L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

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

24 August 2007 Blog Home : August 2007 : Permalink

(Non) DRM eBook News

The Mobipocket server is still down with the same message as earlier this week. This I learn in a post at Charlie Stross' blog. A couple of other tidbits coem from there. Firstly this thread (which was a good deal shorter last time I looked) now also has information about how people can crack Mobipocket's DRM (start on page 5 post #62). Secondly and more importantly comment #7 on the Stross blog by the proprietor says (omitting first line):

The answer is to convince the publishers that DRM is a bad idea.

It's not obvious right now, but I think we're much closer than most people realize.

I have reason to believe that a certain large American publisher (who nearly abandoned DRM on ebook sales last year, but were overruled by their parent company) might shortly resume their interrupted experiment. If so, their actions will force executives in other large publishing companies to respond -- unlike Baen, they're a big fish in this pond, and ignoring them will be difficult.

At that point, all it will take is a second major publisher following suit for it to stop being a radical experiment and becomes an alternative business practice, which can be assessed on its profitability, just like any other.

To my mind this means that Mr Stross' main US publisher - Tor - has decided to resume sales through webscriptions "real soon now"

It's going to be truly fascinating if that is right because it means that the war about DRMed books is about to be over, and the DRM vendors just lost. Why do I say so? because I have absolutely no doubt that this move will be successful and we will see the results shared amongst the other publishers.