Okay, first, just J.C. here, as if anyone can’t guess considering the topic. Second, I am no expert on the legal issues surrounding DRM (Digital Rights Management), as adapted for ebooks from its failed use in the digital music industry; but I’m always (re)learning a little something more. Third, I am still somewhat ambivalent and conflicted about all of this, even now.
As an author, I want to get paid, just like anyone who offers a product or service. How else am I going to make a living at what I want to do, which is write fiction? In theory, that’s what most people think DRM is all about. Well, aside from the publishers and vendors getting their cut, which any good business deserves. The problem is that DRM may not be about those things as much as we think. It’s also, perhaps moreso, about locking in customers via proprietary control. Some publishers (and even authors) are beginning shine a hard light on this.
On the other hand, tugging at the other side of heart and mind, spirit and Ka/Te/unique essence, are my readers… every author’s readers… anyone who loves books of any kind in any form. I believe in the right to use ebooks the same way we use print books… sharing with family, taking them wherever we want to go, and not answering to anyone for the property for which we paid good money, and no one telling us what to do with our books.
Caught between these two seemingly conflicted considerations, well, like most nonsense in the corporate (not “public”) and political worlds of my country, I will side with true citizens, true people, every time and even to my supposed loss. But maybe it isn’t a loss at all.
Compared to others, I’m not qualified (yet) to talk about why DRM is not what it has been made out to appear; yes, I have my opinion, but that’s not good enough for you. It’s time to get informed as readers (and writers) and tell the pundits, gurus, and self-appointed bellowers to shove off. We decide for ourselves what’s really at stake.
I’m still having to think things through where DRM is concerned in our own private “Tales” project; it’s all rather confusing. As to the Noble Dead Saga, we have no say over those ebooks, so don’t send us a lot of notes about that, because is won’t get anywhere.
Here are some links below to worthwhile commentaries (though perhaps old by internet standards). If you know of others, speak up and tell us. Things are changing out there in the e-frontier for books and it’s not all just good or bad… but it could be getting better on average, and more so with every set of eyes that opens. I’ll share more as time and my stumbling about reveals to me.
Publishers begin removing DRM from ebooks…
The laws on Removing DRM from ebooks (and other things) are very confusing
(JC: And they shouldn’t be)