I love my ebook reader (a Sony PRS 505). In fact. ever since I finally managed to get my hands on one, which took 2 years because they aren't sold in Denmark, I've read exactly 3 books on paper. Mind you, I read a LOT. Usually 3-4 books a week, so the portability is a real asset.
What irks me is that not only will certain online stores not sell me books due to geographic location, they also often don't have the formats I need. Even worse, some stores have differing prices on the books depending on the format, because the CONSUMER gets to pay for the DRM.
Why? Why all the hassle? It's not that I don't have the tools or knowledge to remove the DRM nand convert the files to a usable format, which, in case you're wondering, is quite legal where I am. I just wonder what the point is? It seems to me like most publishers want to see eBooks as a concept die. But why? How often have you tried to get a book only to find it's out of print? I have several in my collection that were so popular that they couldn't be found second-hand, yet I had to wait for upwards of ten years for them to see print. In college, we had one subject where the main book for the subject was out of print. We had to borrow the profs copy and copy the whole thing.
This could be avoided by ebooks. They don't need to go out of print, ever.
In my opinion, the only publisher who ever got it right was Baen. The eBooks are cheap compared to other stores, you can always download them again in any format you need... Heck, even before eBook readers came on the market, if you bought a hardback you were likely to get a CD with your purchase containing each and every book the author had ever written, some special art, even music related to the book. This is added value to the hardcopy, and I can see why it might be tough to add extra value to the eBook, but hey, they aren't afraid to try new stuff. They even give full books away on their website.
I really wish more companies would have the guts to follow their example.
To me, the biggest problem with any eBook reader is that they're almost impossible to get anywhere outside the US. I'd have loved to buy a Kindle, but you can't buy it if you're in Europe, only the US. I finally bought the Sony PRS-505 at a UK store (which, one month later, stopped shipping internationally), and I can't even buy one at the local Sony store.
It took me two years to even be able to find the reader.
Now, DRM makes all this an annoyance, you know, actually being able to read the books you like. Fortunately our laws allow us to strip DRM (and you automatically get an unlock code for your DVD player here, making it region free) and convert the files to whatever format needed to be able to view our purchase. Of course we're not allowed to distribute, but we ARE allowed to take the steps necessary to actually use the product we paid for.
This, more than anything else, makes DRM a null issue. If I couldn't strip the DRM from a product I legally bought and paid for, I'd just download a copy. I mean, I already paid for the product, right?
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by tore.