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Before | After

DRM = DUM

If you've ever bought ebooks from Fictionwise, read this.

Which then of course leads to this from XKCD.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
mobdrazhar
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
lol... i whole heartedly agree with XKCD
paradigmshifty
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:32 pm (UTC)
Yep, the "guilty until proven innocent" take on customers. We will punish our actual paying customers even though it has no effect whatsoever on the pirates.

Which is why I refuse to buy anything with DRM on it. Ever.
travisjhall
Jan. 12th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)

I dunno... It seems to me that this sort of thing wouldn't even have been regarded as an issue a decade ago.

The problem that has occurred here is that a content provider will no longer be allowing purchasers to download from them. (I'd guess that the content provider is going out of business, and it makes sense that you wouldn't be able to download from a business that no longer exists.) It doesn't affect files that have already been downloaded.

Nobody expects that suppliers of physical books will replace our book purchases if our books are ever lost or damaged. We acknowledge that what we purchase is a single physical book, not the right to always have a book no matter what happens to the one we bought. The same goes for physical products in general. Some do come with warranties, but even those are limited to an assurance that the product will perform to a certain standard for a certain amount of time under conditions that should allow that. Your new car warranty won't help you if you crash your car.

Are purchases of data products so different? You've got the file. Is there necessarily an assurance that you will always be able to obtain it again?

And in fact Fictionwise has never said that new downloads would always be available. They do their best to provide this, because they want happy customers, but nobody has purchased a guarantee of new downloads.

And you see that Atari console in the icon up there? I remember having a bunch of purchased Atari games, and never having a guarantee that I'd be able to use them after getting rid of the 2600 console we played them on. You can't purchase a replacement console from Atari today, so if you've still got a Space Invaders cartridge and no console, it'd be at least difficult to play it.

Of course, we often want to buy data products that we will be able to use indefinitely - that has to be considered superior to a limited-use purchase. It's perfectly reasonable to refuse to buy DRMed products, as paradigmshifty suggests, and a good idea if we want to shape the market towards providing the products that we want. However, we have to make that decision at the time of purchase. We can't buy a DRMed product and then make demands beyond what we agreed to when we purchased, because we have no more rights than were agreed to at that time.

But I think consumers really should be a bit more aware of just what we are purchasing when we buy data products. We are buying a piece of data, which may be usable on many devices for a long time or may be limited in how it can be used. As a bonus, the provider may allow multiple downloads. But we aren't ever buying unlimited downloads forever, regardless of DRM.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower
This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall

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