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Worlds Without End Blog

Adieu, DRM Posted at 9:45 AM by Rico Simpkins


Readers Against DRMTor has extended their DRM-free book policy across the pond:

As of today, Tor UK, Pan Macmillan’s science fiction and fantasy imprint, has made its eBooks DRM-free and available to purchase from the Tor UK Ebookstore. In a move announced earlier this year, Tor UK has joined sister company Tor Books in New York in removing Digital Rights Management from all its titles so that once you purchase a Tor UK book, you can download it as many times as you like, on as many ereaders as you like.

Back in April, John Scalzi, this year’s Worldcon MC,  applauded the decision:

As an author, I haven’t seen any particular advantage to DRM-laden eBooks; DRM hasn’t stopped my books from being out there on the dark side of the Internet. Meanwhile, the people who do spend money to support me and my writing have been penalized for playing by the rules. The books of mine they have bought have been chained to a single eReader, which means if that eReader becomes obsolete or the retailer goes under (or otherwise arbitrarily changes their user agreement), my readers risk losing the works of mine they’ve bought. I don’t like that.

Cory Doctorow  believes this means the end to the format wars:

I’d expect someone to make a browser plugin that draws a “Buy this book at” button on Amazon pages (and vice-versa), which then facilitates auto-conversion between the formats. I’d also expect to produce a “switch” toolkit for Kindle owners who want to go Nook (and vice-versa).

China Miéville, speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last weekend, looked beyond tearing down just DRM, predicting the remixing of content at will:

Be ready for guerrilla editors. Just as precocious 14-year-olds brilliantly – or craply – remix albums and put them up online, people are starting to provide their own cuts of novels. In the future, asked if you’ve read the latest Ali Smith or Ghada Karmi, the response might be not yes or no, but “which mix”, and why?

It’s a brave new (publishing) world that has such content in it!


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