News

Major Dutch publisher abandons DRM

De Arbeiderspers/A W Bruna, the largest publisher in the Netherlands, has removed DRM from its e-books for the first time.

All of the publisher's e-books, aside from those sold via the iBooks store, will be sold with a watermark attached rather than any DRM system.

Without Adobe DRM attached, customers will be able to download their e-books on to any device, including phones, tablets and dedicated e-readers. People will also be able to share books.

The watermark will mean that any copies of the book which are spread online can be traced back to the original source.

De Arbeiderspers/A W Bruna currently has 1,200 e-books available, and plans to digitise more of its backlist in 2013.

Paul Auster, Michel Houllebecq, Frederick Forsyth and Ian Fleming are among the authors with e-books on the publisher's lists.

C.e.o. Joop Boezeman said: "Digital or paper books, we are proud of the story that is told within the book. This means that the digital form should also be an attractive offering. With watermarking, we are one more step in the right direction."
 

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The Piracy sites are very happy today as Bruna removes DRM.

Since so many Dutch books do well in English I wonder how British publishers will react to this decision.

Agency's should take a hard look at selling books to publishers who go DRM free. Especially when it will impact markets outside the domain of a publisher. It is one thing for a buyer of of a printed book to share it with a handful of people. It is an entirely different matter making the work available to be shared with thousands of readers across the globe for free.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on FaceBook.
www.tridentmediagroup.com

That's assuming that DRM somehow prevents people from copying ebooks. Unfortunately it doesn't. All it does is inconvenience the paying customer.

Matt Stephens
www.fingerpress.co.uk

Why should it cause inconvenience for the customer unless the plan is to share the book with a lot of people. After all how many more devices does the customer intend to use after reading the book? Additionally, any thing that creates another hurdle for piracy to deal with is a good thing. In all of these discussions some one has to think about the author's interest not just the consumer.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on Facebook
www.tridentmediagroup.com

Trouble is, it isn't much of a hurdle, it's more like a small picket fence to hop gently over. And at what cost -- effectively telling a genuine paying customer that you don't trust him/her; preventing them from reading the book they've paid for on a device of their choosing.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, someone who goes to one of the 'piracy sites' can grab a free copy, already stripped of its DRM, and read the book with all the convenience that the paying customer should have had.

Piracy is definitely a problem, but DRM just isn't a very good solution. Learning to trust your customers is a good start, as the people buying your books aren't the ones who are downloading them for free.

This is such a fascinating area...and one of often sharply contrasting opinions depending on where and who you are in the ebook lifecycle.

Why not come along to our BIC Battle No.2: The "DRM v DRM-free" Debate?
It's on 4th March, in London at the RSA.

More information can be found here: http://bicbattle2.eventbrite.co.uk/

Karina Luke
Executive Director
Book Industry Communication
Twitter: @bic1uk

In my mind any hurdle is a good one. Any effort to stop piracy is a good one. DRM is by one means the only way to deal with Piracy. It is an arrow in the quiver. It is like say do alarms stop robberies? Well not all but they are certainly a bump in the road for those that try.

This is not a "trust" matter and turning it into that discussion is side stepping a very serious matter. You have every right to your point of view and can feel as you may.

The vast majority of ebook buyers don't have more than one device to start with.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on Facebook
www.tridentmediagroup.com

Are you sure you mean 'any' hurdle? Many people I've spoken to feel alienated by DRM; there's a sense that it's just a miserable technology, not good for the vendor-client relationship - ie. it does more harm than good.

Trust is right at the centre of this, I wouldn't say it's a side-issue at all. The people who are (easily) stripping ebooks of their DRM and uploading them to piracy sites are not the same people as the ones buying the books. Why punish your customers, when the DRM "solution" is so ineffective anyway? It comes down to a lack of trust, the assumption that if someone wants to read a book in a different e-reader app on their smartphone (for example), or back-up their library, then they must be up to no good.

"The vast majority of ebook buyers don't have more than one device to start with."
- I doubt it. E-ink reader, smartphone, PC, tablet. An increasing number of people will have some combination of these. The choice of when and in what format to read an ebook should be with the person who purchased it.

What's needed is better DRM, not no DRM, and it will happen. Bots are already out there tracking illegal downloading sites and operators are receiving jail sentences of around four years plus massive fines. This will be extended to the public at some time. Download illegally and a fine will automatically be added to the card used to pay your internet bill.

