U is for Ultimately, publishers have to ditch DRM
Come July, Tor will get rid of DRM. Tor publishes a lot of the science fiction/fantasy I read. So, yeah, I am excited to hear they are planning on publishing books sans DRM. Between Tor, Baen and Angry Robot, almost all of the books I read will be DRM free.
This is big. It’s big because Tor is ultimately owned by Macmillan, one of the big 6 publishers. The link between Tor and Macmillan is long and kind of twisted. I am not sure I understand it all. Tor is an imprint of Tom Doherty, which a subsidiary of Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, which is part of Macmillan, which is one of the big 6 publishers. I suppose at the end Tor is an imprint of Macmillan. Until now, they have insisted on DRM.
Ultimately, publishers have to ditch DRM. DRM helps no one but the retailers. Their price fixing deal was to break Amazon’s hold on the eBook market.
Since the government objected to that illegal activity, they might decide on removing DRM as a way to let people decide who they want to buy from. If kindle owners decide to buy from someone other than Amazon, they could and still read their books on their kindle.
Charles Strauss also a pretty good post on DRM. I think he is right about the planned obsolescence about current ereaders is right (and all other consumer devices).
I have a kindle and I have little doubt that the battery will stop holding a charge sometime soon. (I could replace the battery. Maybe. Maybe not.) I will have to buy something new sometime in the next couple years. I might buy anything, a nook, another kindle, a tablet. I don’t know. But if I am forced to consider DRM, I will have to buy another kindle and that just locks me to Amazon again. Or break the DRM myself, which gives me more choices.
This is an article I read from an anonymous publishing exce on why he/she broke DRM. One admits it here, but there might be more. I have to say, if the publisher execs themselves are breaking DRM, they will soon get rid of it entirely.
So I think other publishers will follow Tor’s example. At some point anyway. Hopefully soon.
- Tor/Forge E-book Titles to Go DRM-Free (tor.com)
- Ditching DRM? (laf.ee)
- Damned DRM! (laf.ee)
- How DRM weakens publishers’ negotiating leverage with retailers (boingboing.net)
- How DRM weakens publishers’ negotiating leverage with retailers (teleread.com)
- Another Reason Why DRM Is Bad — For Publishers (opendotdotdot.blogspot.com)
- What if DRM Goes Away? (jwikert.typepad.com)
- Mike Shatzkin discusses DRM revelations from Digital Book World (teleread.com)