I’m a hack and proud of it

Yesterday a link popped out at me on Facebook that had me shaking my head. It’s a Q&A with Harlan Ellison. I’ll admit feeling a wide range of emotions as I read it: incredulity, frustration, anger and once or twice agreement. But, more often than not, my head exploded, at least metaphorically speaking, on a couple of occasions. I know the man relishes his role as trouble-maker. But he also shows, in my opinion, just how out of touch he is not only with the current state of the industry but also with the reading public as a whole.

As you go through the interview, you’ll come to a question where Ellison is asked what he thinks about writers giving away their work for free. He had this to say:

I think any writer who gives away his work demeans himself, demeans the craft, demeans the art, and demeans the buyer. It is not only caveat emptor, it is caveat lector. I don’t mean to be crude when I say this, but I won’t take a piss unless I’m paid properly.

Yep, that boom you heard was my head exploding.

Don’t get me wrong. I want to be paid for my work. Writing is work, hard work, as anyone who is trying to make it in the business will tell you. But there are reasons to give away your work on occasion. It’s called promotion. It is a way to get push and push is a necessary evil in our business. From my own experience, I’ve seen sales increase after putting a title up for free for a few days on Amazon. Sure, I’d love to get paid for every free download. But I see the end result: all my titles selling better for at least a while after the give away of one title. More than that, look at the example of the Baen Free Library. That is an example of just how free can work to propel whole series.

Ellison goes on to say this:

. . . that’s what writers are supposed to do, afflict the contented. But most of them don’t. Most of them just want to tell a story, and I guess that’s a noble endeavour in and of itself, to tell a story. Storytellers can be teachers, like Aristotle, or they can just be storytellers like – I don’t know, who’s writing the trash these days? I don’t know who’s writing trash over there where you are, but whoever it is, you pick the name, put it in for me.

Aren’t we just full of ourselves? Under Ellison’s criteria, I write trash and am, therefore, a hack. Why? Because I’m not out there to cause trouble with my work or to “afflict the contented”. Not every book or story has to do that, at least not in my opinion. I’d much rather write an entertaining book with characters my readers care for — and, along the way give my characters traits that are admirable or, in the case of the villain, not so much — than to beat the reader over the head with some message. There are times when subtlety can be much more effective than a sledgehammer.

But then, I am one of those who write the trash Ellison condemns.

But, as with all things, there are levels of trash — or trashy. If you haven’t seen the latest in the dangers of having your work plagiarized, check out this post. And check out how the culprit reacted. Let me put it this way, she’s lucky she didn’t steal something of mine and put her name on it. If I’d have found out, being called out on Twitter and other social media sites would be the least of her worry. I have a lawyer and I’m not afraid of using him.

Finally, in the lowest of low trash — DRM — there is this story. As a reader, I hate DRM. I like being able to buy a book and loan it to my mother or my son. They have their own e-readers and their own accounts for the e-readers. I can buy a hard copy of a book and do that. So why can’t I do that with an e-book, especially when that e-book costs almost as much as the printed version?

As an author, this potential new DRM appalls me. The program will change words in the manuscript — yep, you got that right. It will change the words I wrote as the the author — to be able to track an e-book back to its original owner. One example given in the article is that the word “invisible” could be changed to “not visible”. That change could be huge, depending on the context and flow of the sentence and paragraph. It can make a sentence that flows into something clunky enough to startle the reader out of the story.

It can also change the order of words in a sentence.

WTF?!?

Any publisher who applies this sort of DRM to a book deserves to be flogged not only by the readers buying the book but also by the author. So, authors, keep your eyes open and make sure your publishers are not going to this new tech. For the love of Pete, if you value your work, don’t let this happen to it.

And if anyone believes legacy publishers are finally beginning to see the light about DRM and understand that it is nothing more than an expensive but hated and ineffective means to prevent piracy, read the last paragraph of the article. Publishers have expressed an interest in this new technology because they’ve learned that standard DRM can be broken. So they want to find a way to lock down e-books even more.

Bastiches.

61 comments

  1. Huh! One of my few memories of cons was a con in I think Kansas City years ago. Part of the show was that Harlan Ellison erected a plastic teepee in the lobby, and set up his typewriter there. He was going to write a story, live! And in fact, he did write a story, taping pages up so we could all read them as he went. Sold it, too, but that was after the fact. During the con, we could all read “over his shoulder” for free! Part of what I remember is that while this was supposed to be a new story, written on the spot, I noticed that he had an old ratty lab notebook that he hauled out and leafed through from time to time. I always wondered what was in that notebook. Anyway, back then, Harlan was not above giving his work away for free… Thanks for reminding me!

