DRM Screws Users Again: eBooks About To Disappear Due To DRM Provider Shut Down

from the don't-buy-anything-with-DRM dept

Around here, it's basically preaching to the choir, so most of you probably recognize this already, but buying anything with DRM on it is basically asking for trouble down the road. The latest example? An eBook seller named Fictionwise has realized that one of the companies that provides DRM for some of its books has announced that its shutting down at the end of the month. Because that DRM has to check in with an authentication server that's no longer going to be there, everyone who "bought" (really: incorrectly thought they bought) eBooks that used this DRM will discover that the books they paid for no longer work (Update: as noted in the comments, this DRM doesn't authenticate every time -- just any time you try to move the content to a new device. Also, Fictionwise is working to get replacements and has done so for many of the eBooks impacted already). It's as if a publisher could retroactively erase the text from within a physical book that you bought. Since Fictionwise is just passing on the eBooks from third party aggregators, it has no means of replacing the "disappeared" eBooks. Has anyone found any thing that DRM is actually good for yet?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 12:33pm

    I guess the buyers are really more like renters. Seems there is grounds for a lawsuit for stuff like this. But then again, who are you going to sue if the company is out of business?

    Fortunately it is stories like this that may spell the final doom for DRM.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    David T, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 12:34pm

    What did I buy again?

    I wonder if a false advertizing lawsuit would apply in this situation. When people bought the digital files, they probably assumed they owned the content of the book, or at least access to the content of the book. While the fine print certainly would absolve the company of wrongdoing in the current situation, a judge might find the practice deceptive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    PhilD, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Sounds like refund time to me!

    I'd say that the "purchasers" of these ebooks are due a refund at the very least.

    If it was represented as a purchase I don't see any other answer, it doesn't matter if the company that sold them is in control or not, they took the money and they are liable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Mischa, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Not quite correct

    That isn't quite correct. The DRM in this instance isn't checked every time you open an ebook to read, but everytime you re-download the book from Fictionwise. Per the FAQ at Fictionwise, you will still be able to read the books on the device you originally downloaded them to.

    What you won't be able to do is re-download them from Fictionwise after Overdrive shuts down or move them to another device. Which, now that I think of it, means that eventually you won't be able to ready them after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    eleete, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Press

    "It's as if a publisher could retroactively erase the text from within a physical book that you bought."

    Awesome, a printing press that uses disappearing ink. What will those greedy bastards sell us next ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Mischa, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Not quite correct

    Also, Fictionwise is working with publishers that used Overdrive to offer replacement books (for free) in their Secure eReader format instead. So far they've got 80% of the books covered.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Kyle Johnson, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Good For Rentals

    I think DRM can still be effective for rentals. I won't buy anything with DRM, but the idea of renting something for a few days with certain restrictions doesn't seem that hard to swallow. I know the "DRM is always 100% bad" folks at TechCrunch won't agree, but hey, they asked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Dave Barnes, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:08pm

    Be aware

    I have trademarked "DRM Awareness" so please do not use that term unless you are willing to license it from me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Johnny, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Useful DRM

    Valve has done a great job on building out valuable features into their Steam DRM platform. There was a previous article that mentioned that EA turned to Steam to appease members of their audience who were upset over the restrictive DRM attached to the boxed version of Spore. Steam lets you buy a game online and download it from any computer as long as you install the Steam client. You can install your games on as many computers as you choose, but only one instance of the install can be used at any given time. You don't have a disk which represents your license to own a game, so there's no chance of physically losing the digital goods you have purchased. You don't have to plan ahead of time to bring a copy of your disk for a game... you can install it on any computer you happen to have access to on a whim.

    Unlike in the case in this article where the DRM server went away and users are screwed, the license agreement for Steam purchases states that if they do decide to shut down, users will be notified and given the ability to download stand-alone installers for all their games. If they decide to stop maintaining their DRM, they're giving their customers an alternative. I assume they recognize that if they did not provide this guarantee, then they would lose some business.

