1. For some reason they cost a similar amount to print books
Sometimes a bit less, sometimes the same, sometimes more. Distributing a physical book means you have to print, handle, store, transport, store again, handle again and transport again (using a simplified model of the journey a book takes to the end user). That costs money, and it costs effectively $0 to get an ebook to a user. I don't see that saving being passed on to me, the consumer.
Not only that, you're generally paying for less than you get with a physical book in terms of rights and (IMO convenience)
2. You can't (or maybe you can) lend them freely.
Last I checked there were limits on lending with the kindle/amazon. Maybe that's changed, but I don't want to have to think about that, I just want to lend the book to someone.
3. You can't give them to someone.
Maybe this has changed since I last looked, but passing on the book to someone else and it now being "theirs" isn't possible. Again perhaps that's changed these days.
3. Cognitive overhead
Can I do this stuff? Can't I? How do I do it? I don't want to have to think about that. Last week I gave a book to my daughter by just putting it on her desk. It was easy.
In 10 years will I still be able to access my books? 20? Yes, because they're over there, on a shelf.
If ebooks cost a fraction of what they cost today then I would totally consider them. It's a tradeoff. Right now ebooks don't swing the balance towards them.
5. visibility (as noted by angrygoat) and browseability is terrible.
6. Flipping through an ebook looking for something is impossible.
7. Illustrations or drawings are rendered terribly.
The list of pros of ebooks:
1. It's just a better experience. Ebooks are lighter than their equivalent books, easy to use one-handed, fonts can be adjusted, you can carry as many as you want with no extra weight, you can search within a book, you have access with wifi to your entire library at any point in time without having to fill up a cramped apartment. Browsing for books to read is terrible, but I can browse at my local B&N and then buy the ebooks on Amazon (which makes me terrible, but what can you do).
In balance, this means that I've switched almost entirely to ebooks.
The objections that you give (1-4) are the ones that are fixable by hoisting the Jolly Roger. This a step I am reluctant to take but if point 1 keeps going in this direction, then I can't really convince myself that I can justify the cost. A literally out-of-print book  selling for $13 is so outlandish that it makes my head spin. A book where the e-book is twice as expensive as the paperback ? What on earth is going on here.
Great point. I picked up The Linux Programming Interface from a Humble Bundle, knowing nothing about it, and my first impression was "This is a terrible book: very dry and not engaging." My manager mentioned it was excellent, though, so I actually picked up a hard copy, and then I saw what was going on: it's a Linux textbook, not the kind of programming book you'd really read from cover to cover.
I know this story sort of shows my cluelessness a little, but it also shows how having the ten-pound tome on my desk gave me insights into how the book was meant to be interacted with, that the ebook didn't.
I think that that's solving the wrong problem. Just pirating ebooks that are offered under crappy Amazon and B&N style licensing agreements may get you a book that's more palatable to you, but it doesn't do anything to improve the ebook market itself.
There are many, many publishers selling DRM-free ebooks out there, and manufacturers of e-readers that don't try to lock you in. If people who don't like DRM aren't willing to help them make money at what they're trying to do, they're going to go away, and DRM is going to become an even more pervasive problem because of it.
It's true that their offerings can be more expensive. They're smaller outfits and can't afford to be vicious with economies of scale the way Amazon can. This is one of those spots where "freedom ain't free" is a statement you can take quite literally.
I don't want to have to change the world first and then read the books I want to read. For the moment I'm willing to pay, but I'm inches away from opting out.
I've even seriously considered building or purchasing a bulk book scanner and just ripping old mass market paperbacks for personal use. Or starting some sort of collective that does this.
The signal that I want to send to Amazon (and, as I understand it, to the publishing houses that desperately want to kill ebooks in general and are trying to do so by forcing Amazon to honor their price floors) is that the prices are just too high. They could dramatically increase revenue simply by lowering the prices. A premium for "early access" is fine -- if I want to buy a book the day that it is released, I'm willing to pay a "hardcover" premium. But I want the option to wait for the "trade paperback" price or the "mass market paperback" price, or the "gently used" price.
