(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
drm, ebooks, piracy



Publishers Getting The Wrong Message Over eBook Piracy

from the going-in-the-wrong-direction dept

Well, you just knew this was going to happen eventually. Suddenly publishers are starting to freak out over "ebook piracy," claiming (totally inaccurately) that they've lost $600 million to it. Of course, as some are noting the real problem isn't "piracy" but the industry's response to it:
The best way to fight piracy? Got e-book shoppers accustomed to buying from legitimate sources before it's too late. That means easy downloading, fair prices and the ability to move content easily from machine to machine within a household. Use of the standard ePub format and the end of traditional DRM could go a long way in that regard.
Instead, they're likely to go in the other direction (they always do) and try to raise the DRM walls higher in a futile effort to "fight" piracy. Of course, as we discussed nearly a year ago, the ebook industry could really use more piracy, because it's actually a great indicator of what people really want. And, of course, locking up content with more DRM will only serve to take away value. If there's growing piracy, that just means the industry is putting up unreasonable barriers. Hopefully publishers realize this before totally screwing things up, but somehow it seems likely they'll make all the same mistakes as the music industry.

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  1. identicon
    wvhillbilly, 25 Nov 2009 @ 8:56pm

    ebook publisher's stupidity

    Same old same old. They're so paranoid that someone might get some benefit without their getting a big chunk of money for something they produced. So they sue the pants of of anyone they catch downloading their book from anybody but themselves, load it up with so much DRM people are driven to illegal sources to get a usable product, and so run all their potential customers off.

    Maybe they should try a new business model like the indie movie company who released their movie "Nasty Old People" to Pirate Bay for free download under a CC license, and provided buttons where viewers could contribute if they liked it. Or they could put something like this on the button, "Send us $10 and this ebook is legally yours," and encourage them to send it on to others. Some might take it for free, but the more circulation they get the more contributions they get, and with others doing all the work!

    God's laws haven't changed. You still reap whatever you sow.

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