    The Steam client also has useful features like the ability to communicate with your friends, to see what game your friends are playing in realtime, the ability to see what games your friends own and to purchase games as gifts.

    There are a couple drawbacks. You lose the ability to sell your license to a game after you're done with it. For me, this is a non-issue. I like the idea that several years from now if I decide I want to go back and play an old game, I have the ability to do so with no hassle.

    You also lose the ability to play some games if your computer has no internet connection available, Spore being one.

    I consider myself to be a Steam fan, which means yeah, I'm a fan of a DRM app. I give my guarantee that I'm not a shill. I have no professional relationship with Valve.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media
    DRM = Digital RENTAL media

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Useful DRM

    Right up until there's no more Steam servers, then you're screwed without lube! (Fucking dolt.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:18pm

    Anything with DRM is nothen but a RENTAL!

    PERIOD!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    CoJeff, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Useful DRM

    Valve is still DRM. I don't care what you say. The moment I have to install something to access content I bought is unacceptable.

    DRM = Digital Restrictions Management

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:23pm

    And some DRM is a VIRUS!

    Did you hear me SONY(SECUROM) , Fucking Tards!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    It's as if a publisher could retroactively erase the text from within a physical book that you bought.

    some how i think the IAAs are loving DRM more and more

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    The only "good" DRM

    Literally, the only DRM that (so far) hasn't totally ass-fucked the consumer is Steam's. They had some relatively minor issues over the years that affected 10-30% of the user base for a brief period of time (longest was 2 weeks) but most of those were service issues and not DRM related.

    Hell the only "DRM" problems with steam games have been the third party DRM that the developers foisted to run on top of Steam's!

    The only reason I buy into Steam still is because Valve has, since day 1, said they would push out a patch that takes away the need for the DRM check in. Then you only have to worry about losing your burned DV/C discs and serials.

    Though thinking about it I think the quote was they would "feel morally obligated" or some such. Bah I'll have to recheck it now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Press

    You laugh now but something akin to disappearing ink was used for a subversive book many years ago. Instead they used photosensitive paper for the books. If you exposed them to the intense light that a Xerox(photocopy) machine used, it would darken and the book would be unreadable. A friend of mine still has one that he keeps in a fire safe to keep it intact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Isn't Steam/Valve in addition to the software. Its DRM, but I've installed several steam games on computers without steam accounts (or internet) with no problem.

    I thought/think that the DRM aspect of STEAM is the online/community functionality.

    Or I am a total idiot and I have no idea what im talking about, eh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Useful DRM

    Ok, Lobo, way to read the post to which you're responding.
    According to the GP post, standalone installers exist for the Steam games in the event of a permanent server shutdown. If you know that not to be the case, please enlighten us.
    That doesn't adress the issue of temporary outages, but neither does that excuse your response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Useful DRM

    My disclaimer, I bought Left 4 Dead through Steam, as a bunch of my friends did at the same time.
    If it were not for that stand alone installer guarentee, I can guarentee you I wouldn't have agreed to buy it that way.
    However, I feel the need to take down your representation of Valve a notch to the public you are presenting your argument to.
    The idea of absolutely needing the internet to play is stupid. Allow me to demonstrate with knowledge of L4D, although it is slightly different. You can play L4D in offline mode, meaning that you do not need to be logged into Steam. However, if you do this, you do not get your stats tracked. I am okay with that. However, you can only play by yourself. That the same group of friends I bought it with had to move our little LAN party downstairs. However, we did not have the internet down there. So we boot up L4D anyways. One problem. We can no longer play network. I can maybe understand not being able to play online without being logged into Steam. However, we could not even play the game we purchased the day before over LAN. That is really .. really stupid. We were all rightfully upset. We bought the game. So why can't we even play LAN together? Oh yah, that's right. Even though we handed over our money for the game, we are STILL ALL CRIMINALS. Stupid thinking Valve, and it will way more than likely be the last game I purchase through Valve as well.

