Would You Buy An eBook That Only Works For A Few Days?

from the killed-by-stupid-policies dept

Here’s yet another story about misplaced digital rights management technology. A review of the new Sony Libre says that it’s a great new eBook reader with hellish DRM technology that makes it mostly useless. Because someone was so afraid about business model issues, rather than looking at what customers wanted, the Libre will only let you view an eBook that you bought for 60 days — and then it gets locked up. The reviewer describes it as “a sad business model” and notes that he feels “sorry for this terrific little device… hamstrung as it is by misguided anti-piracy efforts.” At what point do companies realize that DRM turns customers off and simply opens up opportunities for competitors? There’s simply no customer demand for crippled products.

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Comments on “Would You Buy An eBook That Only Works For A Few Days?”

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thecaptain says:

No Subject Given

Easy. No way.

I read ebooks and I’ve purchased a few. However, if I’ll sadly note that I ONLY purchased those books because they were at a great discount.

My opinion is that ebook prices are unreal. Especially if I have to buy the ebook and the real book separately. I don’t think its worth it to pay 6.99 and up for a book I have already paid 9.99 (or even more if its hard cover) for. And that’s IF its offered in anything other than .lit format which won’t work on Palms.

This is why I’ve been downloading several of my favorites. Anything else, I’ll read the free stuff or watch for reasonable prices when they come around.

I don’t understand why no one has come up with the idea of offering both together for a special price, I’d GLADLY pay 1-2 dollars more on the price of a paperback or hardcover to be able to download the electronic version for my Palm…

Glenn says:

Too harsh?

With the disclaimer that I’ve given this a total of 10 seconds of thought, I might disagree with you Mike.

I do agree that if you buy something, then it’s very stupid for a business model to make that purchase invalid. BUT… books, movies, games, and magazines: I put these into my disposable entertainment category. With respect to books and games: I buy them and then I usually resell them or give them away. Very rare that I keep them for more than a few months. I have Netflix for movies, and again, it’s just a one-time viewing that I’m interested in. And while I do keep some of my magazines, the far majority get read and tossed.

I guess what I’m saying is that the execution of DRM seems faulty when you talk about the rights of a purhaser: but change the product label to say “rent,” and lower the price some incremental amount, and now you do have a viable business model built on top of a DRM technology.

Of course, the busines question revolves around whether the profit of these things increases as your distribution costs approach zero and the lower “rental” prices drive incremental sales that offset the hit taken by the lower prices.

over and out.


NotActive Jeff (user link) says:

DRM is a losing business model

I worked for a DRM company back in the good old boom days of 1999 – 2000. The company was NetActive, and we specialized in protecting software for later distribution.

We had product in blockbuster where you could rent a game for $5, and play it unlimited for two weeks. You did not even have to return the CD. You could buy more time, or even permanently unlock the game.

we all thought it was a great model, but sadly customers did not think so.

We blew $30,000,000 dollars in two years, plus a whole lot more before that.

We put all sorts of different spins on the products, such as “better than free”, etc.

Netactive is bankrupt because consumers do not want DRM. They want FREE products, not “kinda free” products. OR they want to pay for something and actually own it, not just “have a licence to use, for a limited amount of time”.

Companies who push DRM will soon learn that you can’t sell what people don’t want.

DRM Blog-er (user link) says:

DRM Business

I do not think that the long term prospects for a DRM business are good. However, if I were in a position to offer such a product to vendors and content owners I certainly would. The business will make a few businesses very successful for the next few years. Then the content owners will find a new business model and move on to other things.

Anna says:

Buying Ebooks Worth

There are some ebooks which are not worth even a penny. However, there are some ebooks which are priced over $50.
Some find them worth and some dont. Its their personal look out.

Even there are some ebooks on http://www.fun-guide.org which are priced over a whopping $100 and some are there for $10. But they are worth such money.

Its all everyone’s personal look-out.

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