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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    By selling most new e-books for $9.99, Amazon is setting a price that's too low for other competitors to match in a price war. If that eventually drives the competition away, Amazon (which is already projected to account for more than half of all U.S. book sales by the end of this year) would be essentially unchecked and able to set whatever prices it wants.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/11/tech/w...dmn_topstories

    At this point, Amazon doesn't care if it doesn't make as much profit on e-books and e-readers as it could; this is a longterm strategy designed to take over the market. Amazon has made no bones about this; when it started its own publishing house, the writing was on the wall. Amazon has also been quite open about planning to take over the tablet market in the next few years, which is why Apple is squarely in its sites and not Barnes and Noble. B&N will gradually fail, unless something drastic happens to save it, so Amazon isn't especially bothered. But Apple is a force to be reckoned with.
    Well, even if other (e)book retailers go out of business (which would be very bad indeed) publishers can still sell directly to readers and cut Amazon out of the process. The question is, do they want to? Because I think one effective way for publishers to deal with Amazon would be to sell titles DRM-free, so that Kindle owners won't be so tied to Amazon. People who want to pirate books will do so regardless of whether they have DRM or not, so why not remove it? Instead of pissing off readers with agency pricing, just make it easier for them to get their reading material elsewhere and not be locked to one device for all eternity.

    Though I suppose if Amazon felt threatened in that way, they may try to limit Kindles to the AZW format only. Not sure that would go over well with readers, however.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Well, even if other (e)book retailers go out of business (which would be very bad indeed) publishers can still sell directly to readers and cut Amazon out of the process. The question is, do they want to? Because I think one effective way for publishers to deal with Amazon would be to sell titles DRM-free, so that Kindle owners won't be so tied to Amazon. People who want to pirate books will do so regardless of whether they have DRM or not, so why not remove it? Instead of pissing off readers with agency pricing, just make it easier for them to get their reading material elsewhere and not be locked to one device for all eternity.

    Though I suppose if Amazon felt threatened in that way, they may try to limit Kindles to the AZW format only. Not sure that would go over well with readers, however.
    The problem isn't DRM. Even if all titles were sold without DRM, under the non-agency model, buyers are still going to buy from Amazon because they're cheaper. The only way they won't is if they buy a non-Kindle e-reading device. Amazon will almost always undercut other competitors prices if they can. So DRM or no DRM, book buyers are going to be looking for the cheapest price. Which in turn makes it more likely that they will buy a Kindle or buy from the Kindle store on their tablets and smartphones.

    Plus, Amazon already limits what books can be read on the Kindle. There is a reason why the Kindle can't read epub books. It effectively limits Kindle owners to the Kindle (and the very small number of retailers that sell non-DRM mobi files ) unless they want they know how to de-DRM their titles and then convert it to mobi on their own. Most e-reader owners don't know how to do this and they may not even know it's a possibility.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    The problem isn't DRM. Even if all titles were sold without DRM, under the non-agency model, buyers are still going to buy from Amazon because they're cheaper. The only way they won't is if they buy a non-Kindle e-reading device. Amazon will almost always undercut other competitors prices if they can. So DRM or no DRM, book buyers are going to be looking for the cheapest price. Which in turn makes it more likely that they will buy a Kindle or buy from the Kindle store on their tablets and smartphones.

    Plus, Amazon already limits what books can be read on the Kindle. There is a reason why the Kindle can't read epub books. It effectively limits Kindle owners to the Kindle (and the very small number of retailers that sell non-DRM mobi files ) unless they want they know how to de-DRM their titles and then convert it to mobi on their own. Most e-reader owners don't know how to do this and they may not even know it's a possibility.
    Amazon isn't necessarily the cheapest option. Take international readers: Amazon adds delivery charges to almost everything, but they don't let you see it, just lump it in with the total cost. It's generally a $2 charge per book, and if you're looking at deeply discounted titles, that can work out to more than the cost of the book. I've heard it can be even worse in Canada. So buying from them isn't necessarily the best option for many readers. I certainly try my best to get my reading material elsewhere, and I did that in my paper book days, too - do you know how much international shipping can cost?

    I'm not the most technologically savvy person - I don't have a tablet or a smartphone and don't know much about any sort of apps - but it didn't take me long to figure out how to convert other formats to mobi and to find out who's selling non-DRM books (Smashwords, I love you so). I really believe that consumers ultimately act in their own best interest, and if offered a viable alternative to Amazon, they'll take it . But this won't happen if the only thing you can buy outside of Amazon is DRMd ePub.

