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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 09:08:20 am

Title: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 09:08:20 am
I was happy to see my books in WH Smith's on-line website; but then very unhappy to see that they had installed DRM in my files without my permission.
I hate DRM. I think it is a stupid thing that doesn't work and therefore serves no purpose other than to p*ss off readers and legitimate customers.

To Kobo; please ask W.H. Smith to stop altering my files, otherwise I'll have to pull my books - which I don't want to do - but I will NOT support the use of DRM in any way - least of all in my own content. Further, I do not believe that you or WH Smith have the right to alter my files without my permission.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: OliviaF on March 19, 2013, 09:16:27 am
Oh wow. I didn't realize that. I just discovered my books listed there but didn't notice the added DRM.

I don't want DRM on my books nor did I give permission for that to be done :-/
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Steve Vernon on March 19, 2013, 09:18:21 am
Wow. That's strange. I'll have to check out my own Kobo releases over at WH Smith.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: 56139 on March 19, 2013, 09:20:16 am
The default stetting at KOBO is to INCLUDE DRM, so when you add your book, almost at the last step you will have an option.  If you don't uncheck the box, you have DRM enabled automatically.  

I have no idea if you can change this once it's set, but this is how you got DRM on your books.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 09:24:18 am
Going through Draft2Digital so I'm not seeing any of that; thanks for the explanation - I'll take it up with them and see if it happening on their side of the fence (and if that is the case I'll be back to edit :)).
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on March 19, 2013, 09:28:42 am
The default stetting at KOBO is to INCLUDE DRM, so when you add your book, almost at the last step you will have an option.  If you don't uncheck the box, you have DRM enabled automatically.  

I have no idea if you can change this once it's set, but this is how you got DRM on your books.

Except that I KNOW I clicked "no DRM" when I uploaded. I suspect that if you make any changes - upload a new version, etc, it defaults back to DRM. Which is pretty tricky, because you can make updates on Kobo to one page (and not have to walk through all the menus for the other pages), but apparently it will default to DRM unless you uncheck it with every update.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Susan Kaye Quinn on March 19, 2013, 09:30:45 am
Also: even my books which still have "DRM free" enabled are showing up as DRM epub on WHSmith
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: 56139 on March 19, 2013, 09:31:53 am
Except that I KNOW I clicked "no DRM" when I uploaded. I suspect that if you make any changes - upload a new version, etc, it defaults back to DRM. Which is pretty tricky, because you can make updates on Kobo to one page (and not have to walk through all the menus for the other pages), but apparently it will default to DRM unless you uncheck it with every update.

Yeah, that could be.  I barely noticed it myself.  I was ready to click submit and then I saw what that little checkbox was actually saying.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: TJHudson on March 19, 2013, 09:33:34 am
I have just checked. All of my books have DRM. I published them directly with Kobo and I unchecked DRM. I can't have missed that option on every book I published, so it does look like DRM is being added against our wishes.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Amanda Brice on March 19, 2013, 09:39:21 am
Except that I KNOW I clicked "no DRM" when I uploaded. I suspect that if you make any changes - upload a new version, etc, it defaults back to DRM. Which is pretty tricky, because you can make updates on Kobo to one page (and not have to walk through all the menus for the other pages), but apparently it will default to DRM unless you uncheck it with every update.

This. ANY time you make any change at all, including price, it defaults back to DRM, so you have to manually un-check the box for no DRM. The good news is that unlike Amazon and B&N, you can change it at any time. The bad news is that it always defaults to DRM.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: TJHudson on March 19, 2013, 09:47:24 am
So I've just checked through the publishing options of my books and none of them have DRM ticked.

At some point it is definitely being added against my wishes.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Amanda Brice on March 19, 2013, 09:48:04 am
OK, that is seriously not cool if WH Smith is adding it against our wishes.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 09:51:32 am
I just checked a bunch of books at WH SMith - they ALL have DRM enabled - yep.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 10:18:42 am
After checking with Draft2Digital they confirmed that they specifically request no DRM - so this is something that is happening between KOBO and WH Smith without ANY author's permission. Apart from those who have said they didn't give permission - Hugh Howey and Cory Doctorow, both vocal opponents of DRM have it installed on their books at WH Smith.

Could a Koko representative please comment on where this is happening? Is it on WH Smith? Or on Kobo side?
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Amanda Brice on March 19, 2013, 10:19:51 am
Oy. That's just awful.