    1. Well, that doesn’t count, Mike. He wasn’t letting you HAVE the pages…or maybe his rules apply to everyone but him.

  2. WHY does he think the purpose of writing is to afflict the contented? When the Odyssey was told after a banquet, was to afflict the contended? Or to create inspiration and dream, to point to something larger than most people would ever experience. HEAVEN HELP US, what leftist boomer twaddle, one of a piece with “we’re the generation that changed everything (and they’re right. Other generations welcomed heroes with parades, not by spitting on them.) What self-centered WORTHLESS ambition. Writing can make you dream or aspire, make you better than yourself, give you a place to escape when life is unbearable. Reading can save your life in a tough spot. And yet this little man thinks his purpose is to make people writhe in discomfort. What a terribly limited, mean vision. Dangerous visions? I think not. Sanctimonious Visions more like. And of course, the “comfortable” he’s afflicting don’t exist. To be published he repeats the cant of the day. He’s in fact comforting the comfortable and making them feel they’re righteous warriors in the fight against the man. In point of fact he, and they are THE MAN.

    1. I **REALLY** wish people would stop tarring an entire generation with the brush of the sins of a tiny, self-important — and largely ineffectual — minority of it. The counter-culture of the ’60s was not an artifact of the boom generation. It was created by war babies and earlier-borns. (Check the birth dates of your rock-and-roll heroes some time. Yes. Paul McCartney is 70.)

      The majority of the population in this country is conservative, with conservative and liberty-oriented views. And, if not the majority, then a substantial plurality of the population is composed of boomers. Do the math.

      M

      1. Mark, perhaps we’d quit painting with that broad brush of the majority would get up off its collective ass and do something to stop the crap we’re facing now. Sorry, but you may as well call it a generation when those who disagree simply grumble under their breaths and don’t do anything.

        1. It’s not boomer twaddle at all– leftist or not — It’s a whole lot older. And most of my generation has been fighting against it our whole lives. Where were you?

          I might also point out that collective guilt or punishment are hardly libertarian values.

          M

          1. Older? Sure. The leftist boomers took from the Lost Generation. But those people are long dead, and besides they were never in command of the media. Was this crap repeated ad nauseum by leftist boomers? Mark, I grew up with them in books, in movies, in TEACHING positions. Please. Don’t try to convince me I didn’t experience what I did. The source of anger at boomers IS those leftist boomers and what they did to the people like me who came after. I happen to have a lot of boomer friends who either grew up or never bought into the crap– but you can’t deny all the LOUD ones, and all the ones in the media did. Still do. Ellison was one of their “prophets.” Still is. THEY push these as the views of all boomers, in fact they’re proud of this.
            As for punishment… did I even MENTION punishment? I just wish people with this notion that they should “afflict the comfortable” or “speak for the downtrodden” (their view of the downtrodden, of course, and the full Marx. If you try to speak for the real downtrodden they’ll tell you to shut up) and anyone who doesn’t is a hack or doesn’t count would grow up. And I think their witless opinions MUST be countered — which is why I commented. Did I say “into the pirana tank with them and everyone else in their generation?” I. don’t.think.so.
            And btw, this defensiveness is what causes people to imagine all boomers stand shoulder to shoulder with this nonsense. Do I understand feeling like you’re being smeared with it? Sure. Born in 62 I’m being lumped in with this crap — when the sixties for me were “learning to read” and through the eighties I was lectured on being materialistic and “not transformative like us” — I do understand not liking to be lumped in, but the proper response is not “Hey, we were teh awesome and you’re trying to do boomers down” — it’s “These were a few, they’re stupid, and yeah, I agree with you on the leftist claptrap and I wish they’d stop sounding like they speak for all of us.”

              1. Yes it does. I don’t wish to blame the boomers unfairly. They were one of the first generations to be labeled so, and to be marketed to intensively. And they did counter the worst effects of what we’ll call “the FDR generation.” But, gee — the leftist ones are a bit hard to take and have NEVER been hit on the nose. They’ve achieved being old without being adults, and what’s more they think this is a virtue.

                1. I will not argue with you about the leftists. Only to point out who it was, in this country, served as the canary in the coal mine.

