DRM is a bit of a conundrum. It has, as far as I know, never deterred piracy, yet entertainment companies continue to implement DRM solutions that hinder or block paying customers. A recent example is that both Sony and Microsoft are reportedly considering anti-used-games DRM for their next-generation consoles. But not all companies fail to see that DRM is a losing battle.
Tom Doherty Associates, the publisher behind the Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen imprints, will be making all of its e-book titles DRM-free. The announcement was made yesterday on the Tor blog that the publisher's entire library of e-books will be DRM-free by "early July." A similar announcement was made for Tor UK e-book titles. From the blog post:
“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty. “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”
It's comforting, and a bit surreal, to see a company "get it" when it comes to DRM. Being able to use purchased content in any way a user may choose almost seems to be a luxury now. Doherty sees that DRM is not needed and is a hinderance to legitimate customers. This is especially true in an industry where an act of piracy can create a die-hard fan for an author. Even more true with genre fiction, where series often run through dozens of novels. Some of science fiction and fantasy's biggest authors, such as Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman, have even been giving away books for years now.
What do you think? Are you excited that you will be able to keep your Tor science fiction collection even after Amazon Kindle's are a relic of the past? Leave a comment below with your DRM hopes or horror stories.