Eveyrone going through KWL should contact customer support and complain. Unacceptable.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: AriadneW on March 19, 2013, 10:51:10 am
Argh that seriously sucks. I didn't want DRM on my books either but there it is.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Victoria Champion on March 19, 2013, 02:04:22 pm
Mine too.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Carradee on March 19, 2013, 02:33:58 pm
Kobo will oddly change your settings on your book, namely about DRM. I've noticed this—and complained about it—more than once.

It might well be Kobo and not WH Dean.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Leanne King on March 19, 2013, 03:27:10 pm
Yep, mine all showing at Smiths as Adobe DRM, despite all being published through KWL with DRM unchecked (which I have just double checked).
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Hildred on March 19, 2013, 04:03:47 pm
That is odd. I just checked my books I recently made price changes to and they're all unchecked (as they should be.) For the record, I directly upload.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 04:54:22 pm
That is odd. I just checked my books I recently made price changes to and they're all unchecked (as they should be.) For the record, I directly upload.

Yes - all yours have DRM as well - basically, from what I can tell - EVERY book at WH Smith has DRM in it - installed without our permission via Kobo.

And we note that still no Kobo rep has put their head in here.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: jnfr on March 19, 2013, 04:55:43 pm
Someone should give Cory a heads up over at Boing-Boing. He won't be happy about this and he's got a big microphone.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Mathew Reuther on March 19, 2013, 05:31:12 pm
Wow. This is not OK with me.

New addition to my copyright page:

"This file is intended to be distributed DRM-free. Some retailers have taken to violating our wishes and installing DRM on our products. If you have received a version where DRM has been enabled, please email a copy of your receipt to [email protected] and let us know which format you read in. We will send you a proper copy of the file in return. If this happens to you, please consider shopping at a retailer that does not manipulate original files in any way for future ebook purchases. Thank you for supporting our quest to provide you with only the best possible service."
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Error404 on March 19, 2013, 07:04:45 pm
I direct upload and have made multiple changes without having to re-uncheck the DRM option  :-\
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 19, 2013, 07:23:48 pm
I direct upload and have made multiple changes without having to re-uncheck the DRM option  :-\

But your books also have DRM in them on the WH Smith ebook site....
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Leanne King on March 20, 2013, 12:45:08 am
I'm no lawyer, but these terms may be pertinent:

Quote
Without restricting the generality of the foregoing, Kobo may:

Accept or reject the Works at our discretion,
Copy and store your Works on one or more computers,
Convert, reformat and encode the Works into eBooks and enable and optimize the display of the Works on the eReading Service, provided that Kobo agrees that we shall make no modifications to the substance of the Works and Kobo shall not be responsible for any inaccuracies or errors in conversion or reformatting,
Display, market, transmit, distribute, sell and otherwise digitally make available all or any portion of the Works and the metadata you provide through Kobo Writing Life, for customers and prospective customers to download and/or store, access, copy and paste, print, annotate and/or view online and offline, including on portable devices,
Determine all marketing and promotion of your Works related to their sale on the eReading Service, including by making reasonable excerpts of an eBook available for free as promotional material to encourage users to purchase the eBook,
Elect at our sole discretion to remove any eBook from the eReading Service or reject an eBook that has been submitted by Publisher for sale on Kobo Writing Life, and
Exercise our rights and license set out in these Terms directly and through third party booksellers, retailers, distributors, affiliates and independent contractors.

I guess it could be argued that "convert, reformat, and encode" gives them the right to add DRM. It's not how I would read it, but I can see how it could be open to interpretation. I'm sending them an email anyway. They are usually pretty good about getting back to you, even if their replies rarely make sense.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Routhwick on March 20, 2013, 05:05:17 am
I've alerted G+'s Indie Readers and Writers Community of this development. (https://plus.google.com/103283675665371670119/posts/JYXz4JkwcVR) Hope this picks up steam as it well should!
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: OliviaF on March 20, 2013, 06:33:51 am
I publish to Kobo through Smashwords so I don't have the option to uncheck a box for DRM, though I'm pretty sure Smashwords didn't request the DRM...

If someone figures out what we can do about this please let us all know.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 20, 2013, 07:35:24 am
Blog post on the subject. http://www.simon-royle.com/blog/whsmith-breaking-trust-putting-drm-in-ebooks-without-permission-from-the-authors/ (http://www.simon-royle.com/blog/whsmith-breaking-trust-putting-drm-in-ebooks-without-permission-from-the-authors/)
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Jeroen Steenbeeke on March 20, 2013, 07:50:28 am
Wow, even my books are there. With DRM, despite having explicitly disabled it at Kobo (and everywhere else, for that matter). Not that I've ever sold anything through Kobo or affiliates, but still, this sucks.

