Friday, April 13, 2012

The DRM battle is on - what's your take?

DRM is like a keyless pad lock
DRM is like a key-less padlock from Flickr (CC)
The story behind Digital RM is this - DRM is a way for publishers to digitally control how, where and in what format you read a purchased book. For example, if you buy an ebook on the Kindle, and later if you want to read it on your new Nook, it is illegal to convert and read that book, if it is DRM-protected. In actual fact, it is easy enough to transfer it to your computer, convert using calibre and read on any format - pdf, mobi, doc etc.
However, it is illegal to do so for all DRM protected books. 

What does this mean for you?

Publishers use third party software to handle the DRM-locks on your books. If that software or server goes " dark" (shuts down) then the ebooks are gone too, like with Fictionwise ebooks protected by Overdrive software. You keep paper books for years, don't you expect ebooks to do the same?

Interestingly, O'Reilly publishing discovered that sales of their textbooks more than doubled since they dropped DRM books 18+ months ago

Cory Doctorow's view: A Whip to beat us with 
Ebook DRM provider goes dark, the books you paid for disappear
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