I absolutely agree, Eric. And being writers, we need to speak out against the immorality of the money-grabbers again and again. Sometimes, as in the case of the rise of public opinion against big banks and CEOs, speaking out is the only way to make it possible to live in this society.
Well, a lot of people believe that if the big record companies had bought out Napster in the '90s instead of getting it shut down, they'd be making all the money Apple's making now from iTunes. Instead Napster metastasized into, what, a hundred smaller file-sharing sites? A thousand? Sometimes the strictly punitive approach isn't the smartest way of doing things. Enforcement, yes, but not at the consumer level unless you want to give people an excuse to rip you off even more. You have to go after the owners of the file-sharing sites, and the smart approach is probably to have a checkbook in one hand and a brace of badass lawyers in the other.
Sure there's a technological means to curb piracy -- several, in fact. One is a timed self-destruct in the code. The buyer has a week, maybe two, to read the book. Then it blows up. If he/she wants it around, they have to buy a print copy. Sure, hackers will try to disable the expiry code, but there are triggers to prevent that. We're only talking text, after all, not systems.
Second way is in the guts of the readers themselves -- nothing can be saved for longer than, say, two weeks.
These are the kind of software/hardware requirements that governments CAN impose in the name of copyright protection.
Yeah, but consumers would resist the self-destructing ebook, I'm pretty sure. If you buy something, you should get to keep it. I sure as hell wouldn't buy one--what if I didn't get around to reading it in the two-week non-destructo period? Do I have to buy it again? The movie industry floated this idea with DVDs that would essentially self-erase after a given period, but it was roundly derided in the press and on the intertubes. I doubt it would fare any better as a fix for ebooks.
Ebooks must follow the same direction as movies. Each are a one time use, unlike music. Publishers should release the HC (Theatre release) followed six months later by the Mass Market paperback (The dvd release). Six months later the Ebook (Cable stations air the movie). This business model with sustain the industry and restrict piracy to after market sales where the impact to the publisher and author royalties is minimized.
Yes, as an IT guy for 38 years, Ebooks can be controlled by online validation (like Microsoft does for their business products). Piracy can be reduced (it won't be worth cracking each book).
And I am constantly annoyed with those who promote anarchy on the internet. Rules, laws and punishments are required. Humanity over the years has proved this point thousands of times over. Anarchists fervently defend anarchy when they have the tools to advantage themselves. Only when it impacts them do they scream foul.
I read the article. It sounded self-serving to me. She concluded that HER writing (published in her preferred way) will still be important.
When I taught high school, I used to teach that all predictions of the future are opinions. Those who are younger than I am and have the years to see this through will find out what really happens. My prediction (opinion)? There will be more change than she predicts.
I just followed the link to this article - it's excellent, with lots of thought-provoking comments too. All in all, it makes me think I'd better hustle and get my books onto Kindle and the others. Fortunately, my POD publisher tells me I have the right to do so.