July 9, 2012 at 5:52 am #3404
Digital Rights Management is gone. Do you think its good news for authors?July 12, 2012 at 3:11 am #5843
I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “Digital Rights Management is gone.” DRM will exist as long as companies include it on their products. Has a publisher stopped putting DRM on their eBooks?
In any case, I believe writers should always opt out of DRM when they publish to KDP, PubIt!, etc. It doesn’t deter piracy. Anyone with a mind to it can easily figure out how to take out the code that prevents them from sharing the file.
What it DOES do is hurt legitimate readers. People who have bought your book and want to transfer it to different devices, or who want to see the clean text without the crazy formatting issues introduced by overzealous anti-piracy measures (Kobo had a bad rep for this, but I hope they’re better now). I believe people should be able to share their books with their friends for as long as they want; not just one week before a company in Washington yanks it back.
Personally, I don’t care much if people “steal” my books and put them up for free, as long as they aren’t earning money from it, because the small handful of kids with the savvy to find and download it wouldn’t have bought it anyway. First of all, they probably would never have heard of it. And secondly, if they couldn’t get it for free, they’d just listen to ripped music or watch pirated superhero movies instead.
But even if it does bother you, DRM isn’t the answer. The best thing to do is just be vigilant about tracking where your books pop up online, and then send strongly worded notices to the hosts of sites that are posting it illegally. Believe me, they’ll take it down, and probably ban the user who uploaded it for good measure. No one wants to be sued.July 12, 2012 at 4:51 am #5844
I was referring to this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/may/03/death-of-drm-good-news – Tor Books and its sister company have eliminated DRM from all their books.
Unfortunately, the threat or fear of getting sued is good only in developed countries especially in the West if not exclusively. There are no strong laws preventing intellectual or artistic rights in developing countries which make up most part of our World.
I do however agree with you that DRM is NOT the answer and I would rather have my 9-yr old download an ebook he hasn’t paid for then a gory video game.July 16, 2012 at 7:38 am #5845
Interesting conversation. people are not going to stop buying or downloading pirated books, music and videos. Might as well legalize it. Is that where we are going with it? Just curious! 🙂July 18, 2012 at 11:37 am #5846
Mary, people aren’t going to stop trafficking drugs and child prostitutes, either. They aren’t going to stop shooting each other, beating their kids, or mugging pizza delivery boys. Do you think by saying this, I am proposing that this behavior is okay and we should legalize it all?
The question isn’t about whether pirates are breaking the law or not, but about how we deal with them. Pirating eBooks is a relatively harmless crime. We authors aren’t hurt much by it, for the reasons I listed in my first comment. There are a lot of things that are technically illegal but rarely worth prosecuting: driving in certain states without a front license plate; buying a souvenir on a trip abroad and omitting it from your federal tax forms; letting your dog run around the park without a leash. Kicking a fuss about it and demanding millions in damages for these things, as too many IP lawyers love to do to kids who download a couple of songs, would just be petty, and fueled more by greed than justice.
The problem with DRM, as I said before, is that it doesn’t deter theft, but it hurts legitimate buyers. I believe that if someone buys my book, it is then theirs to do whatever the heck they want with it, as long as they don’t try to make money by reproducing it. They can alter it, destroy it, lend it out, whatever. Applying DRM is like selling cars with a lock on the steering wheel, with the reasoning that it’s necessary to stop the few buyers who might drive drunk.
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