L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

21 August 2007 Blog Home : August 2007 : Permalink

DRM = Don't Read Mobipocket?

Via teleread and mobilitysite I learn that Mobipocket, purveyor of DRM Crippleware, has a server problem.  This makes their 'secure' mobipocket format so secure that no one can read it. Excellent stuff that. According to a note sent out by fictionwise:

NOTICE: A major problem occurred with the Mobipocket DRM server at about 6:30 PM Eastern Time, Wednesday, August 15. Engineers at Mobipocket.com have informed us that they hope to be back online sometime this week, August 22 or 23. We have switched, where possible, all Secure Mobipocket files purchased during the downtime to an alternative DRM provider, Content Reserve. We have also taken all titles that could not be switched offline in Mobipocket format until the problem is resolved.

And indeed if you go to the Mobipocket website you see this:


Mobipocket.com has been shut down for maintenance, please come back later.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


The Mobipocket Team

One reason why consumers tend to distrust DRM is illustrated clearly here. If I had bought a 'secure' mobipocket book a few weeks ago and wished to redownload it now I would be screwed. And there would be very little I could do about it. Now as I'm not a mobipocket user I have no idea whether they have emailed all their users and told them about the problem but I'm guessing not.

Furthermore this is not some temporary intermittent outage, this is a site that has been down for a WEEK. I hope there is a good excuse for this because being down for a week with a cryptic "oops back soon" doesn't precisely fill me with confidence that I'll ever want to buy a 'secure' ebook from them or their agents.