    As for your one comment:
    I like the idea that several years from now if I decide I want to go back and play an old game, I have the ability to do so with no hassle.
    All the games I bought and have physical copies of, I simply make an ISO of the game. I can lose the physical copy, and I am still good. So I fail to see how that comment really has any bearing as to make Steam better than anything else.

    For Steam, the ability to have a friends list I do not see as anything big. There are plenty of other programs that do that. For the voice chat, I am already fine with Vent, and most of my group still uses Vent, even when we have Steam up. The only time we don't, is when we are inside of L4D itself since in game it has the ability to do voice chat. Although, it can be pretty fun at times we start up Vent, disable the in game voice chat, and join one of the all chat servers (where both sides hear the other side's voice chat as well). Then they do not hear us, but we still hear them. It is funny because they start asking how we do so well without talking at all about coordination, except we are. Some would call it cheating, but I didn't break or hack anything to do it.
    That makes about the only thing Steam adds above downloading anywhere, which I can install anywhere with my ISOs, and WAY faster than downloading 3+GB, is the ability to just click on your friend, and say "join game" and it auto joins you to their game. You do not even have to find which server they are on. So, overall, I think Steam adds very very little that you can't easily do with everything else that is already out there, and that people (being gamers at this point) already have installed anyways.

    So, I hate Steam's DRM. Mike, you asked Has anyone found any thing that DRM is actually good for yet?
    My answer is yes, I have, it is really good at screwing people who gave the companies their money, giving us incentives to no longer purchase games from them. As I will no longer buy from Valve. One game was enough.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    THORN, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:40pm

    media companies that require the use of DRM should be leagly bound to remove it prior to their going out of business. That is the only way to stop this sort of thing from continuing to rip-off the people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Jon, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

    Non-obtrusive DRM

    The DRM on the XBox 360 that they use for arcade games is pretty flexible. You can play online or offline and you can use other consoles as long as you know your account information. You could take the console offline permanently and you'd likely never have a problem. You can even play the games on other consoles and accounts under more limited circumstances.

    In the case of video games, I'm not totally against fairly unobtrusive DRM (not like the Spore DRM or the Steam DRM, that is, which are both pretty intrusive). There usually aren't complimentary goods (like concert tickets) that you can buy with video games, and the developers deserve to be paid. If DRM can solve this problem and I'm aware of the limitations as I'm buying the product, so be it.

    I also agree with the fact that DRM isn't bad for rentals, as Kyle pointed out. DRM for permanent music/books/videos is different, though - those media types require both portability and access on a variety of devices, and nobody has adequately solved those issues while still implementing effective DRM. That, and the content is more often than not overpriced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Matt, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Shopping Cart

    I don't know what to say to all these comments so I am just going to advertise my digital shopping cart for those of you that are selling or reselling ebooks on your site. It is easy to download and a great way to do sales.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    "Has anyone found any thing that DRM is actually good for yet?"

    Pissing off your paying customers and trashing PC(s)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re: Useful DRM

    Hmm, like the game itself, perhaps?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Be aware

    It should really be "DRM Victim Awareness."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Next, the RIAA will be able to wipe the tune of a song from you memory. Good bye, Love Boat Theme Song.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Useful DRM

    There are ways to connect to a LAN without being "online" in L4D. I can't remember exactly what we did, but there was a console command that would bring up the Online menu.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    inc, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    mm love that DRM smell

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Good idea

    Print books with disappearing ink. If you own it more than a year, it will have faded so much you can't read it and you will need to buy another.

    Why didn't I think of that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    JB, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Good idea

    Print books with disappearing ink. If you own it more than a year, it will have faded so much you can't read it and you will need to buy another.

