'. To both of those things I would say "BULLY!" Not like you are bullying me, but more like the old English expression that means "NONSENSE!" It probably means other things too, but my Brit friends tell me that it indeed can mean 'NONSENSE!' or 'FOOLISH!'. Regardless of whether I'm selling books at a 10,000 per day clip or giving away all of my books for free, I will not change my views. I know piracy. I've been on both sides of it. I've slogged through all of the wars in the video game side of things, and again with Metallica and Napster and BearShare and WinMX and VPN and ALL OF IT.
 
12. Piracy is going to happen. If you are a nobody and it happens to you, make lemonade out of the lemons you think you are being forced to suck on. Whatever gets your name out there, right?

13. If you are famous, tap the ashes of your gold-plated cigar onto your expensive plush carpet and throw another $100 bill on the fire (while video taping it to upload to youtube so your friends can see just how mental you've become with all of that fame!). You have better things to do than worry about pirates stealing your work. Like cashing another boring check with a heck of a lot of zeroes after a number that is between 1 and 9. And burn $100 bills to enrage your friends with your wealth and snobbery.

14. Even after all of this, some will still be unable to accept their precious hard work is being stolen and distributed for free. All I can do is shrug and say...nothing. I don't know what to say. Fight it if you really are passionate about it, but I'd rather spend my time writing more nonsense for readers to spend some spare change on. I'd rather haggle with my cover artist to fix something I don't like. I'd rather fight Amazon's sudden lack of categories that seems to be messing things up for a lot of authors. Heck, I'd even rather just accept piracy as a fact of life and spend some happy time with my wife watching bad television together.

15. The one thing that I will spend energy to combat is if I ever find my books being sold on a site other than the ones I have authorized. So if I come across my book for $2.00 on hungarianbookpirates.yarrrr.cc I'll do what I can to snuff that out. But even then I don't bother to go tracking down who might be pirating my books. See #14's activities I'd rather do than do that. I'd also like to include punching myself in the face with replica chainmail gloves (the really spiky kind for actual combat, not those sissy ones for show).


So there's that.

TL;DR = you cannot defeat pirates with DRM, only hurt your own legit, loyal, PAYING customers

This message has been brought to you by the number 7, and the letters AHOY and YARRRRRR.




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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2013, 05:09:31 AM »
Further thoughts and a caveat: I'm addressing the issue ONLY as it applies to ebooks.  I've no experience or interest in how it works for games or music or anything else.

I am not concerned about losing access to my Amazon purchased books on my kindle devices.  Amazon are very customer oriented and I expect have gone with the minimum DRM that major publishers were willing to allow.  Remember, it wasn't necessarily Amazon's idea to have DRM on the books they sell -- publishers insisted -- they wouldn't let Amazon sell their books if they didn't include it.  A lot of them objected to the Text to Speech function and demanded a way to disallow it -- similarly with the lending functions. But Amazon ALSO allows books to be published DRM free -- and more and more go this way.  Tor, for example, no longer enables the DRM on their titles at Amazon.

For most customers it's not really a problem either way.  They mostly use kindle devices and if you asked a representative sample of Kindleers, I'd guess most of them wouldn't really know what you were talking about. Or wouldn't care.  Their question is "does the book work on my kindle? Yes? 'kay, that's all that matters".  For those for whom it is a concern, they've made the decision that removing the DRM is appropriate for them. I mean, even I know it's really really easy to do if you know where to look.  It doesn't hardly take ANY 'time and effort'.

Now, the Amazon ToS says that you have agreed not to do that so I don't.  I agreed to the ToS and am willing to abide by it and have no personal need to re-evaluate that decision. But I completely understand those who've decided it's acceptable to ignore that clause for their own personal purposes.  It's just a company ToS agreement.  Not a legal issue.  Mind you, freely distributing the resulting file may be a legal issue, because now you're potentially violating copyright. (I'm talking US law here. Other countries may be more or less restrictive.) THAT is a completely separate issue as to the existence, desirability, or usefulness of a DRM scheme on the books in the first place.

