Feb. 22nd, 2010

ecreegan: glass ball on checkerboard (Default)
Looking at my journal after reading the previous post, I realize I never posted anything about the birth of my son.

Robert Vincent Creegan was born in Beth Israel hospital at 5:45 on 7/30/2009.  He is presently scooting around in his beloved walker and playing pick-up-the-toy with his mother.  More generally, he's healthy, happy, and interactive.
ecreegan: glass ball on checkerboard (Default)

I mentioned in an earlier post that Amazon had lost a lot of sales to me by using DRM. Yes, I've bought ebooks from Amazon: when that was the only source I knew of, or when very pregnant/on maternity leave and didn't want to leave the house, or when I was sure I wouldn't want to reread the book, or when I just plain wanted the next book in a series right now. Generally, I won't buy ebooks from Amazon due to their DRM; I find it appalling. (I knew this when I bought my Kindle and decided it was worth it anyway, which I still think it was.)

Not that I object to all DRM. When I'm leasing content (e.g. Netflix view-on-demand, or a library book, or arrangements of that type) I think DRM is entirely appropriate, to enforce the temporary nature of your usage rights.

Nor do I object to watermarks. Okay, if my file escapes into the wild the rights-owner knows where it came from. I have no problem with this. Okay, if my computer or Kindle get stolen my name is effectively on the stolen files, but -- hey, my computer got stolen. (Or hacked, or whatever.)

I'm less than happy with files that get unlocked with your credit card number, like Barnes & Nobles Nook books reputedly are, but I consider it within bounds of acceptability if well-done. Effectively the book is watermarked in a way that makes you unlikely to be willing to hand out the unlock key. It's a nuisance, but enough of a minor one to be acceptable. My concern would be that the book could get hacked (hey, it's only a 16-digit code) and your credit card thereby derived; if the security code and expiration date aren't also embedded, this is bad but acceptable.

I don't consider DRM which tries to lock content to a device or set of devices to be acceptable. In the electronic age, devices are temporary -- maybe they last two years, maybe they last ten years, but they get replaced. I don't want to have to replace my library when I replace my Kindle (happened once already.) Most DRM schemes let you use up to X keys, but that only postpones the problem; it doesn't avoid it. This scheme of DRM sells you a indefinitely-to-long-term lease on a piece of content, charging an actual purchase price and pretending that it's a purchase. Not good.

Amazon's DRM adds the additional sin of being proprietary, though at least they've started producing players for some media (Windows boxes, iPhones.)

So my money goes to Webscriptions or Fictionwise, and I download free content. Considering Smashwords and Closed Circle, maybe Catherynne Valente's novels, for future purchases. Sometimes looking for other sources I can consider financially rewarding for producing acceptable products. The thing is, I don't always want to search through multiple publishers and distributors - sometimes it can be a fun hunt, much like looking through used book stores, but sometimes I just want the widest variety, even at higher prices. The closest thing I know of to that is Amazon's Kindle books, and it annoys me that their product comes locked to up-to-six Amazon-approved devices.

(And comments are disabled, as this is ancient and I'm just getting spam.)


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