Kay Stoner Interview -- Part II
Kay Stoner Interview -- Part III (Final)

More on DRM

Lock_2This post by Benjamin Higginbotham on the Technology Evangelist blog really hurts.  I've commented on DRM before, so it's no surprise that I agree with everything Benjamin says.  But what's especially painful is that the example he uses is a book my group published about a year ago, Naked Conversations, by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

Here are a few excerpts that I couldn't agree with more:

I'm not saying that eBooks have to be DRM free, but it should be loose enough that I can move my books from eReader to eReader and I should be able to read my eBooks on different computers easily.

Is it really worth all the headache to stop a few pirates? Won't the pirates find a way to steal the content anyhow? Why not allow the law abiding consumer to do with the media as they please?

Now rather than protecting assets, DRM seems to be pissing people off while the content is still stolen.

Hard to argue with.  On top of all that I see he had the misfortune of buying one of those over-priced, feature-poor Sony ebook readers. I feel bad for the guy...so bad, in fact, that I'm going to reach out and see if he'd accept a comp copy of Naked Conversations.  Maybe I could even get Robert and Shel to autograph a copy for him...guys, if you're reading this, can you let me know if you'll help me out on this mission?


Benjamin J. Higginbotham

I should point out, I used the book Naked Conversations in my article because it's a book I very much so want to carry with me everywhere I go. I won't bring a paper copy of all the books I wish to keep with me (it's not a reasonable thing to do) but I will bring my Sony Reader. Is the reader overpriced? Oh yeah. Distribution problems? Better believe it. This goes to the core problem of the original article on Technology Evangelist: eBooks have no good DRM system like FairPlay for music.

I believe the eBook market would take off if two things happened:
1 - Portable devices need to become cheaper and better
2 - Content and devices need to standardize on lose DRM with the ability to move it from device to device and reader to reader.

If these happen I'll be the first to buy a new eReader and hopefully at that time buy an eBook of Naked Conversations that I can then bring with me everywhere I go. Paper is nice and all, but eBooks are so much more convenient.

Of course I could just be part of a small niche market that will never take off, but I hope that's not the case.

Joe Wikert

Thanks Benjamin. I would add that even a basic device needs to have full wireless capabilities and a color display. I'd want to use mine to get the newspaper every day, for example, regardless of whether I'm at home or on the road.

Robert and Shel contacted me off-line and they're getting an autographed copy of "Naked Conversations" to you shortly. I hope you'll stop back after you read it and let us know what you think of the book.

Michael A. Banks

Apropos of autographs, when we have nothing but E-books (as so many enthusiasts prophesize), what will authors sign?

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