Blog post on the subject. http://www.simon-royle.com/blog/whsmith-breaking-trust-putting-drm-in-ebooks-without-permission-from-the-authors/ (http://www.simon-royle.com/blog/whsmith-breaking-trust-putting-drm-in-ebooks-without-permission-from-the-authors/)

Linked to it on Twitter.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 20, 2013, 08:06:34 am
Story with a KB mention breaks on Telerate...

http://www.teleread.com/drm/wh-smith-adding-drm-to-cory-doctorow-books-and-others/ (http://www.teleread.com/drm/wh-smith-adding-drm-to-cory-doctorow-books-and-others/)
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Jan Strnad on March 20, 2013, 09:02:11 am
Pretty outrageous, if true.

My only question is, has anyone verified that the DRM is installed, and that it isn't just a listing glitch?
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: 68665 on March 20, 2013, 09:19:45 am
I'm an old, old lurker and just joined.

Here's what Kobo told me about my books:

Thank you for contacting Kobo Writing Life.

There is a known error on the WHSmith website that is showing DRM-Free books as DRM ePubs. They're working on fixing this issue when they update their website in May.

Even though your books appear as DRM ePub's, any customers that want to purchase your book from WHSmith are directed to our site to make the purchase. On our site your book is correctly listed as DRM-Free.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience that this may cause and hope that this has clarified things for you.

Sincerely,
The Kobo Team


Hope this helps.

Lear
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Steve Vernon on March 20, 2013, 11:42:24 am
I'm an old, old lurker and just joined.

Here's what Kobo told me about my books:

Thank you for contacting Kobo Writing Life.

There is a known error on the WHSmith website that is showing DRM-Free books as DRM ePubs. They're working on fixing this issue when they update their website in May.

Even though your books appear as DRM ePub's, any customers that want to purchase your book from WHSmith are directed to our site to make the purchase. On our site your book is correctly listed as DRM-Free.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience that this may cause and hope that this has clarified things for you.

Sincerely,
The Kobo Team


Hope this helps.

Lear


That does help and it sounds reasonable to me.

I just took a look and my e-books ARE listed as DRM on the WH Smith website - however they ARE listed as DRM-FREE on the Kobo website itself.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Routhwick on March 20, 2013, 11:43:45 am
I'm an old, old lurker and just joined.
And welcome aboard, Lear!
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: TJHudson on March 20, 2013, 01:42:59 pm
Thank you Lear, and welcome  :)

I guess we will have to wait till May to find out the truth.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: gregm on March 20, 2013, 03:04:28 pm
I was just scanning Sony's site and they have the same tagline as WH Smith. Now I jumped around between fiction and non-fiction and various category's and all the ones I brought up were marked DRM

Didn't proceed past the description, so I do not know if a purchase sends them to a site like kobo who make the claim that they posted above.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: TexasGirl on March 21, 2013, 06:13:06 am
Pretty outrageous, if true.

My only question is, has anyone verified that the DRM is installed, and that it isn't just a listing glitch?

THIS!!!! My first reaction is that they have a template that pulls the DRM notice whether the book has it or not.

Has anyone actually BOUGHT their book and checked the downloaded file for DRM?
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: sgroyle on March 21, 2013, 07:45:55 am
The DRM notice has gone.

It appears that it was just a bug - glad it's been fixed; two months ahead of schedule. Kudos to WHSmith and Kobo for reacting fast and fixing the problem. Thank you. Will now proudly boast that my books are for sale on your site.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Eng S Jama on January 03, 2015, 07:56:34 am
Hmm. I've just realised that all ebooks at WH Smith got this daft thing.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Cherise on January 03, 2015, 08:03:47 am
This thread is two years old!
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: 75845 on January 03, 2015, 08:13:12 am
Thanks for mistakenly bringing this thread back to life as it got me to search and I have finally made it onto the WH Smith website for my British English and England set non-fiction, but not my American English novel. Now to add the buy links to my websites.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Vaalingrade on January 03, 2015, 12:40:56 pm
Thanks Cherise for pointing out the necroposting. I was halfway to a blistering blog post.
Title: Re: WH Smith putting DRM in books distributed by Kobo
Post by: Kirkee on January 04, 2015, 09:03:39 am
Sgroyle: Thanks for the heads up. I go through D2D myself
& do not want DRM.  ;)