Will publishers start to question DRM?

It’s occured to me before that DRM gives a platform owner like Amazon a lot of power over publishers — DRM is what means publishers can’t just sell ebooks as ebooks, they need to sell Kindle ebooks, through Amazon channels, if they are to work on a Kindle.  This is somewhat ironic because it’s theoretically the publishers that were/are insisting on DRM, and winding up harming their own interests.

Via boingboing, a very interesting anonymous disclosure from a “publishing industry executive” published on paidcontent.com, that he breaks DRM on the ebooks he buys himself!  (Probably breaking the law by doing so, DMCA). Because he realized DRM is just too inconvenient to the consumer (such as himself), and because he realizes DRM is part of what gives Amazon and Apple power over publishers in pricing decisions.

Could publishers start realizing that, not only is DRM not saving their business, it’s actually harming it?

I was coming to the conclusion that I wanted to start breaking DRM on e-books I bought so that I could read them on any e-reader, but what pushed me over the top was a terrific post from science-fiction author Charlie Stross, “Cutting their own throats.” He argues that DRM is a way for the Amazons of the world to create lock-in to their platforms….

…I believe this is justified because I realize that when I buy an e-book from Amazon, I’m really buying a license to that content, not the content itself. This is ridiculous, by the way. I feel as if e-book retailers are simply hiding behind that philosophy as a way to further support DRM and scare publishers away from considering a DRM-free world….

Again, that’s an anonymous “publishing industry executive” writing there.

Check out the Charlie Stross essay,  “Cutting their own throats,” that the anonyous exec said helped him start questioning DRM.


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