The DRM stuff I don't like but I'm not as passionate about, especially since I'm confident that Amazon will stick around a while. 84% of the reason that I accrued a personal physical book library (instead of borrowing from a library or donating or selling books after I've read them) over the years is with the memory of browsing my own parent's book collections and discovering amazing things and wanting to pass that experience on to my children. Amazon has their "family library" concept, so even though the browsing experience is currently terrible, I hope some day it will be better and all the ebooks I have acquired will afford my children the same experience as I had.
They might be too high for you, on the specific books you want to read. But cutting book prices to maximize book revenues is Amazon's first and oldest game, and I have a hard time believing that they suddenly became clueless about how to play it when they entered (created, really) the ebook market.
Offhand, I can think of two explanations for the price of Amazon ebooks that seem much more likely. I'm not sure if either are true, but I wouldn't be surprised both are:
First, it could be that they have agreements with publishers, who have an interest in keeping the price of Amazon (and Nook) ebooks relatively high in order help keep non-Amazon booksellers in business. They've seen what Wal-Mart does to suppliers, and naturally would want to guard against ending up in that situation.
Second, it could be that Amazon has figured out that they really do maximize Kindle revenues when they don't discount their ebooks very cheaply. That would be the case if Kindle readers generally buy what they want when they want to read it, regardless of a few bucks' difference in the book price. (It's not beyond the pale to think that might be true of people who, almost by definition, are willing to spend $1-200 on an e-reader.) Or, alternatively, they've found that they can price discriminate more effectively through their subscription service.
Your assessment (protecting non-Amazon booksellers, or Walmartization of the book market) is generous, and probably correct. My less generous assessment is that the publishers would prefer to completely kill off ebooks, lest authors notice that by employing a skilled editor they can just sell their books directly to customers for a fraction of what a book publisher charges, if they can live without the marketing spend and the addictive pull of advances on sales revenues.
That's rather subjective which is why I left most of this stuff out. Some people really like reading on a kindle or iPad, I don't particularly (the Kindle is "OK").
> Ebooks are lighter than their equivalent books
It depends on the book TBH. A lot will be heavier, many won't. The book I'm currently reading ("Medium Raw" by Anthony Bourdain) is 49g heavier than a kindle (the cheapest in the UK), which for me is effectively the same as 0g in terms of wether I will notice.
I am a relatively strong man, throwing a book or two into my bag doesn't make a difference to me.
Of course, if I were to carry my entire library around that would be a significantly different story :) But then I just pick books I want to read and take them, and if I change my mind later I do something else.
> easy to use one-handed
Never had a problem with this.
> fonts can be adjusted
Never wanted to do this.
> you can search within a book
I rarely want to do this, so it's not a particularly big deal when I can't.
> you have access with wifi to your entire library at any point in time without having to fill up a cramped apartment
I mentioned in another comment, I am lucky in that I don't have that issue where I live. The balance might be altered if I lived in a small Tokyo apartment (for instance) however.
> The objections that you give (1-4) are the ones that are fixable by hoisting the Jolly Roger.
I can buy ebooks and strip the DRM if I want, I tried it (on ebooks I legitimately bought) so I could make sure I always had the book. It was a PITA and didn't (for me) swing the pendulum enough to choose ebooks.
You are probably young. Trust me -- when you are approaching 50, if not sooner, this is extremely helpful. And my father in his 80s has started reading again because he can make the fonts on his Kindle basically gigantic. There are of course a small number of printed books in large print editions, but ebooks allow this to be done on any book.
> I am a relatively strong man, throwing a book or two into my bag doesn't make a difference to me.
I've put a lot of work and streamlining into not carrying a bag at all. Carrying my kindle in my back pocket or jacket pocket is easy enough.
Similarly carrying a book depends on the book.
> > easy to use one-handed
> Never had a problem with this.
