Authors for DRM Free

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.


AAD 300 RAD!

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.

 

6 Comments

  1. mariminiatt says:

    If you are still not sure about DRM. Think about it from a consumers point of view. You buy a cd with DRM. You want a copy to go on your MP3. You can’t rip and burn it. So now you are faced with the choice of buying the digital copy or finding the songs online somewhere else.
    DRM on ebooks makes it nearly impossible to move them from one device to another, after a certain amount of times. So makes the ebook unreadable. Forcing the customer to buy another copy, for a different device. (that is why I love Smashwords, buy the book once, all the formats are there. You can go back and get the file you need. YES!)
    I will not put DRM on my books, because I have ripped my hair out over media I bought with DRM protection on them. In fact, I have not bought some CDs or Ebooks from artists I love because the DRM was on it.

    1. Yep! I’ve switched from buying CD’s now to buying the Amazon digital downloads because it’s such a pain otherwise. I liked to have the CD’s as a back up and for the booklets, but I don’t use them to play the music anymore because MP3’s are so much more convenient.

      yes! I love Smashwords for just that reason!

  2. I’m going to ditto what Mari said. If I bought the song on a CD, I’d like to transfer it to my ipod, and I should be able to since I bought the actual song. Back in the day when I recorded songs off the radio onto my cassette tape, I ended up buying the cassette or CD from the artist, so this notion that if someone can transfer songs/books around from device to device or get a song ‘for free’ off the radio will mean they won’t buy it is wrong. I listen to music off of You Tube because I’m looking for new songs/artists to buy. Sure, not everyone does this, but I think enough people do it that it makes the artist’s time worthwhile to do. Exposure is the key.

    As for books, how many authors are hurting because their books are in libraries where their books are free? Authors like James Patterson and Stephen King are in libraries, but they aren’t exactly hurting for sales. Libraries can be considered ‘piracy’ if we want to look at it from an ‘author doesn’t get paid when so and so reads their book’ argument. It’s just an acceptable form of piracy. Lending books is a form of piracy. I mean, if people want to get down to the nitty gritty, let’s look at how often we’ve gotten books for free. The author never got compensated for it.

    And yes, I refuse to buy an ebook if it doesn’t have the text to speech feature available since the only time I get to ‘read’ a book is when I’m ready to go to bed at night. I like to close my eyes and picture the story. Sure, I fall asleep sometimes, but that’s why the search for location option is there on the Kindle. 😛

    Sorry to go on and on. I’m just tired of authors acting like they’ll be dirt poor if they don’t DRM their work.

    1. I will never DRM my work. That’s not fair to the reader. I hate DRM.

    2. Exactly, Ruth! I’ve also found new bands because friends sent me an MP3 and said “listen to this!” and I then went and bought their album. It’s the same as reading someone else’s paperback and then going to the store and buying your own copy.

      I’m sure there are authors somewhere (?) whose livelihood is hurt by piracy, but I know I’m not one of them, and quite frankly I don’t see it happening any time soon. For one thing I spend too much time giving stuff away, LOL!

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