Note that if Amazon ceases to be, I would consider the ToS to be no longer applicable.  And, actually, I probably should check the ToS again -- I do so periodically and it has changed somewhat in the last 5 years.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find the specific 'don't mess with the DRM' clause quietly gone at some point. :)

As to where I buy. . . .I've already said I mostly buy from Amazon.  It's a quality and service thing as much as anything.  I've periodically, over the years, gotten books from other places. But doing so IS more 'time and effort' for me, so in most cases there's no real reason for me to look further afield. If I want a book from Amazon, it can be on my kindle in seconds without me having to download it first to my computer.  And I know that if I get a book from Amazon that is poorly written, poorly formatted, or poorly edited, I can return it with absolutely zero hassle.  For me, that's HUGE.  I do like to try new authors, and I am fortunate that I am not on an extremely tight budget for book buying, but I read a lot, and still don't want to waste my time OR money. :)

And because there is an exception to every rule, ::) I have downloaded G. Norman Lippert's 4 James Potter books -- he just released the 4th this past week -- from his website.  The first such d/l was an experiment -- I had no knowledge of the guy but had heard good things and was interested in the books -- but after that I had a good idea what I was getting so was willing to deal with the extra steps needed to get 'em on my kindle.  If the first one had been bad, I'd never have been back. :)  And those books are FREE!

I SUPPORT authors who write good books and produce them well; I don't give two hoots where they sell them or whether or not they have copy protection -- but I want it to be dead easy.  Lippert has, in fact, a couple of books he does sell via Amazon -- and I've bought them via Amazon rather than directly through his site.  Easier for me.  He has another short story I'd like to read, but it's NOT available at Amazon, so I haven't bought it.  Besides having to buy through some other site, it's only available as a PDF file -- so I'd have to go to even more time and effort to make it the way I'd like it on my kindle. :(  I keep checking back, though.

Again. . . . .these are MY thoughts ONLY. :)

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Offline O

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2013, 05:21:59 AM »
I was going to post to ask what does DRM do from the perspective of an ordinary reader (i.e. not a pirate), but I think AngryGames must have psychically heard me.

So does DRM just stop copying for people who don't know how to strip it out? And from what Ann's said, I'm guessing it restricts the file to Kindle devices and apps?

In all conscience I can't use it, because when I was 17 I would never have listened to any music at all if I hadn't been given mix-tapes and tapes of albums from friends who had tape-to-tapes. And for most of those teenage-pirated musicians, I bought loads of their stuff legitimately, once I had a job and could afford it. The Stranglers alone have cost me a small fortune in CDs (Hugh Cornwell era).

I DRM'd my first couple of shorts, because I didn't know what it was, but I left it off after that because I didn't know what it was but it seemed to annoy readers. I agree with AngryGames and others, that casual 'piracy' (friends copying music, e-books, computer games etc and giving to their friends) is probably a good thing in the long-term, and organised piracy in the dodgy back alleys of the interwebs is too much hassle for most people when the legitimate product is easy enough to buy and reasonably priced.

Offline Carradee

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2013, 05:43:52 AM »
So does DRM just stop copying for people who don't know how to strip it out? And from what Ann's said, I'm guessing it restricts the file to Kindle devices and apps?

Yep. In some cases [DRM] ties the book to a credit card number or name. I had some e-books, bought years ago from Fictionwise, that were tied to a debit card that expired. Fortunately, I realized that before I disposed of the card, so I kept it—just so I could unlock those books when computers changed. Even so, I was annoyed enough that I still haven't read one of those e-books, though I loved the prequel, have wanted to read it, and now could read it on my Nook (because all my FictionWise books were automatically transferred to my Nook library, last year). I've tried, but I can't seem to get past that feeling of annoyance I had after I couldn't read it when I first tried to, though I know it's not the fault of the author or the book. (I pretty much bought the book, had to wipe the computer before I got to read the book, redownloaded…then got fed up because I couldn't [at that time] track down the necessary debit card to unlock it or figure out how to strip the DRM.)

ETA: Edited to clarify vague antecedent. My apologies. :)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 06:47:30 AM by Carradee »

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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2013, 06:11:34 AM »
Yep. In some cases it ties the book to a credit card number or name. I had some e-books, bought years ago from Fictionwise, that were tied to a debit card that expired. Fortunately, I realized that before I disposed of the card, so I kept itjust so I could unlock those books when computers changed. Even so, I was annoyed enough that I still haven't read one of those e-books, though I loved the prequel, have wanted to read it, and now could read it on my Nook (because all my FictionWise books were automatically transferred to my Nook library, last year). I've tried, but I can't seem to get past that feeling of annoyance I had after I couldn't read it when I first tried to, though I know it's not the fault of the author or the book. (I pretty much bought the book, had to wipe the computer before I got to read the book, redownloadedthen got fed up because I couldn't [at that time] track down the necessary debit card to unlock it or figure out how to strip the DRM.)

