1. Johnny Costic
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    Johnny Costic New Member

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    DRM vs. Non-DRM

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Johnny Costic, Feb 26, 2011.

    Hello,

    I just finished a book and I decided to self-publish. I'm now in the process of uploading my ebook to a number of sites, but would like input on DRM vs Non-DRM, and how that will impact my book.

    The sites in question give you the option, and I was wondering if choosing DRM will limit or discourage potential buyers? On the other hand, DRM adds a layer of security for the copyright holder, but at what expense?

    I would appreciate any feedback on this matter. Thanks.
     
  2. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    DRM doesn't have many advantages. It "protects you from piracy," which means inconveniencing the crap out of your readers if they'd like to loan the story to a friend to read, or if they'd like to move the story from their Kindle to their Nook or their smartphone.

    I'd go with non-DRM, so as to avoid inconveniencing my readers. I'm not concerned with piracy -- why should I be? I've heard from pro authors like Neil Gaiman who regard piracy as free advertising; if someone prints out a section of your work and shows it to friends, it's kind of like a free sample that draws new customers into the store.

    Most people did not hear about their favorite author by going into a bookstore, picking up a random book and buying it. Most people hear about good authors from friends, from online forums, from family, or from reviews. If a DRM book is inconvenient to your readers, they might not say good things about your book even if they enjoyed the story. That will hurt your sales in the long run.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    DRM has no advantages, and will drive away many potential buyers. It isn't secure in any meaningful sense, since it can easily be broken by anyone with a little know-how (or even just access to Google). It places unfair and unreasonable demands on how your readers can use their property (their copy of your book) all for the sake of stopping piracy, which it fails to do anyway. DRM is nothing more than a lobbyist's wet dream; a few companies (the DRM industry is virtually a monopoly) benefiting from an industry's knee-jerk reaction to the threat of piracy, a threat that (in publishing at least) has yet to appear on any significant scale.

    So no. Don't get DRM. Do your part for freedom.
     
  4. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    DRM for eBooks

    This is nonsense. Depends on the DRM solution. Actually, there are two levels to worry about: (a) copying from your book for implementing them in another book and (b) forwarding a copy of your book to others.
    (a) is pretty well covered by password protection (e.g, pdf's) and this is typically important for non-fiction. (b) is the one to worry about, if you care at all. There are good solutions. If you want some guidance, sent me a PM.
     
  5. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You have way too much faith in the security of DRM. There are literally hundreds of thousands of articles easily accessed online on how to break DRM for ebooks, pdfs, epub files, etc (not to mention millions more on the legality of it). DRM punishes those who do buy your book, and offers no protection against those who would steal it. It is never a good idea.
     
  6. Johnny Costic
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    Johnny Costic New Member

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    Thanks for the input

    Thanks to all who replied. It's a lot of food for thought as I move forward with this project.
     
  7. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    DRM for ebooks is meaningless. If someone wants to torrent your book, they will.

    Worrying about it is moot.
     
  8. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Admittedly, there are solutions that bye-pass the protection, like typing it over.
    Even for scanning to pdf there are Moiré patterns that confuse the scanning frequency (interference).
    DRM solutions of pdf eBooks exist that nail the book to a piece of hardware, so copying and forwarding the copy is useless. The number of views, prints, etc can be reliably controlled.

    A general statement that DRM is useless, therefore, I kindly refute.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I am sorry to say, Leonardo, DRM is a rather lackluster security device. You can refute as you like, but those interested in getting their way around security devices will present with amazing ingenuity. All DRM "nails" a book to a specific piece of hardware where it will be viewed, but as aaron has mentioned, it is a very "crackable" dynamic, thus presenting little to no "security." Just google remove DRM from ebook and you will see that idle hands have been at work creating a number of python scripts designed to do the job without the person having to rifle through the actual file to remove the DRM coding.

    Will the average soccer mom have the gumption to do it? Probably not. But the more technically inclined or those who are simply persistent will win out in the end.
     
  10. Johnny Costic
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    Johnny Costic New Member

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    A wasted investment?


    First, I really like that phrase, Leonardo. It actually sounds like a good plot device. I wonder if I can use those patterns at the airport to shield my naughty bits from those intrusive scanners? Avast ye scurvy, anisotropic filtering dogs!!!

    Anyway, it seems that the time and money I spent on registering my work was a waste. But hey...I now have a nice memento from the Library of Congress, and the unwanted solicitations from companies who performed a copyright search. They're now bombarding my mailbox with great regularity.

    I'm not discouraged, though. Ebooks present a way for me to bring my book into the market, and that's a good thing. Publishers be damned! Ummm...at least until I get signed...

    Thanks again, everyone. It's been educational.
     
  11. Allegro Van Kiddo
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    Allegro Van Kiddo Contributing Member

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    I don't think that a lot of people will steal you books if you play it right.

    Example: I have a Kindle am happy that the books are cheaper than say a hardcover. I can afford to read more and access them instantly. I downloaded an Edgar Rice Burroughs collection for a dollar, and had I purchased them in book form it would have been about 225 dollars! So, I'm loyal.

    If I read that some new author was going it alone and selling his book for two bucks, then I might buy. So, having a good bio and a cheap price could do wonders.

    On the other hand this publish I've been waiting for finally put their books out as ebooks, and I was very excited, until I saw their prices. They're selling in pounds only and since I'm in the US that means more than double the price. That made me want to get out my tricorner pirate hat and do some swashbuckling.

    Marketing is the way to control piracy.
     
  12. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    This.

    With DRM, every reader who buys your book legally will be punished with inconvenience: They are forced to use a narrow range of e-book reader software on their computer. They are forced to activate the book online. They are forced to repeat the process if they upgrade their computer, and risk losing access to their books if the e-book format has fallen out of fashion (since protected formats can't be converted without cracking the protection). They risk losing access to the book when they buy a new e-book reader, which doesn't take the old format.

    Meanwhile, the people who download a cracked version of the ebook has none of that hassle. And it only takes one person cracking the DRM:ed book to make it available to the whole world. DRM makes the legal version of a book/song/movie/game worse than the pirated version.

    I have, on several occasions, bought a computer game legally, then downloaded a crack for it so I don't need to put the disc in the drive every time I want to play it (this is legal where I live). If you just download the pirated version, the crack is included from the start.

    I believe private filesharing is more about convenience than about saving money - it's easier to just click on the torrent for a movie or music album than finding an online store, creating an account, clicking through the check-out, and so on - and you may end up with a better product if you go the pirate route.

    The conclusion: Make your product as easily accessible as possible, and it will compare favourably to the pirated version.
     

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