A couple of years ago, people were advising those new to ebook publishing to use Digital Rights Management (DRM), a technology(ies) designed to protect their books from copyright infringement. However, as the music world has already discovered, the plan appears to have backfired big time. In fact, an article in TechDirt states that it is almost unfathomable why any publisher would use DRM at all.
Simply put, DRM limits the use of digital content after it’s been sold. In other words, no one can mess around with the work. In fact, it apparently can’t even be backed up. Amazon, Sony, and Apple are just three companies using DRM to protect content, but an article in TechDirt claims that not only has DRM proven to be a bad idea, it is actually hurting sales. The limited use of a product consumers have paid for has ticked off many readers so much that they refuse to buy any DRM ebook.
Consumers have a point. If you buy a print book, you can share it with as many people as you want. Not so with a DRM ebook. DRM was supposed to curtail piracy, however, given the many numbers of authors whose DRM books have been pirated, it’s a colossal failure. If computer savvy people want a free book, they’ll find a way to get it, and there are now plenty of websites out there offering free copies of someone else’s book. One certainly doesn’t have to be famous, to have sold well, or have a high price point on their book to be subjected to piracy.