Have you paid your Adobe tax today?

As found on The Digital Reader:

Have you paid your Adobe tax today?

August 17th, 2011 by Nate Hoffelder

I was writing the post earlier about the new ebookstore and it inspired me to pen this little rant about DRM on ebooks. I’m going to focus today on Adobe because that’s one of the dominant form of DRM on the ebook market.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know how I feel about DRM. I hate it and I feel I am being punished for the actions of others. And then there’s the fact it doesn’t actually prevent piracy.


But most importantly,  DRM doesn’t make sense even in theory.  The idea is that you lock down all digital copies in the hopes that no single copy is hacked. At a minimum, applying that idea to ebook DRM ignores the “analog loophole”. This is a colloquial term given to scanning a paper book and converting it to digital form. It’s called a loophole because no matter how secure the DRM on an ebook, someone will always be able to take a print edition and scan it. That scanned copy can then be pirated and thus the DRM is moot.

But the main reason that DRM makes no sense in theory is that it involves locking down all copies, including the ones belonging to people who lack the desire to pirate the content in the first place. This is done in the hopes that the skilled pirate won’t be able to remove the DRM. The expense of locking down a copy and then handing it to someone who has no interest in pirating it is a waste.

And there is a real expense in locking down each copy. Adobe charge ebookstores $0.22 for each DRM-encumbered ebook that you buy. Do you know those free ebooks you get from Kobo, B&N, etc? If you download those ebooks as Epub then you just cost the ebookstore 22 cents.

That 22 cents is a tax that Adobe collects for each ebook.

Guess what? There is a second Adobe tax, and this one applies to ebook readers. Adobe charge  tens of thousands of dollar to certify ebook readers as being compatible with their DRM. Do you own a Nook, Kobo, or Sony Reader?  Part of the price of your e-reader went to pay that fee.

Do you know why I call this an Adobe Tax? Because like any tax a number of taxes I pay, Adobe’s DRM takes money from your pocket without actually giving you anything.

I wanted to give you another reason to not like DRM. Not only is it a hassle, it also directly costs you money. That’s my $.02.


Note: the reference to the “new ebook store” points to this article.










Usually writing is fun

There are times that it is a bit of a challenge.

For the Charisma story I am trying to combine new clothes, football and a bus in the current chapter, and perhaps flowing those into the next one.

The first attempt did not go very well. The second did not go very well either.

It is probably time to do something else for a while, like make a start with the design of a cover for Hilda’s 7th story…

What’s in a name?

From one author to another: how important are character names to you? (Of course, all dear readers are invited to read on.)

Do you carefully search and select names for your characters? For all of them? Or just for the main character(s)?

I’m quite picky about names of the main characters in my stories. I usually know what I want from them. This means that I know if the name has to stand out or if it has to be very plain. Usually when one of my main characters has a secretive side I am prone to giving her or him a rather simple name, to emphasise the difference.

In the case of Hilda, my favourite wicked witch, there was a bit of a glitch in that scheme. I had originally no idea that she would become popular, so I just grabbed a name from the shoe-box of witches’ names (a.k.a. google), which was Grimhilda, and turned her into “Hilda for friends”. After so many stories it is no option to change her name, but that’s okay. I like Hilda. (Who would not want to be her friend?)

For my sci-fi stories of Breen and Kue I spent a lot of time thinking about the names. Sius Breen and Inui Kue are characters from a planet called Odis (Gods know where that name came from). Originally I had the idea of calling the planet ‘Breen’, but that did not happen. (In case you wonder about these stories: they are not officially published yet. They may be, someday. You can find them on the writer’s page of my website.) It was fascinating creating their world and culture.

For side-characters I am quite fast in deciding on names. Usually they are not that important, especially when they are ‘disposable’. Characters that I intend to make reappear will get a more thought through name, though. The closer they are to the mains, the better names they have.

“What’s in a name?” According to me, a lot.