I'm still amazed by the state of that industry. Why paying for an eBook for nearly the same price as a printed book gives you a file you don't own and you can't use, while piracy gives you a file you can use like an actual book?

When buying a book, I can read it where I want, in as many places I want, on as many couches I want, and I can even lend it to a friend. And that's legal.

Wasn't technology supposed to make the future better?

That's why you should only buy drum-free digital resources. Everything else is *renting* not buying.

And if you buy something and then remove drm you're still considered a criminal in many parts of the world...

Drm / this kind of technology is not designed for end-users.

@Qwxlea Never did and never will, DRM is an absolute blocker for me 🙂

@thibaultamartin if you haven't yet, read the "Analog Equivalent Rights" series from Rick Falkvinge (


Copyright infringement is your best entertainment value. 😀

@thibaultamartin Tech does not make everything better, only more efficient. We will not out-tech our political, social and cultural problems.

A way of thinking about the world that came to be during a time of great material scarcity (property rights) has been extended to intellectual goods (intellectual property) up to the point where the actual cost of producing said good (which is zero) does not matter anymore, all that matters is who owns it.

And guess what buddy, it's not you, the buyer.

@thibaultamartin It did, for the most part. With most ebookstores, you pay them money and they give you a file - but Amazon doesn't, and Amazon gives authors perks if they commit to exclusivity, and gives readers perks if they pay for a year of services up front.

In any other county, such brazenly monopolistic practices would have been smacked down by antitrust legislation, but here we are. In the meantime, email your favourite authors and ask them to publish on Smashwords too.


*and* you get the right-of-first-sale ability to resell it

@thibaultamartin Blame publishers. They're scared shitless of eBooks, and are holding the vendors hostage.

@thibaultamartin The part about the future that got better is the piracy part. The rights management bullshit is a separate issue.

@thibaultamartin Surprising no one, it turns out that the marginal cost of reproduction (giving you a file or a physical artefact) is not the majority of cost in the process of producing a book.

pol, + 

@thibaultamartin Hey don't blame technology, it just gives things more muchness! XD

So if you combine capitalism with technology you get ~Crapitalism!~

Let's apply technology to something that's good to start with so that being ~more~ will make us more good instead of more evil XD


@thibaultamartin technology does neither improve nor ruin our future, people do.

Yes it was. For the “owners” of tech it is actually better.

@thibaultamartin "Wasn't technology supposed to make the future better?"

Yes, but not for the average people. =P

@thibaultamartin My sentiments too. I feel a little more liberated by the app Caliber and its De-DRM plugin. At least now my bought books can be backed up DRM free elsewhere.

@Documentally Now that's very valuable information, I didn't know about that plugin, thanks for letting me know about it.

If I ever buy a DRM-locked eBook I'll consider it. By principle I don't buy such files, but buy a printed copy of the book. This way I don't encourage DRMs and still support the author

@thibaultamartin @Documentally Good to hear. If you're ever lokking for more DRM-free bookshops to buy from, I maintain s list here:

@thibaultamartin I'm very annoyed by the DRM too. When I see a book I want only with DRM, I just don't buy it anymore, because I bought one and couldn't read it just because I have a bookeen and I'm on linux... And the seller didn't want to refund me.

This is why we make an effort to support publishers who sell DRM free and outside the walled-garden ecosystems. We recently got the Angry Robot subscription. Everything they publish DRM free for £100 a year. (Way less than the paperback price)

@thibaultamartin The DRM (especially for libraries) is awful! But I did wanna say that the price is, at least partly, deserved. My partner works in publishing and makes eBooks for a living. I've learned that an incredible amount of labor goes into each book. So at least some of that money is actually going somewhere!

@elecray7k I may have been ambiguous here: I'm more than willing to pay the same prince for a printed book and for an eBook, as I understand most of the price is not spend on paper/servers but on people.

What bugs me is that I'm expected to pay the same price for less freedom, and even less ownership.

Actually, I would love to buy print+eBook bundles. I often read on my Kobo on the go, but a Kobo library is not nearly as pleasant as an actual paper library :)

@thibaultamartin And that totally makes sense! It's a real shame that the publishing industry has refused to be more progressive about simply offering better products accessibly. iTunes dropped DRM and the world didn't end!

@elecray7k And public libraries didn't ruin the book industry. People still buy books. Isn't that crazy?

@thibaultamartin It really gets my goat how publishers will arbitrarily limit the number of eBooks libraries can loan. It's insane.

@thibaultamartin I love that OR Books does sell drm-free ebook/paperback bundles—worth a look!

@thibaultamartin ah, but better for whom? When progress is led by profit you can bet it's not for us.

@thibaultamartin Yea one of the reasons I make my fiction free.

I mean, people are only "pirating"--a woeful abuse of the original term by--ironically, government official closer to pirate, because books tend to be crazy expensive.

Libraries only help those who live in well connected places.

But to me, what about those people in Africa? Why would I want to charge them anything?


The problem, as usual, is capitalism. Why would they sell an ebook(which has significantly less cost of production) for less when they can maximize company profits for their shareholders by selling it for the same price as a print book(with more production costs). I'm sure on some level they also sell them at the same price because they know it'll be freely distributed online, and once they that happens sales will dramatically drop.

I only pay for books made by worker coops.

@thibaultamartin you know what ? I read that about 1/3 of book price in france are for the shop (including IT infrastructure, transport, salary, building…), rights for the editing house + diffusion (marketing) + distribution (wholesaler) is about 37%, and the price on the printed book 20%.
So 10% remains for the author. See table at the bottom :

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