Amazon DRM does NOT tie the book to a credit card.  It ties the book to an account, and a specific device on that account.  This was an issue at B&N for nook books because people would change the CC on the account and the books wouldn't work.  DUMB system, if you ask me -- because the situation Carradee describes is not all that unusual.  People change CC's all the time -- either because they decide a different card has a better rate, or one got full so they put a different one on the account, or one got compromised and they had to destroy it.  Really REALLY STUPID way to do it, in my opinion. :o

But Amazon's scheme is connected to your amazon account identifier and each kindle device/app serial number.  You can switch cards, change your email address, etc. and won't lose access to your books.  You can have as many kindles registered as you want and have the book itself on up to 6 different devices at the same time.  O.K. Some few books are limited to fewer than 6, but there are also a ton of them that have allowed for unlimited devices. 

The only time people have had problems, is if their AMAZON account was compromised and had to be closed and a new one opened.  In those cases, books could be lost. The situations I heard about were people with a relatively low number of Amazon books and what Amazon did was credit their new account for the amount it would cost to re-buy them. The person in question had to jump through a few hoops -- prove who they were, etc. (it was an identity theft situation) and specifically request it, so, not ideal, but at least it's something.  I've no idea what they'd do for someone like me who has well over 2000 Kindle books! :o That possibility -- being shut out of their amazon account through no fault of your own -- is one of the reasons people have cited for ignoring that part of the ToS and making archive/stripped copies of Amazon books themselves.


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Offline Carradee

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2013, 06:52:07 AM »
Amazon DRM does NOT tie the book to a credit card.

Oh, sorry. I meant "it" as in DRM in general, not specifically Amazon DRM. There are a few different variations on the credit card thing, but it seems to be rare, these days. I still occasionally see it attempted by selling-on-own-website type folks who assume that it's a new, great idea and implement it without realizing that there's a reason they don't see it anywhere.

I've no idea what they'd do for someone like me who has well over 2000 Kindle books! :o That possibility -- being shut out of their amazon account through no fault of your own -- is one of the reasons people have cited for ignoring that part of the ToS and making archive/stripped copies of Amazon books themselves.

Ever try downloading your e-book library? I have a copy on my computer of every e-book from my Nook library. I had to manage that from the website and download each one individually, though. (I have a Nook Simple Touch.)

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Offline O

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2013, 07:34:36 AM »
I pretty much bought the book, had to wipe the computer before I got to read the book, redownloadedthen got fed up because I couldn't [at that time] track down the necessary debit card to unlock it or figure out how to strip the DRM.

Sheesh! With those kinds of hurdles to get over just to read a book, I'd probably give up reading altogether if that happened  :o

I understand what Ann's saying - that Amazon's DRM is a different kettle of fish, but with 2 million kindle books out there now, a lot of indie authors are lucky to even *give* books away sometimes, so if DRM presents any possible barriers or annoyances at all to potential readers, it seems to me that exposure could be the main issue for us, not the problem of piracy.

And Ann:
 
for someone like me who has well over 2000 Kindle books! :o

Wow. Just wow. 2000?
Wow.
*looks at own pitiful collection of a few hundred Kindle books*
Wow.  :)

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2013, 09:02:08 AM »
If one only goes through Amazon to buy books, how can I tell if it has DRM or is DRM-free?
And I have 5709 books through Amazon alone.   Over half are cooking and craft books.
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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2013, 09:15:59 AM »
If one only goes through Amazon to buy books, how can I tell if it has DRM or is DRM-free?
And I have 5709 books through Amazon alone.   Over half are cooking and craft books.

Check what it says for device limit.  If it doesn't say anything, the book probably has DRM that limits it to the default of 6.  It will specify if the limit is different.  If there's no DRM at all, it will say 'unlimited'.

I think.

To be honest, I haven't checked that. . . .it might still have some sort of DRM, to where the book would not be convertable, say to ePub, but you CAN put it on as many devices as you want by downloading direct from Amazon.  But, based on what authors have said, there's a specific toggle that they set to have DRM turned on or not, so I assume it's really OFF if the device limit says "unlimited".  I expect someone else may be able to confirm that such books can, in fact, be freely copied, or converted, and loaded on devices without having to d/l direct from Amazon.