How do you turn pages? I used to have to do the awkward reverse flip - half close - move finger - let hang - flip up, or just free up my other hand for a second. On a crowded train neither of these work particularly well.
> I've put a lot of work and streamlining into not carrying a bag at all.
I mostly have to carry a laptop so getting rid of my bag isn't an option. When I do leave my bag at home I might put a slim book into my pocket (I've got "The old man and the sea" to read at some point) or I'll read the news on my phone, listen to music, or just sit and think.
I did streamline my wallet though. Thin nylon all-ett wallet, one card, some cash.
> How do you turn pages?
I mostly free my other hand (it's rare I'm doing something particularly involved with my "spare" hand while reading). This is mostly in the form of "put down my up of tea for a moment". If I'm in the kitchen I might put the book down on it's back and use the reading hand to turn the page while also holding it open.
Cookbooks are strange. With the number of recipes out there in electronic form it seems like the tide has shifted, but I still buy cookbooks for general cooking stuff, and still find myself printing out recipes that I find online (like an old person!) so that I can actually use them in a kitchen environment.
Technical books, reference books, textbooks seem so incredibly natural for an interactive format, but I'm not aware of anyone that has cracked this. The closest metaphor I've found is having tabs in a browser, so I can store a limited history of my exploration of a topic, but it rapidly becomes an unnavigable mess.
You got that completely backwards. The book is freaking out of print. You can’t buy a physical copy anymore without a lot of effort. $13 seems a fair deal for conveniently getting a book you’d otherwise have a hard time obtaining.
For that matter, out of print books being rare and thus more valuable and selling for (sometimes much) higher prices are not unheard of in the physical world either.
1) To give some money to the authors (I'd rather bitcoin them)
2) Because it is a reasonable format for books I'll read once from start to finish.
Searchability is baloney in most cases (index is better), and it's definitely not a better experience, even on paperwhite type technology -the only way any sane person should read an ebook other than quick lookups. I de-drm everything, because it's mine, so that's not a consideration.
Textbooks, ebooks are basically useless unless you're remote and have no other options (and in this case; koreader on rooted hardware). It's for novels, philosophy, history books which are for fun; that sort of thing.
If you're looking for something in an ebook, wouldn't it be easier and more effective to just search for it?
"Wait, didn't that character die in the last chapter" is easily solved by flipping back a couple of chapters. If you search for the right thing you can find it too, but it's relatively painful for quick checks.
1. Space -- I have an entire closet full of books. Every time I buy another physical book, I am slowly crowding myself out of a little more space in my apartment. Electronic copies take up no physical space.
2. Can read anywhere (using my phone). I don't like this for every book, but some books are good for reading in little bite-sized chunks. I read a page here and a page there while I'm taking a break at work, waiting at the post office, whatever. The constant availability makes it a lot easier to increase my reading bandwidth vs. trying to always have a physical book on me. Plus variety--I have hundreds of books in my pocket at any given moment, and can choose whatever I'm in the mood for.
The one thing I would say is that I do have to dump books sometimes due to space. That's no bad thing, there's not a hell of a lot of books that I actually want to keep forever.
For me, I'll pay more for an ebook than a paperback because it's a more valuable format for me. Aside from being more compact and searchable, I can select a larger font. If it's more valuable, why shouldn't it cost more?
One thing we do agree on though is that DRM on books should be banned. At the absolute minimum, it should have a failsafe built in so that users never lose their books and when copyright expires, all protection is removed.
There's also an element of being taken for a ride here. I can afford the $8 snickers bar from the minibar in the hotel, but I won't buy it because I feel like someone is taking the piss. Attempting to use their position to extort me.
Same for ebooks. When your costs are lower, but you're charging more, I'm not going to buy the book because though I can afford the book I feel like I'm being somehow extorted.
For ebooks, you can reduce your distribution costs (there's some cost of creating the file and distributing it, but you don't have shipping costs or returns), but of course you still need to make back your fixed costs. I manage ebook production for a university publisher (but I have no say on pricing decisions, only the technical stuff), and for us, the savings for ebooks doesn't really translate into a big price difference, because our fixed costs are such a large part of our expenses. In our market, ebooks still don't amount to a big percentage of sales, because the reader technology doesn't provide enough support for complex books.