However publishers will soon be in the same boat a self-publishers. Publishers have never done much to publicise books, their clout has always been the ability to get titles onto retail bookshelves and authors onto chat shows, if they are lucky. Apparently Random House's budget for Fifty Shades was just £3000, which they spent getting the word out virally.

It's only a question of time before retail booksellers go the way of HMV and what will publishers do then to get their new authors off the ground? They will do what self published authors do, sell ebooks at 99p to get the ball rolling. It will then be only a question of time before authors realise they might just as well do it all themselves, maybe with the help of online editors. The object will be to pocket what little they can from selling books in the hope of selling the film rights if, like Fifty Shades, their work becomes a hit, generating the publicity, which Hollywood can buy into.

With 220,000 ebooks and rising, being published a year, writing a book is no longer the biggest challenge. Getting noticed is the big trick and not something publishers historically have been much good at. In the past they have preferred to leave all that messy, expensive stuff to the author.

http://www.darcyblaze.com/

I'm sorry, Matt, but this idea that DRM restricts access for a legitimate purchaser is a complete myth. With Adobe DRM, your account can cover six desktop computers and six mobile devices.

If this isn't enough, and you can afford more than 12 such devices in your home, then I'd suggest that you could actually afford to buy another copy of the e-book. After all, if you buy a print copy, you don't expect it to morph into a dozen copies, which is effectively what a single purchase of a DRM title provides you with..... while at least giving the author some protection against the pirating. Something is better than nothing.

Watermarking may be the way forward - but who is going to enforce and police it?

Traditional (Adobe) DRM on ebooks works counterproductive. Simply put: it does not stop piracy, it stops sales.

DRM frustrates consumers. Not only because of the cumbersome and unreliable registration process involved, but also because of the inability to share the same ebook with your partner or family. And more and more people DO have more devices: a smartphone for on the road and one or more tablets and or ereaders for more convenient reading.

Only in a closed ecosystem, like Amazon is offering with Kindle, DRM can be used without these issues. But offering ebooks only through Amazon is not enough for publishers opering worldwide and on local markets. And a closed ecosystem has several other negative side effects for the end user, like the possibility to loose your own ebooks if the shop stops supporting them. In this comment, I am talking about Adobe DRM and ebooks in the world wide epub standard.

From a business perspective, security has to be part of a strategy that also involves broad availability, low prices, very easy to use web shops and the simultaneously release of paper and ebook formats worldwide. True, this is something not all publishers can handle right now. But it is essential to focus on the modern consumer. Selling directly to the end user might also be part of this strategy.

Since Adobe DRM is easy to remove on downloaded ebooks and the license is not exactly cheap, it is a bad decision to keep on using it. You are just throwing money away, I think.

But don't get me wrong, off course you still need to protect the rights of the author and publisher. For epub downloads, just offering 'unprotected' ebooks is a bridge too far for most publishers (but not all, see O'Reilly).
With watermarking and personalisation (aka Social DRM), a publisher can offer a consumer and budget friendly compromise that has with some interesting security features. A perfect example of this approach is shown by Pottermore.

Yes, watermarked and personalised ebooks can be copied. But since they contain visible and invisible data about the customer, the end user knows that he is taking a risk when spreading the ebook. The watermarks can be used to trace an ebook back to the consumer, but they don't block the usage in any way.

And for anyone that thinks removing watermarks is just as easy a removing DRM: it isn't. The basic reason is that you cannot be sure that all traces have been removed, because you cannot test it. With Adobe DRM, you can test if the DRM is removed, because in that case the ebook can be read on any device. But a watermarked ebook already could be read on any device and it doesn't need any client software to 'unlock' it. Furthermore, there are several different watermarking algorithms around, and they can change at any moment, without the user knowing. (With Adobe DRM, any change in their algorithm results in an update of their Digital Editions software and needs a firmware update on all supported devices). So everything you know today about a specific watermarking solution might be outdated tomorrow.

Summing up, watermarking is the perfect mix between secure and user friendly, when combined with the strategy mentioned above. That is the reason why 74% of the 20000 Dutch ebooks are now available this way.

Huub van de Pol
Icontact, creators of BooXtream
Social DRM to the Max
www.booxtream.com

There's a key distinction here, between publishers - who usually have a relatively long list of titles to sell, set against individual professional authors who may be producing just one or two books a year, and are much more dependent on sales of those books for their income.

