What is DRM? DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and is a generic term used by publishers, manufacturers, etc to limit the usage of digital media or devices. In other words, it’s designed to stop ebook piracy, much the same way that protections are built into some MP3’s. Have you ever downloaded an MP3 from an online store and then, when you tried to transfer it to another device, found that you couldn’t? That’s DRM.
The problem with DRM? It doesn’t actually stop piracy, despite it’s supporters claims, and, as in the above example, it can render your content unusable at worst and hard to access at best. It also stops readers from printing the book out, can make your book cost more, and can even cause an ereader’s text to speech to be unusable on that title.
And it also makes a lot of people mad.
If you do a search for DRM on google you can get a rather quick picture that a lot of people find it annoying and even demeaning. For instance, Michael Pastore sounds off about the ebook and it’s longing for freedom, Mark Coker has done more than one post about it, including a recent one where he says:
“The biggest threat facing authors and publishers today is not piracy, it’s obscurity. Anything that makes a book less accessible and less enjoyable makes it more obscure. Piracy is an indication your content is in demand, yet it’s also an indication your content is not available, accessible or affordable to those who want it. Pirates satisfy demand not satisfied by the publisher. The best method of combat piracy is to make purchasing preferable to pirating.”
Nina Paley has gone one step further and created a set of graphics for those who want to show their non support for DRMs, including a set for authors, readers and librarians.
If you support the movement then you can get links to the graphics and read more information at ReadersBillofRights.info .
Don’t know much about DRM? Don’t just take my word for it. Do some research and see how this impacts you and your work and make an informed decision.