I do argue as much as I can against DRM, but so far I have lost that fight.
I don't think that's always true. The cost to print and ship hard cover vs paperback books is less than the price difference between the two.
When the market structure of a good results in full competition, then the cost of a good is going to tend toward the cost of producing the good plus basic profit (if a company raises prices past this, another company can enter the market to produce the good more cheaply).
When the market structure of a good involves an effective monopoly, the cost will tend to whatever price the monopoly thinks will generate the most total profit (and that depends on the supply curve).
Naturally, you have markets that inbetween these two poles (economists talk about oligopolies and "monopolistic competition").
As far as what the price of books should be, if you think of a publisher as naturally having monopoly since each book is unique, then it makes sense for ebooks to not cost less. But if you imagine a look of books could be substituted for other books (one c++ manual versus another) then it makes sense for the price of ebooks to be less than that of regular books.
Of course, goods fall on a commodity range. Some things are entirely fungible, others less so. The less fungible a good is, the more the cost can move away from the cost to produce.
Books sound like they aren't fungible - after all one title isn't an exact replacement for another. But, they are quite fungible in the sense that one murder mystery can in some sense substitute for another.
Very few things are not fungible at all.
A physical library can be browsed, including by a visitor, and serve a useful social purpose.
I often find it interesting to see what books someone has on their shelves, and it can lead to interesting discussions. I can't recall a time when I've discussed the contents of a Kindle library with someone.
The fact that you have to store print books is a factor in why they can be cheaper. It costs money to maintain inventory - both the physical costs associated with warehousing those books, and the opportunity costs associated with devoting space to them instead of other books you might sell more profitably.
That creates an incentive to cut costs on books that aren't moving quickly, in order to get them out of your warehouse. No such incentive exists for ebooks, so the incentive to keep on charging the sticker price in order to keep yourself out of a JC Penny's situation becomes relatively stronger.
Not to say that this isn't a valid reason to like print books. Just wanted to point out there can be legitimate economic reasons for this sort of situation.
I don't buy ebooks at amazon.
I have hundreds of books in my collection. You will never catch me buying a book with drm on it. Get drm-free ebooks from a store or from project Gutenberg-type places.
The things I like about Kindle are:
1. Reading at night. This is number one reason for me. With Popsocket on back, I can hold Kindle for hours in bed. Without Popsocket, it is awkward to hold while laying down.
2. Waterproof. You can read paper books in hot tub or pool too, so this is not that important.
3. Personal Documents. You can send pretty much any text/blog post to your Kindle via browser plugin. A lot of reading I do at night is blog posts.
4. Text to Speech. When I really want to be lazy, this is great then.
A few years ago when my Kindle Keyboard died, I tried going back to paper books 100% but I didn't read as much as I was reading on Kindle. So I am back on Kindle with the assumption that I will lose all my books sooner or later.
If I like the book or the book has valuable illustration done in color I will purchase the physical copy, otherwise backing up my calibre library according to 3-2-1 is easy peasy.
They dont want to loose money? I don't want to loose my book!
I must be very self entitled for downloading a digital representation of a book which I have paid for.
And that point is?
I'm well aware that you can fit lots of ebooks in one device, but so far I've not been particularly limited by the information density of regular books.
I use ebooks for books I think it's less likely that I'll reread, when I can get a bargain.
I can go on Amazon and find ebooks that are cheaper, the same price, and more expensive than the print versions.
I don't know enough about blockchain to know whether that's actually feasible but it was the first proposed use I've come across that seemed like it might actually have potential.
1) They take a lot of space. I have bookshelf's full of them.
2) They can get damaged by humidity and mold.
3) I am prospecting travelling/moving/migrating, and I will likely sell/donate my books in this case.
That being said I want to support the authors I read, and wish I could buy the digital book directly from the author (100% of the money goes to him/her), and get an electronic copy.