    But maybe that's just me?

    This is veering into very OT territory, but I'll just add that while I don't know how sales are going in the US, it seems like e-readers are becoming quite commonplace. Internationally, however... not as much. So there's a fairly untapped market, and it seems publishers, as well as some of Amazon's competitors, aren't doing a whole lot to reach it. Nooks aren't sold internationally; I believe you've said that Sony readers cost more. Lots of stuff is geoblocked - once I almost talked a friend into buying an e-reader, until she realized how many things she wouldn't be able to buy. I really think this is a missed opportunity: with movies, there's often more money to be made abroad than in the US, and the same might be true for e-readers and e-books. Maybe instead of trying to figure out how to make readers pay more, publishers and booksellers should focus on expanding their market and bringing in new readers.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Amazon isn't necessarily the cheapest option. Take international readers: Amazon adds delivery charges to almost everything, but they don't let you see it, just lump it in with the total cost. It's generally a $2 charge per book, and if you're looking at deeply discounted titles, that can work out to more than the cost of the book. I've heard it can be even worse in Canada. So buying from them isn't necessarily the best option for many readers. I certainly try my best to get my reading material elsewhere, and I did that in my paper book days, too - do you know how much international shipping can cost?

    I'm not the most technologically savvy person - I don't have a tablet or a smartphone and don't know much about any sort of apps - but it didn't take me long to figure out how to convert other formats to mobi and to find out who's selling non-DRM books (Smashwords, I love you so). I really believe that consumers ultimately act in their own best interest, and if offered a viable alternative to Amazon, they'll take it . But this won't happen if the only thing you can buy outside of Amazon is DRMd ePub.

    But maybe that's just me?

    This is veering into very OT territory, but I'll just add that while I don't know how sales are going in the US, it seems like e-readers are becoming quite commonplace. Internationally, however... not as much. So there's a fairly untapped market, and it seems publishers, as well as some of Amazon's competitors, aren't doing a whole lot to reach it. Nooks aren't sold internationally; I believe you've said that Sony readers cost more. Lots of stuff is geoblocked - once I almost talked a friend into buying an e-reader, until she realized how many things she wouldn't be able to buy. I really think this is a missed opportunity: with movies, there's often more money to be made abroad than in the US, and the same might be true for e-readers and e-books. Maybe instead of trying to figure out how to make readers pay more, publishers and booksellers should focus on expanding their market and bringing in new readers.
    I have to admit that my take is based on the American market. I've read on other forums that Amazon doesn't have as big a presence internationally as it does in the US.

    I get the sense when I talk to people about e-books that most have no idea about things like DRM. When they buy their Kindle or Nook, they just assume they're going to buy their books from Amazon, B&N, or Kobo. Some people buy the Nook so that they can purchase from a variety of stores and not just B&N. However, I don't think most people are aware of DRM and if they are, they may not really care. The only time they might care is if they switch e-readers. Then they may have to deal with stripping DRM and/or converting their e-books to a different format.

    In fact, the only people I've met who care about DRM are people online. I don't like DRM myself. I admit that when I buy a book, I strip the DRM right away. However, I don't think it's DRM that's causing Amazon to be the 800 pound gorilla in the book industry. Even if every ePub had no DRM, Amazon (in the US at least) would still find ways to undercut e-book costs, undercut p-book costs, bully indie publishers and now bully the big publishers. Right now, many book buyers aren't noticing it or caring because they like getting books cheap. In this US, this is where the issue lies. People like cheap books and Amazon usually tends to supply them. The agency model, while not perfect, was an attempt to keep Amazon from completely dominating the e-book market by undercutting costs. In fact, the publishers weren't really gaining anything from it. This isn't to say that it was a totally self less act on the part of the publishers. They do know, however, that if Amazon gets the overwhelming share of the book selling market, their days are numbered.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-574...-cost-so-much/
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    In fact, the only people I've met who care about DRM are people online.
    Librarians. Librarians hate DRM more than anyone.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Librarians. Librarians hate DRM more than anyone.
    Oh, I know. Librarians hate it like the plague (it sucks that Overdrive offers nothing but DRM-ed e-books ).

    They're the pretty much the only group besides hard core e-book lovers who seem to care about this issue or even know that it's an issue. I could be wrong (I don't have numbers to really know) but it seems like the general public really isn't all that aware about DRM and e-books. I didn't really know until I started looking for an e-reader. In fact, I initially wanted a Kindle but after reading about some of Amazon's less than savory practices as well as their proprietary format, that killed that option for me.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Um, Amazon wants to lower prices on e-books, not raise them. That's what this is all about. And while that sounds like it's a good thing for people who like to read e-books, it really isn't.

