Jim O'Donnell was at a library conference in Singapore when his Ipad's Google Play app asked him to update it. This was the app through which he had bought 30 to 40 ebooks, and after the app had updated, it started to re-download them. However, Singapore is not one of the countries where the Google Play bookstore is active, so it stopped downloading and told him he was no longer entitled to his books.
It's an odd confluence of travel, updates, and location-checking, but it points out just how totally, irretrievably broken the idea of DRM and region-controls for ebooks is.
But all of my books had un-downloaded and needed to be downloaded
again. The app is an inefficient downloader, almost as bad as the New
Yorker app, so I dreaded this, but clicked on the two I needed most at
once. (I checked the amount of storage used, and indeed the files
really have gone off my tablet.)
And it balked. It turns out that because I am not in a country where
Google Books is an approved enterprise (which encompasses most of the
countries on the planet), I cannot download. Local wisdom among the
wizards here speculates that the undownloading occurred when the
update noted that I was outside the US borders and so intervened.
Atypically, Google has Google Play help service available by email,
but a series of exchanges demonstrated that the droids at the Android
Store were neither able to comprehend my issue, sympathize with my
plight, or offer a remedy. I must return to the US to be allowed to
spend a few hours redownloading "my" books before I can read them
again. At one point they asked what features I might suggest be
added to Google Play. I suggested "Don't Be Evil", but got no
Current Liblicense Archive - DRM follies
In 2011, the Canadian Conservative government rammed through Bill C-11, Canada’s answer to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in which the property rights of Canadians were gutted in order to ensure that corporations could use DRM to control how they used their property — like its US cousin, the Canadian law banned breaking DRM, […]
Ten years ago, a group of engineers and media executives sat down to decide what was, and was not, a real family. The results were predictably terrible.
In 2014, IKEA, the Swedish-based global furniture company, sent a cease-and-desist letter to a blogger by the name of Jules Yap. Yap ran the extremely popular website IKEAhackers.net, which helped people “hack” IKEA furniture into new, creative, and unexpected designs. The site was already almost a decade old when IKEA’s lawyers demanded that Yap hand over the URL. What follows is a case study from Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are.
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You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]