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Author Topic: About Digital Rights Management  (Read 10329 times)

Offline Lor

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2012, 09:29:48 PM »
1 Basic definition of theft.

(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

Thank you, yes. That's my understanding of it and where I am told the problem lies - you have not been permanently deprived of your property.

So how does DRM tie into all of this? Is it supposed to be to protect property and make it more difficult to move it?
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David Bridger

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2012, 09:32:00 PM »
You can't just cherry pick a phrase from the basic definition without referring to the explanatory notes in the subsections below it. I've bolded the relevant bits.

And on that note, I shall withdraw from this conversation. I don't hold any grudges or wish anyone ill. I'm not even angry. It just makes me tired and there are more productive ways for me to use my energy. Like writing books for people to steal. :D

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2012, 09:33:44 PM »

So how does DRM tie into all of this? Is it supposed to be to protect property and make it more difficult to move it?

I believe that's what parts of the industry think DRM does, Lor. I think it's rubbish at its job and prefer to publish with houses that don't use it, although as someone said upthread certain retailers then go ahead and slap it on anyway.

Offline Lor

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2012, 09:36:57 PM »
You can't just cherry pick a phrase from the basic definition without referring to the explanatory notes in the subsections below it. I've bolded the relevant bits.

And on that note, I shall withdraw from this conversation. I don't hold any grudges or wish anyone ill. I'm not even angry. It just makes me tired and there are more productive ways for me to use my energy. Like writing books for people to steal. :D

Genuinely no disrespect, but that meant nothing to me, bolded bits or not. I do find it difficult to get my head around things like that, so it's probably just me :)

This whole issue confuses me to be honest, the little I do know rubs me up the wrong way though. Then again, if everything in the world was simple, we'd all be bored.
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2012, 10:03:40 PM »
If I may add, Nestat, I believe the answer to it being theft lies in this part:

(1) "Property" includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.

Wouldn't you say that the ebooks or other such things on the internet, used for digital piracy, is intangible? Taking that without permisson or paying it  would constitute stealing in my opinion. And I'm with Lor, I don't have a clue about this DRM stuff. :D
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Offline Nestat

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2012, 10:04:11 PM »
Yes, the whole point of DRM is to allow control of content to remain with the providers, who felt the law didn't protect their revenue. A lot of DRM is clunky, buggy, invasive or runs against the principle of free-market competition. But the biggest problem with much of it is that it isn't user-friendly or violates what the user feels is reasonable use. For example, where DRM prevents a user from having the content on two platforms, the user resents having to pay for the same content twice, so they seek a non-protected version - often only available through piracy.

Where DRM tends to work is where it doesn't noticably affect the user's experience, e.g. the Kindle. As the Kindle is clearly the most superior product on the market, very few people care that they can't read Amazon-published ebooks on other readers. However, that leads to the issues around letting one company corner the market and then ringfence its customers so other companies can't effectively compete. I think that was the publishers' argument when they compelled Amazon to agree to the agency model for ebook sales.

Again that ties back to the problems with nonphysical products. With a paperback, the publisher sells to the retailer, it becomes the retailer's property and they then sell the book on to the customer. However with an ebook, the publisher does not sell ebooks to the retailer, they sell them through the retailer. The big publishers argued that online retailers act as distribution agents, like Apple does. So the publisher sets a universal price for each ebook and then pays the retailer a set commission for each ebook distributed. Amazon doesn't like it, because they lose their ability to exploit their market share and set prices lower than their competition.  

Of course, Amazon then approaches its own customer base and elegantly sets up the argument that publishers are doing this to protect their profits (which they are) and set ebook prices outrageously high (which they aren't). And that Amazon's concerned because they believe that several publishers controlling ebook prices strangles competition (which they emphasise) so it would  far better to let one retailer - Amazon - control the market instead (which they don't emphasise).

 
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Offline Lor

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 10:06:10 PM »
Ok, that makes a LOT more sense to me now, thanks dude.
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2012, 10:08:35 PM »
Ok, that makes a LOT more sense to me now, thanks dude.

Seconded.
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Offline Nestat

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2012, 10:24:45 PM »
You can't just cherry pick a phrase from the basic definition without referring to the explanatory notes in the subsections below it. I've bolded the relevant bits.

And on that note, I shall withdraw from this conversation. I don't hold any grudges or wish anyone ill. I'm not even angry. It just makes me tired and there are more productive ways for me to use my energy. Like writing books for people to steal. :D

I wasn't cherry picking - I did read it all! As far as I could see (and this is @C. Hill too), while the law extensively defines property and appropriation,  it does not clarify the definition of permanent deprivation. And that's what the issue boils down to for you as an author: if I download a pdf of your ebook, what have you been deprived of? That's where the law falls down.    

