Sunday, February 01, 2009

Yes We Have No DRM (Digital Rights Management)

Image by Michael Pastore, of a sign that says No DRM

What is DRM? ... And why are so many authors and publishers supporting the "No DRM" philosophy? ...

"DRM (Digital Rights Management) refers to a method of protecting digital content that a publisher can apply to videos, music files and ebooks. Adding DRM has three drawbacks. Always, DRM makes your digital products cost more. Sometimes, the DRM does funny things to your computer. And often, DRM limits what you can do with your own purchase. For example, many DRM-afflicted ebooks do not allow you to print the files."

There is a danger in publishing DRM-less ebooks: they are easier to steal than the protected kind. Authors who spend a great deal of time, sometimes years, to create a significant book, may be concerned that their labors of love might be so easily lost.

The problem is parodied in a bit of doggerel composed by Michael Pastore:


Publishers' Lament

Sweet Publishing is Chaos!
A war of Us and Them.
Will Readers ever pay us,
If we don't use DRM?


In the world of music, the problem was faced and resolved by the iTunes model: selling the songs for cheap made much more sense than going after students and grandmothers for illegal downloading.

Could this plan work for ebooks? ...
Here (click the link below: Why Our Ebooks Have No DRM) is a brief yet wonderfully creative letter from an author to his readers, explaining why he hopes they will choose not to steal his ebook, but to buy it for a buck.

Why Our Ebooks Have No DRM
by Michael Pastore.