Round up #167: no DRM doesn’t increase piracy for Tor, Mothers’ Day specials
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Mothers’ Day specials
Oh, how the pace of commerce has changed! Mothers’ Day is this Sunday in the USA, and you can still get deals on line and get the item in time. Whether you are buying for a Mom or not, I thought I’d mention a couple.
First, there’s the deal on the Kindle Fire HD 7″ models directly from Amazon (this doesn’t appear to apply to the 8.9″). You have to enter this code at checkout:
Note that entering it a checkout means you will not get the opportunity to enter it if you use 1-click. This deal is good through May 12th, and only for USA customers. Here is a link to the rest of the
Second, DecalGirl has a deal on skins. Skins are really a way to personalize a device, including Kindles and Kindle Fires. It’s like a super duper sticker you put on it. You can even do customized ones by uploading a photo. They have a promotional code for 25% off through May 13th…I guess they even have the late folks covered…so to speak. Of course, you could also let Mom pick her skin.
You can shop here:
At checkout, enter the code
I assume it’s okay to post this, since they sent me an e-mail they said I could forward to friends…you’re my friends, right?
Senate passes equal collection legislation
I’ve written about this a lot before, and I’m happy to see it moving along (even though it isn’t law yet).
There’s nice coverage of the vote by the Senate to pass equal collection legislation in this
Just to summarize, it would mean that large internet retailers would collect sales tax at the point of sale on online purchases, similar to what happens in a brick-and-mortar store.
This is key: it is not a new tax.
If people think of it as a new tax, it probably won’t pass the House of Representatives, despite the bipartisan support it has had.
Nobody will owe a penny more of sales tax if this passes…but the vast majority of people will pay more.
That’s because you are probably expected to pay sales/use tax in your state on your annual taxes when you buy things from out of state retailers…but most people just don’t. We do in my family, and it’s a bear…if this does pass, it will simplify things for me.
Can you imagine figuring out your own sales tax on your brick-and-mortar purchases, and then paying it as one lump sum once a year?
I’m not convinced it will pass the House, although there are certainly motivations to do so. Amazon and Wal-Mart both support it. More importantly, the Federal government might be able to send less money to the states if the states were able to collect the sales tax they were already owed. However we all know that “logic” isn’t spelled “lawgic” for a reason…the two don’t have a whole lot to do with each other.
Tor going DRM-free has not increased piracy
There’s a fascinating
that talks about how things are going after a year of being DRM (Digital Rights Mangement) free. Tor is a major publisher (part of Macmillan), and I reported on their decision.
DRM is code inserted into digital content by the publisher to control the use of that material.
When you download an e-book that is DRM-free, there is nothing it that technically stops you from copying it or altering it.
That doesn’t mean that you have the right to do anything you want: you could still do things (like distributing it freely over the internet without permission) which would be illegal infringement.
However, if you want to convert it from an e-book you can read on a Kindle to an e-book you can read on a NOOK, that is apparently okay.
Here’s the key line in a short excerpt:
“As it is, we’ve seen no discernible increase in piracy on any of our titles, despite them being DRM-free for nearly a year.”
That doesn’t mean there has been no piracy (there can even be piracy of DRM-protected files…it’s just harder), but that releasing without DRM hasn’t meant that there was any more or it (as far as they can tell).
As they note, their success doesn’t mean it would be equally successful for all books, but you can bet other tradpubs (traditional publishers) are looking at this carefully.
Taking a Kindle for a test drive…really
My Significant Other and I knew that it was getting to be time to buy a new car (I had a Scion XB with over 150,000 miles on it…it was still doing fine, but you start thinking about maintenance costs at that range).
For me, tech in the car is a big thing. I’ve been listening now to text-to-speech in the car for years.
In the Scion, that was with an FM transmitter, playing through the radio.
We wanted a hybrid. We’d been driving Toyotas (I did like the Scion a lot) and had pretty much settled on a Prius.
Then, we drove a Ford Fusion over the weekend…and bought it.
For us, the drive was just so much better…the feel of it, and especially the visibility.
The tech was fine: it’s practically like having gotten a new computer, which is a fun day for me. I’m not that big on driving, but I really enjoyed it today. I have a touchscreen in the car, but I can also talk to it. The Kindle Fire (and my phone and my Blackberry and my Significant Other’s phone) paired to the Bluetooth with no problem. I start the book on the Kindle (before I start driving), and tell it to play Bluetooth audio…and I’m off and running. It also has two USB charging ports, so I don’t need a car adapter with this one.
Unrelated to the Kindle, the back-up camera is crazy cool. I haven’t had a new car for about nine years, so this all new to me. I really like that it shows me two virtual reality lines for where the car is going to go…and if you turn the steering wheel (even before you start moving), it shows you the projected path. It’s going to take quite a while before it feels natural to look forward (at the screen) when backing up, but I can clearly see the advantages.
That “taking a while” thing happens, though. I had a funny one the other day. The clock in our bathroom died, and I’m often reading on my Kindle Fire in there while I exercise and brush my teeth (I take a long time doing the latter). However, I did have a paper magazine up on the towel rack where I normally put my Fire. I caught myself reaching up to push something on the paper magazine to see what time it was. I didn’t get very far, but that’s clearly become a habit for me.
Some people ask why an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle…anything but a Kindle Fire) doesn’t show a clock all the time. One reason why their batteries last so long is that they do very little when you are reading. They redraw the “page”, and that’s about it unless you tell it to do something. If there was a clock, they’d have to redraw the page at least every minute…that would eat up battery charge life.
What do you think? Will equal collection legislation pass the House? How will it affect Amazon if it does? Did you buy any more books from Tor because they went DRM-free? How do you use your Kindle in the car? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.