                  M

                  1. Mark, stop. I’m not in the mood to get into the political history of this country or the movement and history of immigrants here — notwithstanding the point that isn’t for this blog. You want to argue it, or any point of it, do it when Sarah does the topic on ATH.

            1. The problem is, Sarah, that the assumption among most of the Boomer-bashers is that, yes, there were good Boomers–but they were the ones who were good Fifties-style children who weren’t into all that rebellion.

              And that just isn’t true. There was a marked change on the Right as well as on the Left starting in the middle Sixties. That’s why you had the Goldwater campaign then, which was NOT a yearning for the good old Eisenhower years.

              Have you ever heard of the Cincinnati Revolution in 1977? That was the takeover of the NRA by the Second Amendment radicals (and I mean “radical” in a good way–remember, I’m defending rebellion here). The NRA at that time was headed by Pillars of the Community–retired generals who were all about good American activities such as hunting deer, not actually defending freedom against government overreach. A bunch of young kids, mostly in their twenties–yes, they were late Boomers–planned and executed a hostile takeover of the association, because they were concerned that it was abandoning Second Amendment principles. If not for those Boomers, firearms would almost certainly be illegal today outside of the military and police forces. These weren’t “good” Boomers either–they were rebels who stood up to men who’d fought for their country in WWII.

              Another reason I don’t like Boomer-bashing is that it’s a copout. The Sixties certainly were a highly influential decade, but there was another decade that was just as influential: the Eighties. There’s a reason we talk about the Reagan Revolution as such: many things that were taken for granted as permanent either were ended entirely (the USSR) or went into decline (unions, IBM, AT&T). The RR was largely a Boomer-driven phenomenon, and I think it’s worth defending. Or maybe, for some, it might be seen as overly disruptive; one way or the other, it shouldn’t be swept under the rug.

              1. Look — a) I’m not saying that the “good boomers” were the daddy’s sons. Those were often the ones taking over the media, etc, and becoming leftist. Look at Hillary Clinton. b)I’m not saying that some of the rebellion in the sixties wasn’t justified. The after war years ushered in a culture of extreme conformity. I met with remnants of it. In fact, they’re now on the left, since the left captured the corporate culture.

                What I’m saying — and I want you guys to think about this, because frankly you’re making things worse — is that part of what drives the “boomer bashers” is exactly what you (and Mark) are doing.
                You were sold a bill of goods that your generation was special and that as a generation it had an identity. It didn’t, any more than any assemblage of people born around that time. But you guys were unfortunate to live at a time of mass media dinning home certain images and certain attitudes. The boomers encompass vietnam veterans and the people who spit on them, just like my generation (and the first person to call us “the Jones generation” gets teeth knocked down throat. We don’t “jones” after what the boomers supposedly had) compasses wanna be boomers like the President (truly an echo-boomer in that his parents bought into the public image, and he tried to fit it) and people like me who started rolling their eyes at the “afflict the comfortable bullshit” (in Europe preached almost exclusively by the upper class sprouts) by the time we were five.
                Logically, people like me KNOW that. What we’re bashing — and yes, we do, and I’ll post (not tomorrow. It’s father’s day) about why and how and the anger that seems to puzzle you guys — is the media image of your generation. Telling us it didn’t exist and that we’re seeing a mirage is to deny our experience. I grew up being taught by beardo the weirdos from middle school on, and got bombarded with the full complement of cliches ranging from “we’re all naked under the clothes” to weirder ones, like “We fought tradition so you didn’t have to–” insert whatever I wanted to do they disapproved of. My brother and his friends, though never full hippies adopted at least half the culture.
                When you guys tell us there was no such thing as a boomer who fit the cliche, that they weren’t all over, that they didn’t command the media, that at least half of the idiots running around (like good sheep, trying to conform to what the media told them) didn’t exist, you’re telling us we’re crazy.
                As for boomers and the Reagan Revolution — wait what? Yeah, a lot of them went into corporations. Whether that was good, we’ll discuss later. But the ones in his administration were rare and countercultural. MOST boomers — and that was the time I came to the states and a lot of our friends were boomers — whimpered that the USSR had been “the good guys” and it was a pity they lost. ALL the sitcoms, every tv drama and every other cultural marker that catered to boomers was against Reagan. So, I’m sorry. I’ll believe my lying eyes.

