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The Epic Battle over Controversial DRM

Posted on 2013-Feb-22

by BB eBooks Staff

DRM or Non-DRM


It seems the world of eReading is dividing into two separate sides: DRM or non-DRM. Based on the simple mentality of a consumer, going the latter route will unlock their rights to explore the literary work on any platform without the exclusivity of preselected devices. Retaining the absolute right would allow them to do whatever they want with their possession. The customer’s rights have become the springboard that heats the intense debate between the writer of this article and author who brings the behind-the-scenes expenses and labor on the table. If you go way back into reading the author’s articles Amazon breaking the law and used eBook controversy, you might come to grip with reality what the eBook apocalypse is all about for author.

Consumer’s Rights


Back to the first article about the consumer’s rights, I must admit that both the writer and author, Marilynn Byerly, have good points to prove to their reader that the current state of eBook rights is a work in progress. While the writer is thoughtful for general eBook consumers, the author makes a bold statement to defend her colleagues’ best interest and highlight the fact that license terms must be applied to protect the intellectual property. To have followed the debate to the very end, one promising solution might reflect the key of reconciliation to relieve the deadlock. What if the distributor can provide an “unlock” code for the sender/receiver of the eBook at a minimum fee in order to generate income for the eBook that has not been purchased? Gustopher additionally voices his opinion about building a DRM system that allows the consumer the considerable rights to reduce piracy.



On a larger scale of an argument in eBook industry, three independent bookstores are suing Amazon and the Big Six in publishing industry for monopolizing the eBook market with their DRM. The independent bookstores feel that they are being taken advantage by the mega retailer and the publishers. The locked ecosystem is accused of preventing other independent competitors from directly challenging with the defendant. All the bookstores ever want is to sell “open-source” and “DRM-free” eBooks that could be used on any devices. Eventually, their hope is to reform the way eBooks are traded freely without the limitation of DRM that forces eBook to comply with certain devices.

Troublesome Investment to Protect Piracy with DRM


According to The Verge, a question arises on the basis of whether the bookstores want to get rid of DRM or build a better version. Ruth Curry of Emily Books lamented last year about the sky-high cost of DRM that keeps the competitors from competing with Amazon, Apple, and B&N. The questionable $10,000 steep price tag jeopardized her opportunity to use DRM as a tool to fight with piracy due to the fact that independent retailers are unlikely to afford such a hefty amount of fee. Emily Gould of the same Emily Books revealed another incident when an author did not want to deal directly with them for fear that they might ruin the chance of publishing with Apple and Amazon.

To Be Continued


So to speak, DRM is a double-edged sword for publishers and online retailers. For publishers, they rigorously experiment with a security system that will protect their author’s intellectual property from being released to the mass consumer at no cost or at a very little cost. However, the consumer’s resounding revelation of the current state of eBook and the proclamation of their rights must be taken into consideration to make sure that the copyright issue will be dealt fairly for their investment in a product. For authors, living in an era where consumers are used to free giveaways can be a bit rough; however, it is poignant to hear how they make ends meet and how much they have contributed to promoting entertainment in reader’s awareness. For independent retailers, this is just the beginning of an epic battle with “mega corporation” as some might say. To be continued…

Label: eBook Industry News

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