    Then people would just begin typing the book up on a word processor as they read it, increasing their frustration with your company and decreasing your expected sales further than if you had just used permanent ink in the first place. Hell, I know I would re-type a print book if I knew it would deteriorate within a year. Plus I would then have a handy format for reading said book anywhere I wanted with my laptop.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 2:27pm

    Here's a smart idea...

    Step 1) Buy e-Book infected with DRM.

    Step 2) Turn printer on and make sure you have lots of ink and paper.

    Step 3) Ctrl + P. Have a stapler ready.

    HUZZAH!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    It doesn't look like overdrive is going out of business, merely severing their relationship with fictionwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    Overdrive is not going out of business, their severing their relationship with fictionwise.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Here's a smart idea...

    Most eBook DRM disables printing. Otherwise what would be the point? I could print to the PDFCreator virtual printer and create a PDF of the file if I could print.

    On the other hand none of my 53 fictionwise books are overdrive protected. I still can't print them they are secure eReader with a different DRM scheme.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    DaveL, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re: Useful DRM

    Lobo Santo,

    "the license agreement for Steam purchases states that if they do decide to shut down, users will be notified and given the ability to download stand-alone installers for all their games. If they decide to stop maintaining their DRM, they're giving their customers an alternative."

    Learn to read and get some manners.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Useful DRM

    Useful DRM

    DRM isn't useful - it restricts your ability to use what you paid for. That Steam has some useful features is not a reflection on the DRM used.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    wonderdshare, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:42pm

    it looks like the whole free thing isn’t that simple.

    I’ve seen people reporting that only US customers will be offered the DRM-free music yesterday .And the upgrade is a all-or-nothing prospect, which means you can’t choose which tracks to upgrade.

    Also,I hope Apple gives more options on upgrading my original purchases. I have hundreds of music in my itunes library,and I'm counting the money that will cost if I update all of them!

    So, I still use Wondershare media converter to help me,it is much economical.

    I'll just wait for Apple to carry out more actions。

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    wonderdshare, Jan 9th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    it looks like the whole free thing isn’t that simple.

    I’ve seen people reporting that only US customers will be offered the DRM-free music yesterday .And the upgrade is a all-or-nothing prospect, which means you can’t choose which tracks to upgrade.

    Also,I hope Apple gives more options on upgrading my original purchases. I have hundreds of music in my itunes library,and I'm counting the money that will cost if I update all of them!

    So, I still use Wondershare media converter to help me,it is much economical:
    http://www.flash-on-tv.com/media-converter.html#141

    I'll just wait for Apple to carry out more actions。

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Steve Pendergrast, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 5:24am

    eReader Format Does Not Require Re-download for device change

    Hi,

    I am Steve Pendergrast, one of the owners of Fictionwise.

    While I appreciate the clarifications you added to this posting, it is still not entirely accurate. In particular the title of this article is highly misleading given that the files do in fact continue to work and we are actively providing replacements.

    The replacement files we are providing are in eReader format, which is a format we acquired in early 2008. The eReader format never has to be re-downloaded by the customer at all. The same file you download on day 1 will operate on your future devices.

    Therefore, with this format it doesn't matter even if the retailer or DRM provider "goes dark", you can still transfer your file to a new device and continue reading it. No server need be involved after initial purchase. We have customers who have reported that the very same file they downloaded ten years ago in 1998 in ereader format successfully transfers and unlocks on the new iPhone version of ereader in 2008. We care very much about our customer's investment in content. That's why we're expending massive amounts of time and effort to provide replacement files for those customers affected by this issue.

    For these reasons, we are strongly recommending eReader format to our customers over other formats. Also, because we own the format, we are obviously less vulnerable to this kind of DRM supplier problem and we can ensure that for the customer's convenience the file can be re-downloaded in the future indefinitely (for example if the customer did not back up their files and lost them.)

    This is actually something that is superior to physical books: If you buy a paperback book and then you misplace it or spill coffee all over it, I seriously doubt the store that sold it to you will replace it for free.