Basically, publishers can afford to lose some would-be sales to pirates, whereas professional authors cannot, and the situation is being made worse when major trade list publishers such as Penguin seemingly do very little if anything to protect their author's interests when it comes to combating piracy, even when it is pointed out to them.

Well, actually, DRM restricts my ability to read the books I purchase on the app or ereader of my choice. I like iOS ereaders like Stanza and Marvin, and when I buy a Kindle, iBooks or Adobe title I strip the DRM so that I can read it in an app that allows me the typographical control that I want. (Adobe Digital Editions, in particular, is a horrible program.)

I find the justifications for DRM nonsensical. Someone who wants a pirate copy of a book for free will download a DRM-free version which took the original pirate about 20 seconds to prepare. Someone who already owns a paid-for book they want to share is only a minute of googling away from how to do it.

DRM advocates have been forced to shift their ground to the argument that DRM prevents 'casual sharing' - i.e. the kind of lending of books among friends and family that we have tolerated for years in print. The idea is that the extra technical challenge of stripping the DRM is what dissuades your auntie from attempting it. But removing it is only one extra step in the overall scheme - if someone is savvy enough about tech to be able to actually *find* their ebooks by browsing their ereader or computer file system, the added challenge of removing the DRM is no speed bump at all. The thing people are worried about - sharing - is actually just as difficult, if not more difficult, than cracking the file.

For customers who don't have the intent or expertise to share an ebook, DRM or not, all this does is lock them in to retailers who may be working against the interests of publishers.

The suggestion that 'pirate sites will be celebrating' this move seems bizarre to me, as the presence of DRM has never prevented books from showing up there. I see anti-piracy schemes which take down scores of links every day with absolutely no impact on the general availability of a given title being monitored.

Furthermore, we have never been provided with any kind of research or risk assessment as to the impact of piracy or removing DRM. We don't know what impact it has. I look forward to stats from Macmillan before too long suggesting that going DRM-free hasn't hurt their sales in the least.

On the issue of watermarking - this is often touted as a less obstructive method of policing copyright, but it won't work. All you need to break a watermarking scheme is two differently watermarked copies of the ebook, and you then have the ability to remove the markers and upload it to pirate sites.

"In my mind any hurdle is a good one. Any effort to stop piracy is a good one. DRM is by one means the only way to deal with Piracy. It is an arrow in the quiver. It is like say do alarms stop robberies? Well not all but they are certainly a bump in the road for those that try."

..see, this, to me, is not a good argument at all.

We don't know what the effects of piracy are, so saying 'anything is justified' is itself unjustifiable. We're living with unfettered ebook piracy as it is, and still making money.

Clearly 'any hurdle' isn't a good one. I could completely solve the problem of burglaries by encasing my house in a steel safe that requires a ninety-digit combination lock to open, but it would be really inconvenient for everyone. Instead we go for a trade-off between efficacy and convenience. We go for the burglar alarm instead.

The analogy breaks down when you consider that protecting against burglars is at least technically feasible; but no form of DRM can protect information which can be processed by the eyes and the brain. Even before the ebook era people were pirating ebooks simply by scanning or transcribing them. Elaborate DRM schemes are just Quixotic attempts to put a big steel door on a canvas tent with holes in the sides.

You missed my point previously - going DRM-free may not hurt a publisher's sales as they have thousands of titles, so the impact is less pronounced, but it can have much more serious impact on an individual author producing one or two titles a year, when their work is consistently pirated.

I don't know why we use this euphemism of 'pirated' anyway, instead of saying 'stolen', because that is what is happening. The use of DRM has the added benefit of sending out a clear message than unlawful copying is wrong.

Fred, I didn't miss your point, but where is your evidence to show that piracy has any negative impact at all on anyone, big or small? Or indeed, to go back to the original article, that removing DRM leads to more piracy? These are just question-begging assumptions until you have data to back it up.

On the piracy/theft issue, this is the most boring and persistent argument on the internet, but copyright infringement and theft are clearly *legally* distinct. One is a crime, and the other is a civil tort. One deprives the owner of property, one doesn't. You could argue that they are morally equivalent - you could argue that file-sharing deprives the copyright owner of revenue from potential sales - but again, you can't really do that until you can prove that effect even happens.