I quite understand the withdrawal though! I imagine law's tiring enough without having to explain it to amateurs, especially when you have a emotional investment in the subject. I'd like to think that my views on piracy would remain objective if I were a published author, but I'm not arrogant enough to say - or even think - they would.



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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2012, 01:43:07 AM »
Publishers and therefore authors only get money when the book is sold to the retailers, and therefore they get nothing from people reading their books through borrowing from a library, a friend or buying their books second hand. 

We are all saying its awful downloading books illegally because the writers are not getting compensated, but yet we all advocate borrowing books or buying them second hand and therefore not giving writers compensation.  Guess the argument would be that at least the writers get their money through the initial sale, but it is another factor which murks the waters so to speak. 

Let's be honest here, when you read a good book do you tell your friends to go out and buy it, or do you simply lend them your copy?  And if you do that, surely its then fine if you read a good e-book to copy it and then give it to a friend to read?  (provided you remove the DRM first!)

My story is that this week I was done a solid by a friend in Indonesia and owed him 40 pounds as a result.  He asked me instead of wiring the money over to buy him 40 pounds worth of e-books and then download and email them to him.  I did just that through Amazon, and then converted them via Calibre to E-Pub format as that is the format that works on his e-reader and emailed them to him.  (I had to also search online to find plug ins for Calibre to remove the DRM!).  But these same books are now on the kindle app on my android and will  be read by me  as well, and since my mum has a kindle and is a voracious reader, I emailed her the mobi format copies of the books.  Is this either legally or morally wrong? 

And if you do say I am wrong put it like this, I often lend books to friends and my mum to read.  Would you be saying I was wrong if I told you I bought 40 pounds worth of books from Amazon, lent them to my friend, who then returned them, after which I lent them to my mum?  (Which I have done on many an occasion!)
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2012, 02:07:55 AM »
I understand what you're saying Hound. I'm guilty of that too. But I also lie nearly everyday somehow, cheat at every game of cards, make rude comments about my friends and the main populace, and am very straightforward which leads to rudeness. Does that make any of that right? No. But do I continue to do it? Yes. I believe it lends itself to the idea that people are inherently sinful, and there is nothing we as humans can do about it.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2012, 02:18:48 AM »
I understand what you're saying Hound. I'm guilty of that too. But I also lie nearly everyday somehow, cheat at every game of cards, make rude comments about my friends and the main populace, and am very straightforward which leads to rudeness. Does that make any of that right? No. But do I continue to do it? Yes. I believe it lends itself to the idea that people are inherently sinful, and there is nothing we as humans can do about it.

So am I wrong to copy e-books and pass them onto close acquaintances only?  If so that means that lending books to close acquaintances is wrong as well.  It doesn't make sense!
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2012, 02:31:39 AM »
I understand what you're saying Hound. I'm guilty of that too. But I also lie nearly everyday somehow, cheat at every game of cards, make rude comments about my friends and the main populace, and am very straightforward which leads to rudeness. Does that make any of that right? No. But do I continue to do it? Yes. I believe it lends itself to the idea that people are inherently sinful, and there is nothing we as humans can do about it.

So am I wrong to copy e-books and pass them onto close acquaintances only?  If so that means that lending books to close acquaintances is wrong as well.  It doesn't make sense!

Does that also lend the idea that public libraries are wrong? It's a tough subject. Economically it's wrong. Morally, tough.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2012, 11:26:27 AM »
See exactly!  Which is precisely the point Nestat was getting at it's not as simple as just saying 'piracy' is wrong. 

In my case my defence would be that I paid for the books initially and only copy for close acquaintances.  It's not like I downloaded the books for free and/ or then made them available on a file sharing site for one and all. 

If you start saying file sharing is completely wrong - you are also saying book sharing is completely wrong and that second hand book shops and libraries are wrong - and that we should only read books bought for and paid for by ourselves and that were purchased new.

It's an area where common sense seems more needed than actual laws or DRM. 
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2012, 04:53:16 PM »
Had some more thoughts on this:

What I did was okay because 1) I purchased the content originally
2) I only shared the content with my close acquaintances (i.e. my friend and my mum) Think of the warning screen you get when watching a DVD.  It says not to be broadcast to large groups of people but clearly watching the film with a group of friends or family is perfectly acceptable, and what a DVD is designed for. 
3) You might say I was wrong to copy the content to pass on, after all you don't take a book down to a photocopy shop and then pass on the copies to friends or family, BUT e-books are not the same as physical books.  Unless you are going to lend your mum or your friend your kindle as well to read your book, the only way to lend it is to copy it. 

Probably the best solution would be a technology that meant you only had one e-book copy.  You can send it to a friend's e-reader, but as soon as you do its physically removed from your e-reader, and only when your friend sends it back do you have a copy on your e-reader to read again.  (Does this make sense?)  Not sure the tech exists, anyone know if this is possible?
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