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The Right to Read - Richard Stallman (gnu.org)
71 points by lambda 1867 days ago | 9 comments



I think this essay, written in 1997, is worth another read in light of the recent iPad announcement, and the closed and locked down platform it provides.

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Except that the iPad uses ePub - the standard, open, DRM-free eBook format.

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Optional DRM, you mean. And I can't imagine that booksellers have yet reached the same degree of enlightenment that the music vendors have lately been reaching.

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Well, except for the music streaming services. Which are as DRM infected as ever.

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ePub is not DRM free; ePub simply has no standardized DRM. All of the major ePub bookstores sell books with some sort of DRM; for the most part, the only ePub books you can find without DRM are the public domain books from Project Gutenberg and the like.

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I think the level of sheer irrational panic displayed in light of the recent iPad announcement is deserving of everybody calming the hell down for a minute and actually using their brains. I realize this isn't the trendy thing to do when one can instead start screaming and pointing at alarmist rants, but I do think we'd all be better off for some rational thought here and there.

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In this more recent essay, Lawrence Lessig discusses how the copyright system might be reformed to prevent the same kind of issues Stallman exposes in the above: http://www.tnr.com/print/article/the-love-culture (Scroll down to "III" if you don't want to hear about documentary film or the Google book settlement)

(I submitted that to HN yesterday but I guess stuff that says "Stallman" attracts more viewers... it's worth your read though)

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That was an excellent article. As someone who missed your post yesterday, thanks for thread-hijacking! ;-)

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Hehe, thanks :)

I was hesitant whether this would be good HN etiquette, but then I figured that it's actually quite on-topic, and that it would be ok if I didn't spam a HN-thread link but a direct link to the article. I realise it's still a minor offence ;)

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