Again, it should be noted. . . .that doesn't mean that it's o.k. to copy it freely and share it with the world without permission of the author. :D

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Offline Kathelm

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2013, 09:16:28 AM »
Quote
If one only goes through Amazon to buy books, how can I tell if it has DRM or is DRM-free?

If it's DRM-Free, you see "Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited" under product details.



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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2013, 09:33:07 AM »
Check what it says for device limit.  If it doesn't say anything, the book probably has DRM that limits it to the default of 6.  It will specify if the limit is different.  If there's no DRM at all, it will say 'unlimited'.

I think.

To be honest, I haven't checked that. . . .it might still have some sort of DRM, to where the book would not be convertable, say to ePub, but you CAN put it on as many devices as you want by downloading direct from Amazon.  But, based on what authors have said, there's a specific toggle that they set to have DRM turned on or not, so I assume it's really OFF if the device limit says "unlimited".  I expect someone else may be able to confirm that such books can, in fact, be freely copied, or converted, and loaded on devices without having to d/l direct from Amazon.

Again, it should be noted. . . .that doesn't mean that it's o.k. to copy it freely and share it with the world without permission of the author. :D
I am not that tech savvy to share files.   My question was more a curiousity because I don't think about DRM or who publishes a book.   My only concern is if it is a good book.
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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2013, 10:11:54 AM »
I spent almost two decades in the tech (including video game) industry, and have seen every type of anti-piracy scheme come and go, and not a SINGLE ONE has kept anyone from pirating the product. None. Zero. Zilch.

It's true that all DRM does is make legit customers feel the pain when the DRM screws up (EA's 'always on' server connections for Sim City for instance, or Diablo III is another good example, probably plenty from UbiSoft). I'm also a huge believer that once a person buys my product, they are free to do with it as they please. If they want to loan it to a friend, awesome. That's one more person that sees my product. If they want to sell it to a friend, go ahead. Yes, even digital files that can be endlessly copied.

One of my favorite persons is Brad Wardell from Stardock who wrote a bit of a manifesto about piracy and his company's stance on it. Basically it goes 'we don't even worry about pirates because 1. they can't be stopped and 2. they weren't going to buy the product anyway, they came into it with the intent to steal'.

Now it's true that there has been some interesting albeit too-light research showing that music pirates and movie pirates actually spend more money on such products than non-pirates, but that's a different argument for a different time. My argument is always the same though, and it goes something like this:

1. Pirates cannot be stopped from pirating your work.
2. Seriously. Pirates cannot be stopped from pirating your work.
3. Dude...really. Any DRM scheme you name, I'm going to tell you which cracker group defeated it first.

4. Now that you understand that no form of DRM can stop pirates, let's talk about why this is not even important...

5. Imagine you are going to spend your $2 on a book from shadyivansromanianbookstore.com or spend your $2.99 on Amazon.com. This one is so easy that anyone answering other than 'Amazon' needs to relearn the internets.

6. Think about how easy it is to buy from iTunes/Amazon/etc (legit sites) and how the product is delivered right to your device without even plugging it in. Now think about the steps you'll have to go through to pirate the same product. Just to save $2.99 will you go through the hassle of trying to find the file online for download in an easy format that you understand (ie: not usenet or torrents or private sites because while some of you might know about this sort of thing, the majority of you are scratching your heads because you've HEARD of these methods but have never actually tried any yourself), download it, unzip/unrar it (possible step, easy I'm sure), then figure out how to put it on your device? And all the while hoping that the new DR._DEATHx32 trojan virus malware Comet Cursor thing going around didn't infect your precious computer or device.

7. Don't scoff at 'put it on your device' like I just said 'breathing air'. Because we are writers, there's probably not a single one of us that doesn't know how to transfer a file to our reading devices easily. We kind of have to know how to do this. But think of the average Joe, the guy who has a Kindle or iPhone but only knows that he buys books and music and they show up on his device. He doesn't have to find a cord to plug it in, navigate to the proper folder, drop the file, etc.

8. Even if pirates are spreading your product at a rate of 10,000 units per day, this is actually a boon to you, though you may resist this idea...if you are famous enough that 10,000 people per day are downloading your book, you are probably selling 100,000 per day at a legit site like Amazon. Seriously...if you are a nobody, no one is going to pirate your stuff because no one knows who you are, and no one cares. If someone does care enough to upload your book and make it available for free, at least you are getting eyes on it. If you are a nobody and 1000 pirates download your book, that's 1,000 readers who might recommend the book to someone else.