    Most of you posting to this thread seem to be unware that Fictionwise has been a champion of unencrypted content since we were founded. We are the only major ebook seller that features unencrypted books on half of our front page and half of every newsletter. For that reason, many independent publishers who do not require encryption tell us that we are the bulk of the total sales. We wish we could sell every book without DRM. The reality is the larger publishers require it and our customers want access to those publisher's ebooks.

    I can tell you that I have had discussions, including sometimes heated arguments, with executives at major publishers for the last eight years trying to convince them to at least experiment with unencrypted content. I have given presentations to industry groups about the evils of DRM, I was a keynote address to an indy publisher conference and the bulk of my talk was about how the indy publishers were smart to avoid DRM, and I've sung the virtues of unencrypted ebook content for the better part of a decade to anyone who would listen.

    So while those of you in this forum rightly criticize DRM for its shortcomings and inconveniences, I do think it is a little unfair for you to be highly critical of Fictionwise given our history of being on the front line battlefield of the DRM issue.

    -Steve P.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 8:49am

    Re: Be aware

    Wouldn't it be something if you could enforce that via DRM?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    PPNSteve (profile), Jan 10th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    DRM Good for..

    "Has anyone found any thing that DRM is actually good for yet?"

    Pissing off the users who have it forced upon them and generating lots of stories like this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Phillip Vector, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re:

    "Good bye, Love Boat Theme Song"

    What's that? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Spiros, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 2:36pm

    DRM is a check not a

    Are those people who are so strongly against DRM also against banks insisting on a pin number for their ATM bank card?

    DRM is just a check to see that you have the right to use something that someone owns. You don't see people refusing to sign a credit card receipt (unless they stole the credit card) so I don't see what's the big difference.

    Of course if you want to give something away then that's fine. I strongly support people who want to give away content for free just like I strongly support people who want to give me money for free.

    However I respect that people have the right to protect what they own, less people may want to pay but that's surely their right.

    In regards to companies going out of business it's the same as in physical life. I bought some shoes with a 5yr guarantee and the store's now closed. Should stores be giving shoes away for free now?

    BTW:- anyone who wants to give me their bank account number and pin please feel free.

    blog.kotsialos.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Online eBook Download, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 3:40pm

    Re:

    Exactly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jan 10th, 2009 @ 9:46pm

    Re: DRM is a check not a

    Are those people who are so strongly against DRM also against banks insisting on a pin number for their ATM bank card?

    Most people don't have a problem with entering a serial number and/or a one-time check over the internet. But that's not all DRM is, so your comparison to an ATM is inadequate.

    The problem is that DRM makes the illegal pirated version of a game superior to the legitimately purchased retail version.

    DRM is just a check to see that you have the right to use something that someone owns.

    It's quite a bit more than "just" a check. It's also installation limits, unauthorized software installs, unauthorized internet connections, and other unnecessary restrictions.

    In regards to companies going out of business it's the same as in physical life. I bought some shoes with a 5yr guarantee and the store's now closed. Should stores be giving shoes away for free now?

    No, but you can still do whatever you want with the shoes you bought. You can't do anything with the book or mp3 that can no longer authenticate. So the situations are hardly similar.

    Your opinion seems to affirm the common refrain that DRM stands for Digital Rental Media. In which case it should be made clear to consumers that they're only renting the software they believe they're purchasing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Spiros, Jan 11th, 2009 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: DRM is a check not a

    Ok then

    Re ATM - I think you will find everytime you use your ATM card it always verifies your ID otherwise the machine will turn off and give you no money. And for the sake of it lets expand, when the bank charges you a fee if you don't like it, its still not ok to rob the bank...

    Re DRM - never found anything has been restricted that wasn't in the initial agreement, have you got an example.