If they don't include the ebook in a suitable format I'll just pirate it.
Try buying from https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebooks where possible (DRM-free).
Humble Bundle does a weekly Book Bundle. Wiley, O'Reilly, No Starch, and several other publishers all regularly participate with tech books, geek books, comic books, and manga.
No Starch itself deserves a separate mention just because they're awesome. On their own site, if you buy the print book, the eBook comes free, a nice courtesy you won't pick up buying on Amazon. And of course, all of their stuff is DRM-free.
Informit, which is Pearson's programming and IT book site, sells watermarked, but otherwise DRM-free content (if you really care, watermark stripping likely isn't that hard, but as long as they're not trying to tamper with my ability to open the file where I want to, I don't mind watermarks, I ain't a pirate). Informit includes Adobe Press, Cisco Press, Microsoft Press, VMware Press, Sams, etc. I've gotten a lot of textbooks from here.
Manning Publications sells DRM-free too.
If you're a Trekkie, Simon & Schuster sells Star Trek novels DRM-free on their site as well. They have monthly sales that bring a set of them down to 99 cents a piece, which is good, since their standard prices are obscene.
Even Comixology (from Amazon, of course), has joined the DRM-free game, though only for specific publishers. Neither Marvel nor DC participate, mind you, but many of the smaller publishers do.
> I don't mind watermarks, I ain't a pirate
That depends; pirates mind water marks on goods they liberated on the high seas, as they reveal the provenance of the merchandise. They like the marks left by water on their equipment, as a proof of prowess.
(Yes, I had to.)
It's really not that complicated. You download them from a web interface and you drag and drop them into Calibre (with a de-DRM plugin installed). Done, they're now available together with all the ebooks that you got from other sources.
Having all the purchased ebooks in one place is more convenient for me, not less. The alternative isn't a different book store, it's pirating. While I do have an appreciation for all the books I got from DRM-free places, I don't pick what I'm going to read next based on where it's available. The majority of the books I want to read are available on Amazon, and breaking their DRM is very easy. They wouldn't get my money if any of those two were untrue. I'd probably revert back to pirating.
Just saying, you probably could directly pirate the books too. Putting your money where your rights are respected and you are given the freedom to read your books on any device you want is probably a better idea. Even if it is just to make them grow more.
The worst thing that could happen to me is that I could have my Amazon account terminated. Everything physical on Amazon gets slapped with an additional $60-80 of taxes (even if the item itself is $10-$20), so I really don't use Amazon for anything else but its bookstore.
Books take months or years to write, and I want to award that behavior with whichever percentage of my $10 ends up in the author's pockets. Don't get me wrong, if I see a book I want to read on Humble Bundle on Kobo, I'll click on it first. But if I don't, I'll pick Amazon over Google Play Books, this Microsoft's one, or any other DRM-enabled store. Not because Amazon is in any way better than them, but because I know I can break the DRM effortlessly and reliably, while still pitching in something to the author. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't look for a different store — I'd still be pirating.
I said publishers but i am not sure who wants this to be enforced in this case. Its just usually the case that its the rights holder like film studios or music labels but in this case i could see amazon wanting it for themselves too.
You're joking, right? DRM-stripping is inherently unreliable, by definition. It's a last resort only, and we shouldn't be expected to deal with it.
> we shouldn't be expected to deal with it
Agreed, and with this as for many other things perhaps one day (after the revolution) we won't. But railing against the universe won't make books available for me to read today.
Which definition is that? I've owned an old model 'Kindle Keyboard' for many years. The only thing needed to strip DRM from those ebooks is to type in the serial number of my kindle into calibre. It's never not worked for me; in actual practice it's very reliable.
I must admit though, these days I typically just go to Library Genesis. Because I'm a dirty rotten thief.
Not a heavy eBook user but I buy all movies and TV shows through iTunes because I have a (lossless) De-DRM program I can use. Works consistently every time on everything. It may stop working altogether someday, but if that happens I’ll stop buying from iTunes. Until then, the program is 100% reliable.
