First Encounter with DRM

March 6, 2007 at 10:05 pm 2 comments

I’m not really a music fanatic, so until now DRM was something that I didn’t have to deal with. A couple of months ago I emailed the publishers of some of the books I own to try to get an electronic copy. (hopefully for free) Today I finally got back a definate yes/no response from one of the publishers. As it turns out they DO have ebooks, but you have to pay for them. (which I half expected) I figured I’d at least take a look at the cost and see what kind of restrictions were put in place if there was any DRM attached.

The DRM restrictions were as follows:

  • Must be downloaded within 14 days of purchase
  • May not move the file to a different computer
  • May not lend, sell or give the e-book to another user
  • May not copy the e-book file
  • May copy/paste anything up to a page of text, 10 pages total, every 7 days
  • May not copy/paste diagrams, figures, or artwork
  • May annotate text in e-book

The main reason I wanted the ebook was for portabillity. I wanted to be able to take my whole library on the road where a may or may not have my computer with me along with internet access. One computer, no copying, and Adobe has to be installed, that means no backing up, no burning them onto a CD or putting them on a flash drive, and no alternative way of reading them. Those restrictions defeat my whole reason for wanting the ebooks to begin with. Needless to say I was depressed.

I also decided to check out Safari. One of the most annoying thing about it was the interface. I really hate web interfaces, especial for reading. Downloading PDF chapters are a nice feature, but do those have DRM too? Plus, I’d prefer to have the book in one peice. (that is how they are typically sold) I’ve looked at some books without signing up, or “trying it now,” so this is not a proper review. Still, I don’t want to pay monthly for books I’ve already bought. I don’t care about having online access to millions of others. If I like a book I’ll buy it.

Oh well, there’s always out of print ebooks and free ebooks online.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. phasetwo  |  March 9, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    sooner or later the media industry is going to understand that drm only hurts their customers. let’s hope its going to be sooner than later.
    thx for the comment on my blog btw! 🙂

  • 2. cycojesus  |  March 17, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    My advice : stay away from commercial ebooks at all cost !
    I got burn with one. PDF, unsable. Windows-only (thanks QEMU but that’s not a viable solution) when I read my (txt, html, rtf, … love to FBReader) uncrippled (but illegal) ebooks on my linux PDA. And when I lost it I had to freaking _beg_ to where I bought it to get another copy that got lost again due to unstable internet connection… thrown the towel, n.e.v.e.r. a.g.a.i.n. !


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