It occurred to me after I wrote this that it does nothing to solve
your problem of pass-along piracy.
That’s the problem with selling an e-book. With a physical book,
there’s just the one that I’ve bought at my local independent
bookseller (or ordered online from the MegaGigantiCorp). It has
physical presence and absence. If I loan it to my neighbor, I have to
wait until he’s done with it to read it again or loan it to someone
Digital media have no such physicality. The copy is indistinguishable
from the original (if such a thing can be said to exist at all). Even
if you password-protect it, as you noted, the user can simply pass
along the password with the e-book. The same holds true for you. You
have tool-up costs of $A Whole Lot, and incremental costs of
manufacture of nearly $0.
The thing to think about then is the fact that all of your money/time/
investment is up front, so try to seek a payment model where you
recoup your investment as quickly and as monolithically as possible.
Incremental payments work fine for something you can confine and meter
out, like your water or gas bills do. They’re less effective for
something which has nearly infinite capacity for duplication without
effort once the original is “in the wild”.
Finally, think about your customers here. If you treat them like
thieves (which is how the RIAA treats its customers) then they will
act like thieves. If you make it easy and convenient to act honorably
(like iTunes does) then you make a brazilian dollars.
I don’t have a total solution for you here, but I think that you may
be trying too hard to stop something that is not (strictly speaking)
taking money from your plate.
Take the shareware model for an example. Most people who use it do not
pay for it. Those who do are the exception, and pay the bills for all
the freeloaders. Yet the prices are low. The authors realize that
their cost of duplication is nearly zero, and the freeloaders
constitute their marketing and sales force.
Something else to think about…
On Jun 19, 2009, at 8:54 AM, Walter Lee Davis wrote:
If you want to pursue the idea of locking up the books, you could
make the download link expire.
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