                That said, I have friends who are boomers, particularly younger boomers and in no way fit the image. They tend to be Libertarian and a lot of them were once “libertarian hippies.” I don’t mean to roll those in with the lunatics, which is why I talked about “leftist boomers.” BUT muddying the waters in defense only upsets the people who came after, including people like me. We experienced it. You can’t tell us it didn’t exist. What you WILL drive is a return to everything anti-boomer, including the fifties attitudes. Because what you do is confirm for us this idea that your “generation” or those who define themselves as part of it will defend the cliche to the last scream — rather than admit that the left infiltrated what was pushed as young and hip and that Marxism in public life IS a thing of the sixties.

          2. Mark, I’m not going to get into politics here — it isn’t the right forum for it. However, I will note that just because another group spouted something doesn’t mean a subsequent group can’t appropriate the slogans, the BS, and make it their own. I am a baby boomer. I have seen the results of that “twaddle” in my son’s education. And that is all the politics I’m talking.

            1. Amanda… Sorry. I didn’t mean to start a fight. It’s just that the knee-jerk boomer bashing hits one of my buttons. And to hear it coming from someone I admire and worship from afar, well. It made me intemperate. Again: I’m sorry.

              M

              1. Mark, apology accepted. But I’d recommend you reconsider how you phrased it. I assure you, it wasn’t a “knee-jerk boomer bashing”.

                1. Fair enough. I’ve reconsidered. Apology withdrawn. Gratuitous sniping isn’t appreciated any more than gratuitous personal insults.

                  Consider how those unfairly tarred with that brush were insulted. I’m a Baby Boomer. It wasn’t my choice. I’ve tried to make the best of it. I’ve fought against leftists and for liberty all my life. Tying leftist twaddle to me is insulting and rude at the very least. The insult was, if not knee-jerk and yet not maliciously intended quite thoughtless. Love to know the difference.

                  M

                  1. Mark, bug off. If there was a knee-jerk reaction, it was from you. You reacted instead of stopping and thinking and then trying to have a dialog. ‘Nuff said. Could the comments have been more temperate, sure, but so could the responses. So, here and now, drop it to everyone.

                  2. Dude. Chill. The way you’re reacting, anyone would think you routinely spouted “leftist boomer twaddle” – namely, the kind of Marxist bullshit wrapped in feel-good catchphrases the loud left end of the boomer generation is so notorious for.

                    You haven’t heard real boomer bashing yet. And trust me, you do not want to. I’m not going to unleash it here without the agreement of the owners: suffice to say your little tantrum is doing a marvelous job of confirming all the negative stereotypes.

              2. Mark, just take it as “she’s bashing the Leftists, and the ones she knows best are Boomers, or she’s mistaken for Boomers, even though they’re really too old.” The problem is the leftists. Perhaps we ought to all just drop the generational identifiers, as creating excuses for new false victim groups.

                1. Pam, sorry, but she did identify which part of the group she was referring to. He chose not to see it. Then he chose to be confrontational about it, up to and including withdrawing his apology. I hate it when stuff like this happens on MGC, but we are all adults here and should be able to enter into a dialog instead of pitching fits. I get that it’s a sore point with him. But as a boomer myself, I get tired of what others of my generation have done and, honestly, with how the rest of us have let them get away with it. However, since I said I wasn’t going to get into politics, I’ll drop the topic here.

                  1. I wish the folks that rail about the “youth vote”– which keeps going up as I age, dang it, I celebrated my 30th this year in part because I’d finally not be the “youth vote,” and then the started talking about the under 35 as being a “youth vote,” which makes my head hurt– would bother to classify it. We’re not all liberals or libertarians! (Although we do account for a high number of the libertine type libertarians.)

  3. But anyway. I’m not sure that, when he said “trash” he meant it in prejorative sense. Not entirely. Oh, and BTW, Harlan Ellison is not a boomer. He was born in 1934.

    M

    1. Sure he did. Read the interview, read his other comments elsewhere. Another piece of evidence that he did — he couldn’t or wouldn’t name names because “he doesn’t know who they are”. In other words, we’re beneath his notice.

      BTW, Sarah didn’t say he was a boomer. Only mentioned that he was spouting boomer twaddle.

      1. OK. Lemme rephrase that. If *I* said “trash” I wouldn’t have meant it in a pejorative fashion, and I’ve heard Ellison use it in similar wise in the past — including referring to his own work.

        M

        1. Understood. However, I’ve heard and read him along this line before and he comes across as believing in his own superiority. As he says about himself, he’s an ass.