We also offer DRM-free PDFs that are correctly formatted, unlike what you'd get from the Google Bookstore (they convert from ePub). This is particularly important for publishers like O'Reilly who no longer sell copies outside a subscription from their site. Some authors help us out a lot by linking to us directly: https://dataintensive.net/buy.html
It's a slow process getting publishers on board, but more are moving across to DRM-free or social DRM (watermarking) which is a step in the right direction.
How does that work? Independent in a physical sense, generally translates to 1 or very few outlets. Online is only ever going to be 1 outlet. Plus none of the independent bookstore features seem amenable to translating to the internet.
So is it ownership structure? 'vibe'?
> How does that work?
Small: They're not operating at Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Amazon, or any other major book retailer level. Measuring by revenue seems reasonable in this sense. Pick arbitrary numbers to define small/medium/large.
Independent: They're not affiliated with any one single publisher.
Independent suggests more than just being independent, and very little of that seems to be compatible with being an internet company (local, passionate knowledgeable owner, community hub).
If some one told me about a small independent record store, or small independent coffee shop, I would have certain expectations.
Platform independent seems reasonable given the context though.
Independent in this context includes many different things, most of which I'm not sure are particularly relevant to an online business.
You don't get a knowledgeable enthusiastic shop owner to talk to, it isn't a gathering space, it doesn't keep money in the local community.
So I'm asking what independent actually means in an online context.
I have a Kobo. Every book I've bought from there has DRM.
Thankfully, better options have been linked in the thread.
Some examples of the lengths they go to:
- They used to have a desktop app that allowed reading offline. Not anymore. They're phasing it out in favor of their web reader which has no offline reading functionality. Presumably because people were cracking the DRM there.
- Their Android app detects root/custom roms and disables itself and starts spamming you with a new browser tab every few seconds, even if you don't try to open it at all (I have no idea why this is even possible on Android). It doesn't just use Android's built-in SafetyNet APIs either, it uses some custom methods that somehow managed to bypass Magisk's root hiding feature until version 18, when I discovered that it finally started working. But soon after that I found my account mysteriously locked, and upon contacting support it sounds like they were able to find out I was running under root somehow, and reinstated my account with the caveat that the next time they catch me my account will be disabled for good. That was the last straw for me, and I vowed never to do business with them again.
With that said, I do hope someone who's more well versed in the dark arts of reverse engineering than I am could take a crack at breaking the DRM in their Android app or Desktop app (they still post a really old version on their site, not sure if it's still usable) dump their entire library on a torrent somewhere and show them the futility of their ways. I honestly think their DRM only survived for so long due to sheer obscurity because they have a such a limited audience and not enough smart people are interested in fucking with them. I'd love to have some means to liberate the library of books I've already regretfully purchased on there (they lured me in with their frequent sales and rewards program).
They have an English site too if language barrier is an issue: https://global.bookwalker.jp/
The biggest differentiator for them is they don't compress their images to oblivion like Amazon and Google Play does, which is really nice for light novels and manga where image quality makes a huge difference. Being Kobo, they also happen to be the only eBook store other than Amazon to offer their own line of eBook reader devices, most of which can be hacked to use a bigger sdcard for more storage (they literally use an sdcard for internal storage instead of emmc).
Of course, their DRM is easily crackable, but I would love to hear recommendations for DRM free Japanese eBook stores if anyone is aware of any.
The best I've seen so far on Kobo has been a 30% off coupon that requires a 10k yen minimum purchase. If you're price sensitive then used physical books is probably still the way to go. I couldn't recommend Bookwalker in good faith to anyone until their DRM becomes trivial to break, because if they pull what Microsoft pulled here all of your purchased eBooks would disappear without any possibility for recourse.
I am well-aware that it's a bad thing to do from a legal perspective (and especially encouraging others to do the same), but legal =/= moral. I'm paying a full price for them and treating them as my property. That includes being able to read them on any screen I want with whichever reader I want, even if I do end up mostly reading on a (physical) Kindle.