If you want to send a message about the morality of piracy/file-sharing/theft, whatever you want to call it, DRM is a pretty terrible way of doing it, as it has a range of other effects that annoy customers like me. With DRM your ebook library is fragmented by retailer, or you're tied to just one. It can't be backed up; access to your property can be revoked at any time by the retailer (see the recent Amazon debacle, with the woman whose account was blocked.) And at least part of the message you're sending to your customers is "We don't trust you with your property, so we're retaining control over it." All this irritates me enough that the first thing I do when I buy a book is to remove the DRM.

I trust Adobe is paying attention to this.

The Piracy sites are very happy today as Bruna removes DRM.

Since so many Dutch books do well in English I wonder how British publishers will react to this decision.

Agency's should take a hard look at selling books to publishers who go DRM free. Especially when it will impact markets outside the domain of a publisher. It is one thing for a buyer of of a printed book to share it with a handful of people. It is an entirely different matter making the work available to be shared with thousands of readers across the globe for free.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on FaceBook.
www.tridentmediagroup.com

That's assuming that DRM somehow prevents people from copying ebooks. Unfortunately it doesn't. All it does is inconvenience the paying customer.

Matt Stephens
www.fingerpress.co.uk

Why should it cause inconvenience for the customer unless the plan is to share the book with a lot of people. After all how many more devices does the customer intend to use after reading the book? Additionally, any thing that creates another hurdle for piracy to deal with is a good thing. In all of these discussions some one has to think about the author's interest not just the consumer.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on Facebook
www.tridentmediagroup.com

Trouble is, it isn't much of a hurdle, it's more like a small picket fence to hop gently over. And at what cost -- effectively telling a genuine paying customer that you don't trust him/her; preventing them from reading the book they've paid for on a device of their choosing.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, someone who goes to one of the 'piracy sites' can grab a free copy, already stripped of its DRM, and read the book with all the convenience that the paying customer should have had.

Piracy is definitely a problem, but DRM just isn't a very good solution. Learning to trust your customers is a good start, as the people buying your books aren't the ones who are downloading them for free.

In my mind any hurdle is a good one. Any effort to stop piracy is a good one. DRM is by one means the only way to deal with Piracy. It is an arrow in the quiver. It is like say do alarms stop robberies? Well not all but they are certainly a bump in the road for those that try.

This is not a "trust" matter and turning it into that discussion is side stepping a very serious matter. You have every right to your point of view and can feel as you may.

The vast majority of ebook buyers don't have more than one device to start with.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on Facebook
www.tridentmediagroup.com

This is such a fascinating area...and one of often sharply contrasting opinions depending on where and who you are in the ebook lifecycle.

Why not come along to our BIC Battle No.2: The "DRM v DRM-free" Debate?
It's on 4th March, in London at the RSA.

More information can be found here: http://bicbattle2.eventbrite.co.uk/

Karina Luke
Executive Director
Book Industry Communication
Twitter: @bic1uk

Are you sure you mean 'any' hurdle? Many people I've spoken to feel alienated by DRM; there's a sense that it's just a miserable technology, not good for the vendor-client relationship - ie. it does more harm than good.

Trust is right at the centre of this, I wouldn't say it's a side-issue at all. The people who are (easily) stripping ebooks of their DRM and uploading them to piracy sites are not the same people as the ones buying the books. Why punish your customers, when the DRM "solution" is so ineffective anyway? It comes down to a lack of trust, the assumption that if someone wants to read a book in a different e-reader app on their smartphone (for example), or back-up their library, then they must be up to no good.

"The vast majority of ebook buyers don't have more than one device to start with."
- I doubt it. E-ink reader, smartphone, PC, tablet. An increasing number of people will have some combination of these. The choice of when and in what format to read an ebook should be with the person who purchased it.

I'm sorry, Matt, but this idea that DRM restricts access for a legitimate purchaser is a complete myth. With Adobe DRM, your account can cover six desktop computers and six mobile devices.

If this isn't enough, and you can afford more than 12 such devices in your home, then I'd suggest that you could actually afford to buy another copy of the e-book. After all, if you buy a print copy, you don't expect it to morph into a dozen copies, which is effectively what a single purchase of a DRM title provides you with..... while at least giving the author some protection against the pirating. Something is better than nothing.

Watermarking may be the way forward - but who is going to enforce and police it?