    Re Shoes - What can you do with a shoe that does not work? please resist the obvious :-)


    http://blog.kotsialos.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    darkbhudda, Jan 11th, 2009 @ 10:12pm

    A few years ago I went through the same pain with one of the Adobe Acrobat major releases which broke the previous DRM. Took something like 6 months before Adobe's own DRM scheme updated to the latest version of Acrobat Reader. Then I had to go one by one and re-authorise them. There was no "re-authorise my library" function. After a few hours of clicking on one by one, and not having the software fail 50% of the time for no discernable reason, I gave up and just downloaded pirated versions instead.

    Now even though the sites have started releasing DRM free version, I am turned off getting ebooks. I still do once in a while, but rarely now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jan 12th, 2009 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: DRM is a check not a

    I think you will find everytime you use your ATM card it always verifies your ID otherwise the machine will turn off and give you no money.

    As I said, most people don't have a problem with the simple, basic checks. But that isn't all DRM does. But sticking with your ATM comparison: if the ATM gets shut off, do you lose all your money? Of course not.


    never found anything has been restricted that wasn't in the initial agreement, have you got an example.

    Yes, yes - anyone who's ever had a problem with DRM should have hired a lawyer to decipher the terms and conditions that no one bothers to read before they bought anything. I find the "blame the consumer" argument wholly unconvincing, and incredibly short-sighted from a business point of view.

    Re Shoes - What can you do with a shoe that does not work? please resist the obvious :-)

    A DRM'd media file that can't authenticate with a server isn't broken - it's behaving exactly as it's supposed to. In essence, the content provider chose to "break" your ability to use your purchased content.

    That's why every time one of these companies tries to shut down or switch DRM servers, the customer backlash is a PR nightmare for them. They wind up having to support a DRM system they don't want to use because of their own short-sightedness. So, it's bad for the business, and it's bad for the consumers. That's why people bitch about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Watchdog, Jan 12th, 2009 @ 6:26am

    Don't believe everything you read

    I would ask everyone to please get the real facts. Techdirt is reporting half truths. They are a biased blog with a specific agenda. Anyone who bought a book and downloaded it to their machine will still have the book. It lives within your local library on your machine. Just as in the real world, if you buy a book and you lose it, the publisher or retailer is not obligated to give you a replacement copy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    DanC, Jan 12th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re: Don't believe everything you read

    Good to see you didn't bother to read the actual article. Techdirt updated the article to reflect accurate information, well before your comment.

    Just as in the real world, if you buy a book and you lose it, the publisher or retailer is not obligated to give you a replacement copy.

    Except that the users didn't lose the book. Attacking TechDirt for accuracy seems particularly silly when you choose to use inaccurate comparisons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Char, Jan 17th, 2009 @ 4:04am

    DRM on eBooks

    Yes, DRM does pose some problems (like the one you indicated), but it still has been very effective for the industry and between Fictionwise, BooksonBoard and ContentRealtime it has worked 100,000 times or more. Why complain about something that works, just because a publisher is going away? That is like complaining that Chyrsler repair service doesn't work, when you bought a Chrysler car, but they went away. Even with paper books sometimes the "dog eats a book or two". Get over it. I don't necessarily like all things DRM, but sometimes good enough is better than something else that creates more problems.

    the team at Contentrealtime.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Passer-by trying to print a paid-for ebook, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 7:34am

    Re: eReader Format Does Not Require Re-download for device change

    At the end of the day it is the publishers and authors (has anyone in this forum actually written a book? oh, I am a published author btw) that are trying to protect their content, as with music. It's just they are misguided, as proven by the increase in sales of digital music derived from DRM free sources and Steve's anecdote about his DRM-free publishers.

    It is typical of a consumer, free-for-all forum such as this that people jump in and attack the easy target, in this case Freewise. I have nothing to do with Freewise nor have even used their services but please people, get your facts straight before slating the middleman/distributor who is providing what is clearly a valued service or they would not still be in business...Most of us do not live in a state controlled economy so are perfectly free to chose our providers.

    Thanks for the clarification Steve and for your work in this area. Good luck with your business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This