9. Continuing with #8, know this: Pirates are good at this stuff, but the people pirates recommend to are not pirates. Sure, pirates have pirate-y friends who will pirate it some more (getting tired of the word pirate, btw haha), but is a pirate's mom living three states away savvy enough to know what to do to get the product for free that has just been recommended by her pirate son? Probably not. Even if Pirate Son sends the file to Pirate Mom, he still has to explain how to get the file onto her device, and as you might know from experience, this can be a frustrating nightmare that makes you want to swallow Sani-Flush crystals and chase it with a half-gallon of bleach. And is pirate's mom going to be nonchalant about the fact that it is pirating? Probably not, she's probably not Mother Teresa's successor, but most people are decent and don't really like the idea of 'stealing'. How about Mr. Pirate's boss? Is Mr. Pirate going to explain how to steal the product to his boss? Sometimes yes, some bosses are 'cool' like that I suppose, but mostly...no.

10. What about Mr. Pirate's facebook friends and such who have just read his post saying "OH MY GOD JOHNNY COURAGE'S BOOK 'JIM DANDY' IS THE BEST BOOK EVER! YOU SHOULD READ IT!"? All three hundred friends are probably not going to go looking for it at The Pirate Bay. They'll be typing it into google and finding Amazon or iTunes or such are the first few legit links.

11. You might still disagree with me, and say 'but Travis, it IS stealing! Stop condoning it!' and some of you might even go see that my books are all for free on Amazon and say 'yeah but you don't have any cards in this game man, all your nonsense is free! I'm charging for mine!'. To both of those things I would say "BULLY!" Not like you are bullying me, but more like the old English expression that means "NONSENSE!" It probably means other things too, but my Brit friends tell me that it indeed can mean 'NONSENSE!' or 'FOOLISH!'. Regardless of whether I'm selling books at a 10,000 per day clip or giving away all of my books for free, I will not change my views. I know piracy. I've been on both sides of it. I've slogged through all of the wars in the video game side of things, and again with Metallica and Napster and BearShare and WinMX and VPN and ALL OF IT.
 
12. Piracy is going to happen. If you are a nobody and it happens to you, make lemonade out of the lemons you think you are being forced to suck on. Whatever gets your name out there, right?

13. If you are famous, tap the ashes of your gold-plated cigar onto your expensive plush carpet and throw another $100 bill on the fire (while video taping it to upload to youtube so your friends can see just how mental you've become with all of that fame!). You have better things to do than worry about pirates stealing your work. Like cashing another boring check with a heck of a lot of zeroes after a number that is between 1 and 9. And burn $100 bills to enrage your friends with your wealth and snobbery.

14. Even after all of this, some will still be unable to accept their precious hard work is being stolen and distributed for free. All I can do is shrug and say...nothing. I don't know what to say. Fight it if you really are passionate about it, but I'd rather spend my time writing more nonsense for readers to spend some spare change on. I'd rather haggle with my cover artist to fix something I don't like. I'd rather fight Amazon's sudden lack of categories that seems to be messing things up for a lot of authors. Heck, I'd even rather just accept piracy as a fact of life and spend some happy time with my wife watching bad television together.

15. The one thing that I will spend energy to combat is if I ever find my books being sold on a site other than the ones I have authorized. So if I come across my book for $2.00 on hungarianbookpirates.yarrrr.cc I'll do what I can to snuff that out. But even then I don't bother to go tracking down who might be pirating my books. See #14's activities I'd rather do than do that. I'd also like to include punching myself in the face with replica chainmail gloves (the really spiky kind for actual combat, not those sissy ones for show).


So there's that.

TL;DR = you cannot defeat pirates with DRM, only hurt your own legit, loyal, PAYING customers

This message has been brought to you by the number 7, and the letters AHOY and YARRRRRR.





Neil Gaiman has made the same or at least a very similar argument for books, for example, that the more he was pirated [in Russia], the more he sold there.

Oh, and a FYI, the Britishism "bully" means good or excellent. ;)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 12:38:12 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline Vivienne Mathews

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2013, 11:58:26 AM »
I'm also a huge believer that once a person buys my product, they are free to do with it as they please. If they want to loan it to a friend, awesome. That's one more person that sees my product. If they want to sell it to a friend, go ahead. Yes, even digital files that can be endlessly copied.

Yes, this. Once you've purchased it, it's yours. Enjoy it in whatever way you please. I don't need to keep my fingers on the edge of the product while you're reading it.

