I have surprisingly strong views about the efficacy, effectiveness, utility, and appropriateness of digital rights management on files, including both music and ebooks. Generally speaking, I do not agree with the powers that be (publishers) that there is a difference in “ownership” between buying something digitally and buying it in hard copy, particularly exemplified by a book. I do agree that there are different risks to the publisher, but that doesn’t mean in one I have bought it and the other I have merely paid to borrow it. I believe I have the same rights and obligations I had previously. Which means in its most basic terms that I have bought it for me and I can’t reproduce it for others, but the digital element puts two other limitations — I can’t loan it nor can I resell it. I am willing to accept those caveats, but it doesn’t mean I don’t own it. » Read the rest
This is a recurring question in ebook circles, particularly for authors — are people going to pirate my book, and how can I stop it?
One technical “solution” is DRM — digital rights management. And to know if DRM is right for you, the context is probably best understood in comparison with the music industry’s success and failures.
You may recall a small ruckus re: iTunes about 18 months ago when they removed DRM from their MP3s, at the industry’s request actually, not just customers. Customers who buy MP3s want portability across devices, and some aspects of DRM prevent that — it is designed to prevent rampant pirating but generally speaking, it can be bypassed by those likely to pirate rampantly, and those who would abide have no idea what to do when their legitimately purchased MP3 that they had been listening to on an Zune can’t be easily copied on to their new iPod (DRM tries to lock a file to a single user, or, in the past, often to a single device as well). » Read the rest