Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Getting rid of DRM

Finally, a major publisher is moving in the absolutely right direction: Tor books has decided to go DRM-free, sparking a sudden boom in the eBook DRM discussion. It's about time. Of the slew of articles on the subject, few are as in-depth and on-topic as Cory Doctorow's post at the Guardian:
[Avid] readers are also the ones most likely to run up against the limits of DRM. They're the customers who amass large libraries from lots of suppliers, and who value their books as long-term assets that they expect to access until they die. They may have the chance to change their ebook reading platform every year or two (the most common platform being a mobile phone, and many people get a new phone with each contract renewal). They want to be sure that their books travel with them. When their books don't, they'll be alienated, frustrated and will likely seek out unauthorised ways to get books in future. No one wants to be punished for their honesty.
Tor's move, as well as J.K Rowling's equally excellent recent decision to sell Harry Potter in all formats, DRM-free through her website, show that things are beginning to change. DRM places serious restraints on book-buyers and comes coupled with the publishing industry's backwards approach to the modern era. Hopefully the market will begin to discard the shackles of DRM, finally advancing and not just sticking to a failing status quo...

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