DRM really doesn’t work; it doesn’t even slow down pirates, but it frustrates honest users, and programmers. Here are two clear explanations of why it doesn’t work to protect artists, creators and publishers.
First, from Brad Colbow “Why DRM Doesn’t Work or How to Download an Audio Book From the Cleaveland Public Library.”
Second, from Geeklogie a PowerPoint that compares what happens when a honest, legal, paying customer, puts a DVD in a drive, compared to what happens when a pirate puts the same DVD in a drive:
See also Matt Neuberg of TidBits on his attempts to download an audio book form his public library.
O’Reilly is one of my very favorite technical book publishers, right up there with Peach Pit and Take Control Ebooks. O’Reilly earned a reputation almost immediately for reliable, useful high quality books about operating systems, development processes and procedures, programming and scripting languages, and quality books about creating for the Web. They’re the publisher with the nifty animal covers. They also realized very quickly the importance of the Web, and of community, and that it was both possible and worth taking the time to produce digital versions of their printed books. I beta tested Safari Books Online, the O’Reilly digital subscription service way back when, and am still impressed with their policies and the quality and utility of the content and the user experience.
I note, by the way, that O’Reilly Ebooks have all the quality of their print books, and no DRM. Here’s the official O’Reilly statement:
When you buy an ebooks thru oreilly.com you get lifetime access to the book, and whenever possible we provide it to you in four, DRM-free file formats — PDF, .epub, Kindle-compatible .mobi, and Android .apk ebook — that you can use on the devices of your choice. Our ebook files are fully searchable, and you can cut-and-paste and print them. We also alert you when we’ve updated the files with corrections and additions.
Initally the books were all only available in high quality easily navigable .PDFs; now O’Reilly is releasing books in “bundles” with multiple DRMless file formats:
When you purchase an ebook bundle (currently available on a select set of titles as part of a pilot project), you’ll get access to all three of the formats we’re currently supporting. Since we began selling PDF versions of many of our titles, we’ve offered free updates to reflect published changes in the books; the same will apply to the Ebook bundle, which will replace the PDF option on those titles in the pilot program.
You can find a complete list of O’Reilly titles with sample chapters here. The books available as ebooks are clearly marked.
“If copyright dies, if patents die, if the protection of intellectual property is eroded, then people will stop investing. That hurts everyone. People need to have the incentive that if they invest and succeed, they can make a fair profit. Otherwise they’ll stop investing. But on another level entirely, it’s just wrong to steal. Or, let’s put it another way: it is corrosive to one’s character to steal.”
Steve Jobs, Dec. 2003
Just a quick post about Ben Levisay’s Font Geek site. He’s offering lots of good information about fonts and Mac OS X, ranging from information about how fonts are organized and used in OS X to font interactions with specific applications, tips, and work arounds for problems.
See what happens when I waste my time working on my dissertation ? I miss really thoughtful and intelligent posts, like this DaveNet piece from Dave Winer. Read the whole thing, but I very much like this bit:
Further I do not advocate people using creative work without paying for it, but so far the entertainment industry has not offered a system that works the way honest users want it to. That’s the place to begin the discussion, not by hobbling, invading or hacking our computers to turn the clock back to a pre-Internet distribution system. The Berman-Coble bill is the product of an industry run amok, and elected representatives who appear to not be listening to the electorate.