After six years of collecting ebooks in Adobe format, I can still read 4 of the 60 books I have bought. That's, uhm.... let me see..., have to get my calculator here, uhm....... yes, almost 7%!!! My experience with Adobe ebook reading programs and DRM has been exactly according to Adobe's original strategic goals:
- make DRM unobtrusive: on average users shall have to post no more than two support tickets per day. 10% of support tickets shall be replied to within one century, 11% within one millennium. At least one support ticket per century will solve the reported problem.
- make DRM rock solid: yearly ebook losses due to DRM shall not exceed 50% per year.
- make lending and borrowing books easy and transparent: users shall be able to lend and borrow at least one ebook per century without problems. - provide a top notch ebook reader: the ebook reader shall support modern state-of-the art features like going from one page to the next, etc.
I never thought I would get this cynical about Adobe. A great and promising medium like ebooks has been crippled and nearly killed by their DRM. I've given up hope of ever reclaiming my $1000+ investment and of being able to get some sense into their heads.
But, maybe I should make a positive product suggestion that could solve all of these problems. What about a web-based ebook reader? Here is what I would like:
- ebook purchases are stored on a central server
- DRM is also managed on a central server
- to access my library I would simply logon to the site, wherever there is a browser
- the web application has to be fast and snappy, like Google maps for instance
- books can be temporarily lent to other users - etc, etc.
It seems to me this would solve many, if not all of the problems people are having with Adobe ebooks.
Come to think of it, I will also make this product suggestion to Google. I think they are far better able to turn it into a success than Adobe.