    By selling most new e-books for $9.99, Amazon is setting a price that's too low for other competitors to match in a price war. If that eventually drives the competition away, Amazon (which is already projected to account for more than half of all U.S. book sales by the end of this year) would be essentially unchecked and able to set whatever prices it wants.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/11/tech/w...dmn_topstories

    At this point, Amazon doesn't care if it doesn't make as much profit on e-books and e-readers as it could; this is a longterm strategy designed to take over the market. Amazon has made no bones about this; when it started its own publishing house, the writing was on the wall. Amazon has also been quite open about planning to take over the tablet market in the next few years, which is why Apple is squarely in its sites and not Barnes and Noble. B&N will gradually fail, unless something drastic happens to save it, so Amazon isn't especially bothered. But Apple is a force to be reckoned with.

    Don't get me wrong--Apple is . But Amazon is hardly an innocent victim being pushed around by a big, nasty bully. Amazon is bigger and just as mean, if not meaner.
    This. I read recently that Amazon sells the kindle for less than it costs them to manufacture them. Only a couple of dollars less, but still less.

    I usually check prices on the kindle app, nook app, and ibooks app (I have an iPad2), and usually the prices are the same or very close, IIRC. But I often buy from Amazon because I just like their store setup better, or because that's where I have a gift card balance. I may need to re-consider that.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    Oh, I know. Librarians hate it like the plague (it sucks that Overdrive offers nothing but DRM-ed e-books ).
    Overdrive sucks, period.

    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    They're the pretty much the only group besides hard core e-book lovers who seem to care about this issue or even know that it's an issue. I could be wrong (I don't have numbers to really know) but it seems like the general public really isn't all that aware about DRM and e-books. I didn't really know until I started looking for an e-reader. In fact, I initially wanted a Kindle but after reading about some of Amazon's less than savory practices as well as their proprietary format, that killed that option for me.
    I don't think people have ever understood DRM; it applies to downloaded music, too, and most people have no clue there, either. They think that if they buy a song, they own it. Not quite.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Overdrive sucks, period.



    I don't think people have ever understood DRM; it applies to downloaded music, too, and most people have no clue there, either. They think that if they buy a song, they own it. Not quite.
    But if you download a mps3 on to your computer, how would they get it back?

    I know Amanzon got into trouble selling the e-book version of fahrenheit 451, and they end up deleting it from your kindle and giving out a refund. But how can they do that with a mp3 file? If they can't take it away from you, don't you effectively own it?

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    At this point, Amazon doesn't care if it doesn't make as much profit on e-books and e-readers as it could; this is a longterm strategy designed to take over the market. Amazon has made no bones about this; when it started its own publishing house, the writing was on the wall. Amazon has also been quite open about planning to take over the tablet market in the next few years, which is why Apple is squarely in its sites and not Barnes and Noble. B&N will gradually fail, unless something drastic happens to save it, so Amazon isn't especially bothered. But Apple is a force to be reckoned with.

    Don't get me wrong--Apple is . But Amazon is hardly an innocent victim being pushed around by a big, nasty bully. Amazon is bigger and just as mean, if not meaner.
    Ah, you see this is why I am not cut out for the business world. I was naively thinking that maybe Amazon was just trying to be nicer to customers.
    Honestly though, I like the product they're selling. I also like the products Apple is selling. And even if they're both dicks, I'll still buy from them because they're giving me what I want. And if I was someone who happened to be more corporate savvy and gifted with strategy, I'd probably do the same thing they're trying to do.
    Last edited by Scintillation; 04-13-2012 at 06:05 AM.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by moojja View Post
    But if you download a mps3 on to your computer, how would they get it back?

    I know Amanzon got into trouble selling the e-book version of fahrenheit 451, and they end up deleting it from your kindle and giving out a refund. But how can they do that with a mp3 file? If they can't take it away from you, don't you effectively own it?
    If you owned it, it would be yours to do with as you will. But it is not.

    Take that mp3 file and give it to all your friends. If you owned it, you could do that. But you can be sued for doing that because you DON'T own it; you are simply entitled to listen to it. Ownership remains in the hands of the music company.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    If you owned it, it would be yours to do with as you will. But it is not.

    Take that mp3 file and give it to all your friends. If you owned it, you could do that. But you can be sued for doing that because you DON'T own it; you are simply entitled to listen to it. Ownership remains in the hands of the music company.
    Yes, but...if I bought a record, I can give it to one friend and that's it. I can't give it to all my friends, b/c there's only one record.