Well, actually, DRM restricts my ability to read the books I purchase on the app or ereader of my choice. I like iOS ereaders like Stanza and Marvin, and when I buy a Kindle, iBooks or Adobe title I strip the DRM so that I can read it in an app that allows me the typographical control that I want. (Adobe Digital Editions, in particular, is a horrible program.)

I find the justifications for DRM nonsensical. Someone who wants a pirate copy of a book for free will download a DRM-free version which took the original pirate about 20 seconds to prepare. Someone who already owns a paid-for book they want to share is only a minute of googling away from how to do it.

DRM advocates have been forced to shift their ground to the argument that DRM prevents 'casual sharing' - i.e. the kind of lending of books among friends and family that we have tolerated for years in print. The idea is that the extra technical challenge of stripping the DRM is what dissuades your auntie from attempting it. But removing it is only one extra step in the overall scheme - if someone is savvy enough about tech to be able to actually *find* their ebooks by browsing their ereader or computer file system, the added challenge of removing the DRM is no speed bump at all. The thing people are worried about - sharing - is actually just as difficult, if not more difficult, than cracking the file.

For customers who don't have the intent or expertise to share an ebook, DRM or not, all this does is lock them in to retailers who may be working against the interests of publishers.

The suggestion that 'pirate sites will be celebrating' this move seems bizarre to me, as the presence of DRM has never prevented books from showing up there. I see anti-piracy schemes which take down scores of links every day with absolutely no impact on the general availability of a given title being monitored.

Furthermore, we have never been provided with any kind of research or risk assessment as to the impact of piracy or removing DRM. We don't know what impact it has. I look forward to stats from Macmillan before too long suggesting that going DRM-free hasn't hurt their sales in the least.

On the issue of watermarking - this is often touted as a less obstructive method of policing copyright, but it won't work. All you need to break a watermarking scheme is two differently watermarked copies of the ebook, and you then have the ability to remove the markers and upload it to pirate sites.

You missed my point previously - going DRM-free may not hurt a publisher's sales as they have thousands of titles, so the impact is less pronounced, but it can have much more serious impact on an individual author producing one or two titles a year, when their work is consistently pirated.

I don't know why we use this euphemism of 'pirated' anyway, instead of saying 'stolen', because that is what is happening. The use of DRM has the added benefit of sending out a clear message than unlawful copying is wrong.

Fred, I didn't miss your point, but where is your evidence to show that piracy has any negative impact at all on anyone, big or small? Or indeed, to go back to the original article, that removing DRM leads to more piracy? These are just question-begging assumptions until you have data to back it up.

On the piracy/theft issue, this is the most boring and persistent argument on the internet, but copyright infringement and theft are clearly *legally* distinct. One is a crime, and the other is a civil tort. One deprives the owner of property, one doesn't. You could argue that they are morally equivalent - you could argue that file-sharing deprives the copyright owner of revenue from potential sales - but again, you can't really do that until you can prove that effect even happens.

If you want to send a message about the morality of piracy/file-sharing/theft, whatever you want to call it, DRM is a pretty terrible way of doing it, as it has a range of other effects that annoy customers like me. With DRM your ebook library is fragmented by retailer, or you're tied to just one. It can't be backed up; access to your property can be revoked at any time by the retailer (see the recent Amazon debacle, with the woman whose account was blocked.) And at least part of the message you're sending to your customers is "We don't trust you with your property, so we're retaining control over it." All this irritates me enough that the first thing I do when I buy a book is to remove the DRM.

What's needed is better DRM, not no DRM, and it will happen. Bots are already out there tracking illegal downloading sites and operators are receiving jail sentences of around four years plus massive fines. This will be extended to the public at some time. Download illegally and a fine will automatically be added to the card used to pay your internet bill.

However publishers will soon be in the same boat a self-publishers. Publishers have never done much to publicise books, their clout has always been the ability to get titles onto retail bookshelves and authors onto chat shows, if they are lucky. Apparently Random House's budget for Fifty Shades was just £3000, which they spent getting the word out virally.

It's only a question of time before retail booksellers go the way of HMV and what will publishers do then to get their new authors off the ground? They will do what self published authors do, sell ebooks at 99p to get the ball rolling. It will then be only a question of time before authors realise they might just as well do it all themselves, maybe with the help of online editors. The object will be to pocket what little they can from selling books in the hope of selling the film rights if, like Fifty Shades, their work becomes a hit, generating the publicity, which Hollywood can buy into.

