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November 05, 13:48

Dude, Where's My Digital Rights?

Michael, I'm thrilled to see your offering ebook versions of your latest book. It makes it easier, faster, and cheaper to access your voice in Europe and the rest of the world. But I'm very disappointed by the heavy-handed DRM controls burdening the ebook currently available.

The following rights are reserved:

  • Copy: not allowed
  • Print: not allowed
  • Lend: not allowed
  • Reading aloud: not allowed

What's that all about?! I want to print out a chapter to read in bed and I want to copy it to my Nokia phone to read on the bus. I can do neither.

Please tell your publisher to stop taking away rights that are freely available with the paper version. I'm doing them a favor by buying a ebook version that has zero marginal distribution and production costs, and they're punishing me for the fact.

That's just plain wrong.

The complaint above was filed with Michael Moore—author of the just released Dude, Where's My Country—a few minutes ago...


Challenge by Lau Taarnskov on November 05, 17:58

I can understand your dissapointment, but there is no need to feel robbed or punished.
Amazon warns you about those restrictions [1]. It is cheaper than the paper version, but it is up to the consumer to decide if the rebate makes up for the limitations.

The publisher is probably scared about the thought of a "Napster" like scenario, where a few people buys the book to copy and distribute it to all of their friends and their friends friends etc.

It took some time for the music industry to let people pay for and download technically unristricted digital music (eg. iTunes). I hope it will be possible to do the same with most books in a few years.

about Moore and the book: http://www.bowlingfortruth.com/dude.htm

[1] Quote from the product detail page on Amazon:
"Most publishers do not allow Adobe e-books to be printed.
[...]
Handheld Compatible: Adobe Reader supports transfer of e-books to PalmOS devices, but not to Pocket PC or Symbian devices."

Challenge by David Heinemeier Hansson on November 05, 18:10

Actually, Amazon doesn't warn me about specifically about Dude, Where's My Country. It warns me in general about ebooks. I had to go to Adobe's Digital Shop to get the lowdown on the specific rights granted (or not granted, as it turned out).

As a champion for fair treatment from corporations, it's very ironic to find Moore's work tied up and gagged in a format where the security is obviously broken anyway. Protected only by a company that'll invoke the DMCA to silence those who point out its weaknesses.

I'm sure this is only a matter of Moore not being aware of it, though. Hopefully I'll get lucky and the email will get his attention, so he can take care of the obvious mistake.

Challenge by Rasmus on November 05, 19:26

Reading books from a phone... That doesn't sound like an optimal experience.

Challenge by Peter DěK_Y2K on November 24, 15:44

Hi Guys,
If you want a neat little tool which can make your upfront problems go away, I can supply you with the tool... You see, OECD has the same ristrictions on their publications, which is rather dumb, considering that most of them consists of 100+ pages, which is not a format enjoyed on screen...
- But the discussion here is not really about whether or not the restrictions are "hack- og cracable - you deside" - but about the anciety displayed by the publishers of the ebook mentioned. This anciety leeds to a anoyment of the end user, albeit the payment has occured, but the full content is not supplied...
- no contructive ideas here guys..sorry
/Pete

Challenge by claudio on November 22, 0:49

Why dont you just print it and read it at your bed??
Nobody will find out you printed it or nobody will come arrest you if you do.
People won't know you have the book on you cel phone.

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