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Offline Austin_Briggs

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2013, 12:17:56 PM »
Sheesh! With those kinds of hurdles to get over just to read a book, I'd probably give up reading altogether if that happened  :o

I understand what Ann's saying - that Amazon's DRM is a different kettle of fish, but with 2 million kindle books out there now, a lot of indie authors are lucky to even *give* books away sometimes, so if DRM presents any possible barriers or annoyances at all to potential readers, it seems to me that exposure could be the main issue for us, not the problem of piracy.

And Ann:
 
Wow. Just wow. 2000?
Wow.
*looks at own pitiful collection of a few hundred Kindle books*
Wow.  :)

Haha. I win. I have, like, 30 or 40.

Thats because I READ every book I buy, lol (and I avoid freebies).

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2013, 12:21:41 PM »
I do mostly freebies and usually if the author posts here there is about 90% chance the book will be good.
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Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #46 on: August 23, 2013, 01:19:23 PM »
Haha. I win. I have, like, 30 or 40.

Thats because I READ every book I buy, lol (and I avoid freebies).

I expect to read everything I've bought.  I read A Lot. . . .as I think I might have mentioned.  Probably half of the ones in my account I have read already.  And I share my account with my brother so many of the ones I haven't read, he has.

I do mostly freebies and usually if the author posts here there is about 90% chance the book will be good.

Sorry, but I'd totally disagree with that.  I've been a member here for nearly 5 years. . . .as long as any of the active members.  Of the member authors who's books I've purchased (or gotten free), about half have been worth the time to download and read them. The other half have been not as advertised, or poorly written, or poorly edited.  There are a BUNCH that I was really glad I'd not spent money on -- they've been deleted from my archive. Only about a third have been good enough that I've been willing to pay for another one from them.

I will say, though, that, on average, the chances are probably better now of getting a good book, than they were early on. Best suggestion: look for someone whose been around here a while -- like a year or more -- 'cause if they've stuck it that long, and been an active participant, chances are very good that they've got the whole 'write a good book and present it professionally from cover to end matter' thing down.  But I still don't think it's 90%.  Sorry, that's just how I see it.

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Offline AngryGames

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #47 on: August 23, 2013, 01:33:57 PM »
^ nah, I don't believe it has anything to do with how long someone has been a member here. I believe it has everything to do with a writer's skill/talent just as much as it has to do with my personal tastes when it comes to stories.

I've read quite a number of first-time stories from authors who have storytelling skill and talent but are slightly lacking on the editing part.

I've read lots of stories from established, well-reviewed authors that made me want to kick the Kindle so hard it enters another dimension before going supernova and destroying existence across all of the multiverses.

I'll take a chance on just about everything. If the free sample can't hook me, then I don't care if you got 123,462 5-star reviews out of 124,090 total reviews. If your book/music has DRM, it could be the best, most awesome thing in the world and I won't even bother with the sample.


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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2013, 01:37:18 PM »
I expect to read everything I've bought.  I read A Lot. . . .as I think I might have mentioned.  Probably half of the ones in my account I have read already.  And I share my account with my brother so many of the ones I haven't read, he has.

Sorry, but I'd totally disagree with that.  I've been a member here for nearly 5 years. . . .as long as any of the active members.  Of the member authors who's books I've purchased (or gotten free), about half have been worth the time to download and read them. The other half have been not as advertised, or poorly written, or poorly edited.  There are a BUNCH that I was really glad I'd not spent money on -- they've been deleted from my archive. Only about a third have been good enough that I've been willing to pay for another one from them.

I will say, though, that, on average, the chances are probably better now of getting a good book, than they were early on. Best suggestion: look for someone whose been around here a while -- like a year or more -- 'cause if they've stuck it that long, and been an active participant, chances are very good that they've got the whole 'write a good book and present it professionally from cover to end matter' thing down.  But I still don't think it's 90%.  Sorry, that's just how I see it.
Oh maybe that is why I have been getting so lucky with the books.   Thanks for the warning that I may be in for a bad spell once I get through the good ones.    Though I must say that the non-member author books I have tried are the opposite 90%.  90% bad 10% readable.
And I may be doing your suggestion which is making sure they have been around a while.
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Offline Routhwick

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Re: DRMs ? Or no DRMs ?
« Reply #49 on: August 23, 2013, 01:47:09 PM »
As I've said on these forums before, I avoid DRM entirely. (DRM also defeats the purpose of Creative Commons' movement.)