  4. Back when I was in college, the writer-in-residence wanted to teach me much the same “trash vs. *real* writing” or “hacks vs. *real* writers” lesson that Harlan EIlison is trying to teach us all here. So he had me read two books, one trash and one a “real” novel — the kind he thought I should be writing. The trash novel was “Hollywood Wives” by Jackie Collins. Yeah, it wasn’t “literature,” but almost 30 years later, I still remember entire scenes and characters. And I don’t remember a thing about the “real” novel, not the plot, the title, or even a single character. I don’t even remember the author’s name (Mary Something?). So I did learn a lesson from this, just not the one the writer-in-resident intended.

    1. I had classes like that. Found a lot of “trashy” books I’d never have read otherwise — and read a lot of “real” books I wish I never had.

  5. Afflict the contented, huh?

    Call me cynical, but I’m having a hard time seeing people paying their reading money to be afflicted. The type of people who buy books to “afflict the contented”, don’t have themselves in mind as the target of said affliction. Instead, I imagine they buy the books to feel superiority and schadenfreude (having trouble finding the exact word I’m looking for here) towards someone else, seeing someone they don’t identify with properly demonized and afflicted. They’ll leave them prominently displayed on their coffee table, so that the intended targets know they are properly shamed.

    Thats … not very fun, and not very uplifting IMO.

    I guess the other case where afflicting the comfortable would work would be in high-school English classes, where sadistic teachers can inflict all manner of affliction on their comfortable students, who would rather be reading something fun. “Take that, you little brats! Real reading isn’t enjoyable!” (/wicked witch cackle)

    1. Oh gawd, you just took me back to my son’s third grade teacher who used reading as punishment. Then there were all those wonderful, socially relevant books he had to read during the summers — you know the ones I mean. The ones about teen pregnancy, drug abuse, suicide and sexual abuse, among other topics — because the school district said he had to. Where were the stories about the heroes of science and industry, of exploration and discovery? Where were the stories that made the kids want to read? Oh, they were hidden away. We mustn’t let them know that reading — and even learning — can be fun. They might find something we don’t want them to know about.

  6. I wonder if the germans realize that probably a month or so after they come up and release this new DRM. some hacker with an intense hatred of “establishment”, anything resembling “authority” and a lot of time on their hands, will come up with a way to break this new DRM.
    stupid, stupid, stupid.

    1. Probably not. All they are looking at is that it is a new gimmick they can sell the publishing and music industries. Publishers are only looking at it as another way to prevent their criminal customers from actually being able to do with their e-books what they can with their physical books.

  7. . I don’t mean to be crude when I say this, but I won’t take a piss unless I’m paid properly.

    I don’t think you need to take too seriously someone bragging about how they refuse to do a necessary thing that is in their own interest unless someone else– to whom it happening is a far lower necessity– pays them to do it.

    1. Maybe that’s his problem. No one’s paid him to do that simple necessary thing and he is feeling “pissy”. 😉

    2. I’ve heard the sentiment voiced as “I won’t cross the street without getting paid.” I’m not sure of the validity of the point. I suppose it’s supposed to sound tough-guy, but I’ve worked with REAL tough guys in business, and they don’t have to brag about it. Of course, you could just sadly shake your head and say, “Oh, that’s just Harlan being Harlan.”

      THAT would piss him off.

      M

      1. I don’t know if they have been paid yet, but I know that the volume was, iirc, late by 10 years and then only came out because someone else came onboard to “help” Ellison with the editing. Let’s just say the way the authors — and fans — were treated did nothing to endear Ellison to them.

    1. IMO “afflict the contented” can be a valid action as people can be stuck in a comfortable life when they can be doing better.

      Unfortunately, for Harlan and his ilk, it’s their readers who are the “contented who should be afflicted”. [Evil Grin]

  8. Regarding the DRM making changes in the text: That’s stupidly simplistic of them. Anyone determined to break it untraceably can get around that by simply getting multiple copies and comparing the text (after breaking the actual encryption), then using the most common examples in the group. Computers are good at comparing things, so it wouldn’t take long.

    1. They could at least do it smarter and vary the number of spaces between sentences or something like that– things that are (practically) invisible to the reader, clear to a computer and doesn’t have to be done by a person to avoid issues.

      1. It should be possible to do plenty of invisible formatting, instead of actually CHANGING the content… I really don’t get how this idea seemed to be the best they could come up with!