With 220,000 ebooks and rising, being published a year, writing a book is no longer the biggest challenge. Getting noticed is the big trick and not something publishers historically have been much good at. In the past they have preferred to leave all that messy, expensive stuff to the author.

http://www.darcyblaze.com/

Traditional (Adobe) DRM on ebooks works counterproductive. Simply put: it does not stop piracy, it stops sales.

DRM frustrates consumers. Not only because of the cumbersome and unreliable registration process involved, but also because of the inability to share the same ebook with your partner or family. And more and more people DO have more devices: a smartphone for on the road and one or more tablets and or ereaders for more convenient reading.

Only in a closed ecosystem, like Amazon is offering with Kindle, DRM can be used without these issues. But offering ebooks only through Amazon is not enough for publishers opering worldwide and on local markets. And a closed ecosystem has several other negative side effects for the end user, like the possibility to loose your own ebooks if the shop stops supporting them. In this comment, I am talking about Adobe DRM and ebooks in the world wide epub standard.

From a business perspective, security has to be part of a strategy that also involves broad availability, low prices, very easy to use web shops and the simultaneously release of paper and ebook formats worldwide. True, this is something not all publishers can handle right now. But it is essential to focus on the modern consumer. Selling directly to the end user might also be part of this strategy.

Since Adobe DRM is easy to remove on downloaded ebooks and the license is not exactly cheap, it is a bad decision to keep on using it. You are just throwing money away, I think.

But don't get me wrong, off course you still need to protect the rights of the author and publisher. For epub downloads, just offering 'unprotected' ebooks is a bridge too far for most publishers (but not all, see O'Reilly).
With watermarking and personalisation (aka Social DRM), a publisher can offer a consumer and budget friendly compromise that has with some interesting security features. A perfect example of this approach is shown by Pottermore.

Yes, watermarked and personalised ebooks can be copied. But since they contain visible and invisible data about the customer, the end user knows that he is taking a risk when spreading the ebook. The watermarks can be used to trace an ebook back to the consumer, but they don't block the usage in any way.

And for anyone that thinks removing watermarks is just as easy a removing DRM: it isn't. The basic reason is that you cannot be sure that all traces have been removed, because you cannot test it. With Adobe DRM, you can test if the DRM is removed, because in that case the ebook can be read on any device. But a watermarked ebook already could be read on any device and it doesn't need any client software to 'unlock' it. Furthermore, there are several different watermarking algorithms around, and they can change at any moment, without the user knowing. (With Adobe DRM, any change in their algorithm results in an update of their Digital Editions software and needs a firmware update on all supported devices). So everything you know today about a specific watermarking solution might be outdated tomorrow.

Summing up, watermarking is the perfect mix between secure and user friendly, when combined with the strategy mentioned above. That is the reason why 74% of the 20000 Dutch ebooks are now available this way.

Huub van de Pol
Icontact, creators of BooXtream
Social DRM to the Max
www.booxtream.com

There's a key distinction here, between publishers - who usually have a relatively long list of titles to sell, set against individual professional authors who may be producing just one or two books a year, and are much more dependent on sales of those books for their income.

Basically, publishers can afford to lose some would-be sales to pirates, whereas professional authors cannot, and the situation is being made worse when major trade list publishers such as Penguin seemingly do very little if anything to protect their author's interests when it comes to combating piracy, even when it is pointed out to them.

"In my mind any hurdle is a good one. Any effort to stop piracy is a good one. DRM is by one means the only way to deal with Piracy. It is an arrow in the quiver. It is like say do alarms stop robberies? Well not all but they are certainly a bump in the road for those that try."

..see, this, to me, is not a good argument at all.

We don't know what the effects of piracy are, so saying 'anything is justified' is itself unjustifiable. We're living with unfettered ebook piracy as it is, and still making money.

Clearly 'any hurdle' isn't a good one. I could completely solve the problem of burglaries by encasing my house in a steel safe that requires a ninety-digit combination lock to open, but it would be really inconvenient for everyone. Instead we go for a trade-off between efficacy and convenience. We go for the burglar alarm instead.

The analogy breaks down when you consider that protecting against burglars is at least technically feasible; but no form of DRM can protect information which can be processed by the eyes and the brain. Even before the ebook era people were pirating ebooks simply by scanning or transcribing them. Elaborate DRM schemes are just Quixotic attempts to put a big steel door on a canvas tent with holes in the sides.

I trust Adobe is paying attention to this.