Friday, January 09, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate

I try not to buy eBooks that are riddled with "Digital Rights Management" schemes. Why? Well, if the company that sold you the content goes out of business or changes policies, you can be left with dead files.

However...sometimes I do. Because sometimes that is the only way to get a particular title. I try to limit myself to books that are doorstops (and would crush me in my sleep if I tried reading the deadtree edition).

eBook content provider Fictionwise has been hit with the loss of the services of a company called Overdrive. So any books provided via Overdrive are "going dark". And, once again, the honest folks who pay for content end up getting screwed.

Seriously. Any DRM scheme can be cracked (anybody who has read E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman tales would know that!). And, if you search hard enough, you can find "illegal" content on the intertubes (I recall that it took under two hours to put a Harry Potter book online). So why screw with honest customers? DRM doesn't stop the spreading of content, it just makes blood pressure go up (research the problems people had with the recently-released game Spore, for example). DRM forces honest folks to go to the dark side.

Next thing you know, some wank will start yelling that selling second-hand books ought to be outlawed...nah, that'll never happen, will it?

Addendum: long before the publishing industry asks for this gadget to be outlawed?

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