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I love the convenience of ebooks, but the ease of shenanigans in the distribution channel and the ability of a customer to lose an entire library's worth of books over business rules or technical issues distresses me.

When you read a paper book, you can be certain that the content in it is the same as when it was printed, and hasn't been edited or censored since you bought it. It can't be taken away from you by the publisher, except by physical force. You can resell it at will. Publishers and retailers who wants to try different pricing strategies can do so without facing the powerful control of Apple or Amazon.

I plan to keep on reading ebooks, but I'll buy the books I actually care about in physical form.




Alternatively, buy your eBooks and strip the DRM right off the bat. I'm taking no chances and I'm sick of heavy boxes when I move.

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Alternatively, pirate everything and laugh all the way to the bank

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The moment that none-pirated material is

a) accessible and buyable by me (Linux, .nl based) b) at least as easy to find and get as pirated material

I will immediately buy. In all other situations: I am not going to fiddle with drm-ripping python scripts, convertors, virtual-machines, geo-ip-faking-proxies and so on, just to be able to pay for stuff that I can get without all that hassle for free.

I even track down authors for books I like and wire them the money personally, if for some reason their publishers hide behind all this DRM nonsense.

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The last two sentences seem to contradict each other: You don't want to jump through hoops but try to track down authors to send them money on a sidechannel?

In general I'm with you though (Germany, mostly on Linux as well) and I try to do something similar whenever possible.

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You can't really do this so easily with books, but my favourite tactic with music is to rampantly pirate an artists output, then go up to them at a gig and press a wad of cash into their hand with an apologetic smile :)

Now that's cutting out the middleman!

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Yeah, it's taking money out of the hands of all those who worked to support the artist and help them get on that stage.

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Laugh all the way to the bank? It'll be the bank laughing at me if I turn up saying "Look, I saved $9.99 on an ebook by pirating it."

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I don't like piracy and I will never, ever use any product crippled with DRM. Therefore I read only public domain e books, and they're plenty. If everyone did the same, we'd get rid of this nonsense quickly. Don't encourage them by buying DRM'd ebooks.

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Both O'Reilly and Pragmatic Programmers offer ebooks with no DRM, just watermarking. It might be harder to find commercial fiction ebooks without DRM, but DRM-free is the norm for technical books.

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Manning and Sitepoint also offer DRM-free ebooks.

I have a Nook and I do not buy any books through B&N.com, only direct from technical publishers that are DRM-free and then load the epub file via USB. In fact I only turn my network connectivity on about once a month to update the clock on the device.

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