    To give out that mp3 to all my friends, I have to copy that mp3 file. In a way creating more files of an intellectual property that I don't own. And as online piracy shows, that doesn't stop most people.

    And sharing on a individual basis, giving out files on CDs, memory sticks, emails between friends are impossible to know, much less catch. Legally I do see you point, but for all practical purpose we own that file.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moojja View Post
    Yes, but...if I bought a record, I can give it to one friend and that's it. I can't give it to all my friends, b/c there's only one record.

    To give out that mp3 to all my friends, I have to copy that mp3 file. In a way creating more files of an intellectual property that I don't own. And as online piracy shows, that doesn't stop most people.
    Yes, I am aware of the music companies' arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by moojja View Post
    And sharing on a individual basis, giving out files on CDs, memory sticks, emails between friends are impossible to know, much less catc.
    It is, however, illegal, and people have been prosecuted and fined for doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by moojja View Post
    Legally I do see you point, but for all practical purpose we own that file.
    If you say so. But as your own post points out, not really.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    It is, however, illegal, and people have been prosecuted and fined for doing it.
    Sorry, but that is the part I'm having trouble with. I know people have been prosecuted and fined for uploading files to the web. But giving a friend a mp3 file, illegal or not, how would they be caught?

    ETA: For ebooks, I can understand why DRM is annoying. You can't move your books from Kindle to Nook without special softwares. But with mp3s DRM, why would a consumer care? What is the draw back?
    Last edited by moojja; 04-13-2012 at 09:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moojja View Post
    Sorry, but that is the part I'm having trouble with. I know people have been prosecuted and fined for uploading files to the web. But giving a friend a mp3 file, illegal or not, how would they be caught?
    People are always trying to do illegal things saying they would not be caught. That doesn't make what they are doing any less illegal.

    If you buy a book and give it to a friend or sell it in a garage sale, so what? But if you buy an mp3 file and give it to a friend or sell it, you have committed a crime. The fact that you are unlikely to be caught is only meaningful if you consider getting caught the issue.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    People are always trying to do illegal things saying they would not be caught. That doesn't make what they are doing any less illegal.

    ... The fact that you are unlikely to be caught is only meaningful if you consider getting caught the issue.
    My father used to remind all of his children that the prisons were full of people who never intended to get caught.
    If this is to end in fire
    Then we will all burn together

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    Resurrecting this thread to post the latest developments in the e-reader/tablet war:

    Microsoft takes on Apple, invests $300 million in Nook biz

    I'm actually not thrilled about this, not because I fear Windows (Windows 8 is actually supposed to be very good), but because Microsoft is quite ruthless about dropping anything that doesn't produce profit fast enough to suit them.

    But if nothing else, this should make the Nook's longterm prospects at least somewhat better than it was before. And maybe the bookstores can float a little longer.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    ^^^ I saw this too. I can't decide if it is good or bad. I think Amazon has such a huge chunk in the market MS is not going to be able to grab much. As to Windows 8.....I spent a lot of money on Vista (which came before Windows 7) and it positively stank.

    Windows 7 is great, but is not backward compatible for a lot of stuff. (Just had to buy new printers). It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    ^^^ I saw this too. I can't decide if it is good or bad. I think Amazon has such a huge chunk in the market MS is not going to be able to grab much.
    MS isn't going after the e-reader market; it's going after the tablet market, specifically after Apple. Amazon also has plans for the tablet market and Apple. It will be interesting to see how Apple manages without Steve Jobs.

    People who like the plain e-ink readers are considered a marginal market; no one is particularly interested in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    Windows 7 is great, but is not backward compatible for a lot of stuff. (Just had to buy new printers). It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.
    Backwards compatibility is one of the things that has caused Windows so much trouble with new systems; writing the kind of enormous programs that worked with everything meant that there was greater possibility of glitches and security gaps. Windows 7 was designed to be very secure, so the programming is much tighter. It's too secure for me. My husband says the advance buzz on the new Windows system is that it's really great, but I've heard that one before.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    What I've heard is that the "Metro" interface of Windows 8 is very nicely designed and will be great on tablets, but might not work as great on regular computers and it's a bit jarring to switch between it and the traditional desktop UI. It'll definitely be interesting to see how it ends up and whether it can help catapult Windows Phone.

    For those of us with Nooks, let's hope Microsoft treats it like the XBox. They can dig in and support something with losses for a long time when they want to...

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