Friday, October 15, 2010

DRMs and ebooks

In a comment under an other blog's post, Frances Grimble writes:

"People who complain about DRM should realize that if the lack of it means that piracy will cut significantly into sales, publishers will either insist on DRM or not produce e-books."

Here is my answer to that:

And do you have data showing how much piracy is cut-down by DRM ? Guess why the music industry has STOPPED using DRMs for their music ? From all I've seen, it's had NEGATIVE influence on sales.

DRM DOESN'T WORK !!! It needs only ONE person to take the book and re-type it for it to be available worldwide ... and once ONE skilled person breaks the DRM-scheme, 10 seconds and a PC is all that's needed to make a book available worldwide ...
By now all the major DRM (not only ebooks ones) schemes ARE broken. For people to be able to read a DRMized book, you have to give them the "key" to that book (in that sense the "reader application" IS a key, while the DRM can be seen as the safe). Once they have the key and the safe, they can EASILY extract the safe's content, and make it available illegaly. The only winning people are the Safe's creators and distributors.
And in the meantime, the customers that bought the book with DRM are the only one penalized by having an inferior product...

Once a Mom is unable to play the books she has bought for her Kindle (which took a plunge in the babie's bath) on her new Nook (or the other way for that matters), she will be tempted to try and find it in illegal places. Once she finds out that it's available and easier (as well as "free"), it'll be that much more tempting for her next time she wants to buy a book ...
That's BAD strategy that leads people to illegal practices instead of driving them to legal/respectful regarding the authors and publishers.

Oh, yes, you're right, Grandma WON'T know how to bypass the DRM, and together with Mom, they Won't give illegally downloaded products for Christmas, but guess what ? The teenagers WILL learn the "bad ways", instead of the good ones, and they'll ask Santa for things that they can't "grab" for free (as in no books and no money for authors and publishers). That fight is LOST before it even begins unless you want to go all the way to Orwell's worst nightmares, and I know you don't want to go that way.

The alternative ?
Show respect for the consumer, not assuming each and everyone is there to steal the goods. STOP using DRMs which makes no sense in the long run. Explain (again and again as you do really well) why You (authors, publishers and distributor) deserve to get paid for your work.

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