 It's called Tuneskit Audible Converter, and I'm surprised they haven't been sued by Amazon yet.
Then you can use ffmpeg to convert the .aax file:
ffmpeg -activation_bytes $activation_bytes -i $audiobook_file -c:a copy -c:v copy $output_file
I searched for days before I bought it though, and never came across the ffmpeg method. All sorts of hacks involving virtual CDs and whatnot, but nothing that scaled.
ffmpeg -activation_bytes 1CEB00DA -i test.aax -vn -c:a copy output.mp4
# Edit: apparently you need something called Adobe digital Editions to read that epub later. So there is some kind of drm.
The result is indeed great: E-books are reasonably priced, they get auto-delivered (as "docs") to your Kindle if you wish, or you can get an ePub version if you prefer. You really do own them: the publisher might disappear, but if you keep your files, you keep the books.
I don't think piracy is a factor. It's way too easy to buy the real thing at this point.
The hope publishers have is that it slows distribution a bit and they use it as attempt to manipulate people to allow stronger punishment of infringers.
But the watermarks really only matter when they get illegally copied around, and don't hurt the owner in the way more restrictive forms of DRM do.
Watermarks are an attempt at reproducing rules of physical space in digital space.
And yes, it's still trivially copyable, but that makes it better in any way than DRM: it can be traced back to the original owner but doesn't make it unnecessarily hard to read it on multiple devices.
But hardly any uploader would keep watermarks in, which makes them more of a way for faithful users to not give the book I.e. to friends since there is a visible reminder about being your personal copy.
Also, I specifically would not abide to any kind of law saying I cannot give a book I bought to a friend.
That's why, from publisher's view, the second point is so important: Remind readers all the time that "it" (without going into details) is illegal so they continue buying.
That's right. They are trivially copyable, but the copies are easily traceable. Compute now?
Except they often are visual. "Owned by X" and such.
Because digital things can be copied for free without loss of fidelity.
> Your printed books aren't. Watermarks are ugly.
A digital watermark can be invisible.
However, in the absence of Amazon, domestic services have sprouted instead - there's a few very big ebook stores, an excellent Audible replacement(with huge superproductions involving famous Polish actors voicing the lines being made regularly), instead of Amazon and Ebay we have Allegro(which in my personal opinion has leapfrogged ebay by about a century worth of development, it's just a much nicer experience). Ebay tried entering the Polish market a few times with huge marketing campaigns and lots of deals, but Allegro's dominance is just so untouchable that I think they have just given up now. I suspect Amazon doesn't even try for the same reason - it's not even localized to Polish(although Polish customers can still order items from any Amazon site, they get delivered to Poland without any issues and for free if you have Prime).
Why is this more likely with 5G than 4G? What appliances are not suitable for IOT right now, but will be with 5G? Would most of my appliances be in my home, where I have wifi?
I would have thought there was something equivalent of the electricity duck curve for *G and they've got plenty of bandwidth to sell at certain times of day.
Eventually the app disappeared and those files are now useless.
I usully buy my DRM-free ebooks from Weightless Books , and also subscribe to "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction" and "Interzone" from that site.
(I still like my Steam library, but the games I really care about are bought on GOG/HIB when possible.)
Sadly it isn't obvious (nor mentioned anywhere, except some very incomplete lists in various wikis) which games are DRM free and which are not and the only way to figure out is to buy the game and try to run it outside of Steam (with Steam itself not running and its folder temporarily renamed to something else). In general if a game doesn't have steam_api.dll, it should be DRM-free but if it does then it is a crapshoot if the Steam integration is necessary or the game can function without it (e.g. Dementium II HD, a game i just tried yesterday, does have the DLL but it can work without it). Also some functionality that in theory could be available without Steam (such as multiplayer) will not work.
The instant I no longer can is the same day I'll stop buying DRMed books.
I like being able to resize fonts, I like looking up words immediately, I like carrying around dozens on a phone and/or kindle.
