The Morning Coffee – 28 November 2012

Here are a few stories to read this morning.

  • Barnes & Noble Decides That Purchased Ebooks Are Only Yours Until Your Credit Card Expires (Techdirt)
  • Brilliant, Despicable Marketing (brett sandusky)
  • Essay: How Instapaper Ruined Me as a Reader (EntertainmentTell)

  • How to Tell if the First Draft of Your Novel Just Isn't Worth Salvaging (io9)
  • How we read, not what we read, may be contributing to our information overload (Nieman Journalism Lab)
  • Must you price-slash to get into the Kindle UK Top 10? (The Luzme Blog)
  • Publishers brace for authors to reclaim book rights in 2013 (paidContent)
  • About Nate Hoffelder (11381 Articles)
    Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

    17 Comments on The Morning Coffee – 28 November 2012

    1. That first link is a load of junk. All he has to do is archive and unarchive the title with a new CC number attached to the account to get a copy with the new DRM encoded.

      • But why would he even want to do that? You don’t supply your new credit-card details to the vendor of a TV you have purchased with your expired card either to maintain the legal guarantees, no?
        This is just another example of how bad DRM is for the honest customer that is willing to pay for ebooks so that the authors get their share. It is SO easy to get almost any book on the internet without any money excahning hands (other than the site-hosts that is…)
        Publishers need to get rid of DRM, price their ebooks reasonably and a good market will emerge. What most of them do right now is milk the naive and not tech-savvy honest cursomers, which, incidently, most of the times have the highest spending income…

        • And that right there is why they do it: the mainstream buyers who constitute the bulk of the market *don’t care*.
          Go to any tech blog or reading web-site and you’ll find near universal condemnation for DRM.
          Go to the streets and mount a crusade and you’ll find near universal yawns. (Plus a lot of wondering looks, rolled eyes, and shaking heads.)
          As long as the authors and publishers *think* DRM protects them from piracy it’ll be with us. It’s their security blanket and they don’t care how smalll and frayed it may be, they’re not letting go of it.
          (shrug)

          • I would not say they don’t care. The post on removing Kindle DRM is pretty popular.

            • How many hits are you getting?
              Amazon is selling on the order of 15Million eink Kindles a year.
              (Last I looked, the Tools download counts ran in the 5-6 digit range…)

            • I’m seeing just under 40k page views a month. That’s not an insignificant number, and if you add in all the other posts on this topic then I think you’d find that a sizable percentage of Kindle owners feel this is important.

            • Half a million a year isn’t insignificant but vs 15 million?
              That’s 3%.
              Even adding in the tools downloaders as separate counts and and adding other sources the numbers still say that 80-90% of all Kindle users don’t care about DRM *enough* to go hunting for an answer. Whether through ignorance or acquiescence it just doesn’t much factor in the buying decision of the mainstream buyer.

            • How do you know they are selling 15 million Kindles each year?

            • Those are the numbers that drop out of the eink global sales numbers 2011-2012.
              25-30 million a year of which Amazon soaks up 55-60%.
              I was being conservative; I’ve seen reports that peg amazon at 70%.

            • Nate,
              Perhaps I’m just technically challenged, but the method detailed for removing DRM from a Kindle book didn’t work on my Linux system. Any ideas on how to do it with that OS anyone?
              Thanks…Dave

            • The method I explain above is depdent on running K4PC on the same computer as calibre. Were you running K4PC under Wine and calibre on Linux? Technically that is not the same computer.

    2. There are a lot of misunderstandings about B&N’s DRM. I will try to explain why B&N’s DRM is the least restrictive DRM available.
      – At the moment you download an ebook from B&N, the ebook gets encrypted. The credit card name and number of the credit card from your B&N account are used to create an encryption key. This is a one way process. No credit card information is stored in the ebook or on the ereader device. Is it not possible to use the ebook to generate your credit card information.
      The moment you download an ebook is the only moment you will ever need a credit card in your B&N account, and a connection with B&N’s DRM server.
      – The encryption is complety enclosed within the ebooks file. To access the ebook you need to know the credit card number and name the book was encrypted with. The ebook is not tied to the hardware of your ereader (Kindle) or to a software ID (Adobe DRM).
      This means that you can copy the ebook file to as many ereaders as you want to, as many times as you like. This makes it easy to share the ebook with anyone you trust with your credit card number and name (that is how this social DRM limits the sharing of the ebook, there are no technical restrictions against sharing).
      – Because the encryption is completely enclosed within the ebooks file, after dowloading the ebook file you do not need B&N or an DRM server anymore. Even if B&N and the credit card would no longer exist you will still be able to read the ebook on any device or program supporting the DRM.
      – So if you want to remove your credit card from your B&N account, which basically means you do not want to use B&N’s e-book cloud anymore, make a backup copy of your ebooks with for example Nook for PC (which you should do anyway) before removing the credit card. Those copies will be yours forever. You can copy them to any device or program supporting the DRM and with all those devices and programs you will be able to read those ebooks. No DRM-server, software-ID or Internet connection is needed.

      • I agree. The Fictionwise/B&N scheme is the best of a bad thing.

        The complaint in the article was that they couldn’t re-download the books once their credit card expired. It had nothing to do with the actual scheme. It is probably not a common problem, so B&N has never addressed it.

        I half wonder what would happen if you simply changed the expiration date for the card on file and attempted to download an already purchased title…

        • The books are encrypted at the moment they are downloaded. If you re-download a book, the latest copy available on B&N’s servers it encrypted and downloaded at that moment. And there is a check if the credit card is valid.

          • <>

            This is the best and least restrictive? Giving away your credit card information to anyone you want to share the book with. Are you insane? The least restrictive is watermarking. The best is DRM Free. A better option than what you say to do is to strip the DRM off and use the book any way you want.

    3. SHIT! I just realized that I shredded my husband’s $50 Nook gift card and never got around to first stripping the ebooks I bought with it. Goddamnit, I hate DRM.

      • If you buy ebooks using a gift card, the books are encrypted with the credit card number and name of your default credit card.

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