  9. Funny, I’d love to see another Dangerous Visions book. But, if it were to be dangerous and afflict the contented and all that, it’d probably have to resemble Golden Age science fiction. (Or Human Wave.)

    There’s not much I can say about the new DRM. If it changes words like this, could it run afoul of contract disputes with the author?

    1. Thank — exactly right on the first paragraph.
      I will, btw, admit Ellison was never one of my favorites, but I liked Phillip K. Dick and others of the new wavers. I just think it devolved into this sort of… well… grey goo.

    2. Re: the DRM, I don’t know. Most legacy publishing contracts that I’ve seen allow the publishers to apply it if they want as well as to make minor edits, etc., without consulting the author. Hopefully, we won’t see this form of DRM making its way over here. If we do, I hope every author and every professional organizations stands up to it and says not only “no” but “hell, no!”.

  10. I hear ‘afflict the contented’ and I think ‘like Tom Kratman does’. I hear ‘teaching’ and ditto. That said, I’ve the impression that he believes the story is necessary to ‘pay’ the reader for the rest. Not every reader will have the background for the teaching layers to be accessible.

  11. Does Mr. Ellison ever stop to think that “afflicting the contented” and “I won’t take a piss unless I’m paid properly,” don’t exactly go together? Or maybe I should have stopped at the first 6 words of that sentence? It would be too easy to afflict the contented Mr. Ellison by denying him the proper payment he thinks he deserves to take a piss.

    I was at a WorldCon where Mr. Ellison’s version of “afflicting the contented” consisted of haranguing the handicapped people in the front row about not moving to the back to make room for his entourage.

    Went to Ray Bradbury’s last WorldCon talk that afternoon and the contrast couldn’t have been greater. One a writer who loved people and wanted to inspire them, and one who’s legacy is the number of people he’s pissed off and his own boasting. Also his bullying of a nascent auteur to take credit for a movie he had absolutely nothing to do with–like somehow he had a copyright on time travel and a post-acopalyptic future.

    1. Frank, I think you hit the nail on the head AND I think you asked the right sentence with the first six words of your comment.

  12. There’s DRM and DRM.

    First one, you usually find out at Amazon’s, Apple’s and othere places is “Encryption based DRM”, meaning, the reader needs a key of some sort to read. Usually this key is hidden inside of the readong platform.

    Secondly, there’s “Social DRM”, where the ebook’s content is changed to add information about the customer who purchased it, without locking anything. The ebook can be transferred, transformed, trans-formatted, without losing the personal identification.

    Social DRM (aka Watermarking) schemes exist for a long time, some of them complicated and difficult to get rid of, other much more simple.
    And hackers have so far NOT widely published solutions to bypass them as they did for encryption based DRMs.

    Why ? because when they talk about DRM being bad, almost all of them are talking about Encryption based DRMs.

    If you go and look at the major “anti-DRM tools” provider, you’ll find out that they explicitely CHOOSE not to remove personally information, as they provide the tools for Personal use of the books and not for widespread dissemination. They EXPLICITELY don’t touch the personal information already contained in the Encryption based Kindle DRMs…

    All I’m saying is “Social DRM” doesn’t have the same rejection as Encryption DRM has.
    (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192138)
    And solutions already exist for Watermark. with I guess the same (if not lower) cost as Encryption based DRMs.

    Just, big resellers don’t use them. (some small ones DO).

    What is proposed in the new scheme, is a new way to hide the personal information. While clever, it has NO respect for the authors.and readers (readers are accustomed to that though… DRM are widely used after all), and it adds NO additional value to existing schemes (such as http://www.booxtream.com/ (not afiliated in any way) or simply “home made” watermarks).

    My only (and paranoïd) fear is that this IS published as a way to paint Social DRMs with a black mark and have authors/publishers flock towards encryption based DRMs again…

    1. That is my concern as well. Frankly, I have little hope for legacy publishers not buying into it hook, line and sinker. I just hope most authors see the problems with this and run as far and fast away from it as possible.

      1. At the same time, when done right, Social DRMs ARE a good compromise between the users and publishers/authors want for “protection”.

        Not ideal in any way, but far better than full-scale DRMs.

        In France, some of our indie publishers and most of the indie resellers have adopted watermarks. But big resellers (Apple, Amazon, Google, Kobo etc.) don’t do that, so “upgrade” to encryption based DRMs.

        1. Yeah. I can live with “social” DRM. I don’t particularly like it, but it is much better than the alternative. Sigh.

Comments are closed.