I like the sales. I follow reddit's fantasy and printsf subreddits, and there isn't a week that goes by without a book on sale for $1.99. Pricing could be more advantageous (lower for ebooks) but at the same time, I just bought a few of Greg Egan's books to fill out my collection (Diaspora and Quarantine) and they are right now on the US Store at least, $2.99 ebook versus $12.99 paperback. And, the ebook versions are loanable.
Yeah I could use my library more, and I use it plenty, but it turns out I LIKE AND WANT TO funnel cash towards authors I enjoy. That's how they make their living.
Physical books still offer better random access to content (flipping around from chapter to chapter) but ebooks won me over for technical books as well - simply because I can have them in multiple places (home, work, travel) without lugging them around. Yes I have a physical copies of certain key books but the convenience of having them all over wins out, for me.
Many libraries have tons of Ebooks to lend out. It's more convenient than going to the library (since it's all online), but otherwise the same deal. Check out, read it, and return it.
(1 crappy thing is that the library can only lend each copy a set number of times before it is 'destroyed', but I guess that's intended to match how physical books would fall apart. It's not ideal, but still - SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY!!)
The discussion is also old. I realized that I end up lending only a small fraction of books to other people, and my kids will probably not care about most of my books. Storage of paper books also costs money, so rebuying the few books I want to pass on or reread may be cheaper than buying and keeping physical copies of books. So I chose ebooks.
There were cases were people's Amazon accounts were cancelled, so they couldn't buy new books from Amazon. The books they already bought remained on their kindles, though.
There were also cases of Amazon deleting books from kindles, when the books became illegal.
Any reason to assume Microsoft operated in a very different way?
Has anyone made "ZuneBook" puns yet?
Edit: hah Zunebook was an MS tablet that was supposed to compete with Amazon Kindle tablets...
First sale doctrine says that you aren't violating copyright by selling any lawfully made particular copy that you own. I don't see anything in it that says the publisher can't use means other than copyright to try and stop you from doing that.
My main concern is that my book collection in all probability will outlast Amazon as a company. When they go away, should my books be unreadable? Will I get a refund when Amazon goes bankrupt?
DRM violates the transactional nature of business by tying the product eternally to the seller to be usable at all.
The main reason it didn't happen with (sold) music was that audio cds were already unencumbered. So it made even less sense than usual to tack on additional DRM. And finally, the most popular form of consuming music now is streaming, which does have DRM generally.
One label, EMI, then agreed to go DRM-free on iTunes. Another, Warner, said that Jobs was an idiot and they would never go DRM free. Within a year or so most labels came to agree with Jobs, and when Amazon Music launched in early 2008 it was DRM-free, including music from Warner.
It took something like another year for iTunes to go fully DRM-free, because Warner was holding out there.
Ten years ago, so was smoking dope.
I've personally had an Amazon account blocked along with access to all my Kindle books, which sucks. Now I download every book as soon as I purchase it and add to calibre.
Quit paying them for the abusive media. Pirate. You have to break the law anyways even if you pay legit.
That said, Kindle books are very convenient and I like the ability to hilite text and add notes.
In any case, as long as Microsoft refunds their eBooks purchase price to customers, I don’t see their decision to get out of the business as a bad thing. Actually it seems like a classy move on their part making refunds.
Obviously, using libgen tends to avoid this DRM problem.
No doubt as the surveillance economy ramps up, getting every last penny for copyright will ramp up also.
As for books, when I buy them on Amazon I select "transfer via USB" which let's me download it and when I add it to Calibre, the DRM is stripped by DEDRM_tools  before transfering into the Kindle.
 Note that the tool only removes the DRM, it doesn't anonymise the file. It's still associated with your account.
I’ve used deDRM a lot in the past, but it doesn’t work with the latest DRM on (I think AWZ3 files) - but perhaps it’s been updated since I last checked about 6 months ago or so.
If I can download a “legacy” file format - I might try that.
Thanks again for your input!