DRM: What Say You?

This post, by Amy Rose Davis, originally appeared on her A Modicum of Talent with Occasional Flashes of Brilliance blog on 1/11/11.

So… Tropes are on hold again, because something else came up that I need opinions on….

Digital Rights Management. I’ve seen more and more stories about indies who are struggling with e-piracy. Here’s what I already think and know about e-piracy:

  • When an author puts months or years into a book, potentially pays for editing, graphic design, formatting, copyright registration, ISBN numbers, etc., and takes the time and effort to put his/her work online for download at the bank-breaking price of less than $5, obviously, the author doesn’t intend to rip anyone off. The least a person can do is pay the price of a latte and download  copy of the book. Yes, piracy is bad.
  • No matter what protections an author puts into his/her work, some dishonest person is going to pirate it if there’s enough of a reason to do so. Dishonest people don’t care about DRM or other protections. They’re the folks who will scan a hard copy of a book and put it online for free download.
  • Most people who buy e-books are honest folks. I really believe this. They should be able to download a copy of a book, put it on more than one device, and share it in their own homes. DRM prevents these honest ways of sharing. My husband has a Nook and I have a Kindle. We have to buy two copies of a book or trade reading devices if we want to read the same thing. If one of us bought the paper copy, we’d just share the one copy. If I bought a CD, we’d share the CD. If I download things to iTunes, we can put them in our shared library. If we buy a DVD, we can watch it on my computer, his computer, and our TV. Not so with an e-book with DRM. So, yes, piracy is bad, but honestly, if two or three folks living in the same house want to share my work, or one writer wants to loan my book out to someone who doesn’t have the same device (e.g., a person who owns a Kindle wants to loan my book to someone with a Nook), I won’t lose any sleep over it.

So the question becomes, how do I protect myself and my work?

Read the rest of the post on Amy Rose DavisA Modicum of Talent with Occasional Flashes of Brilliance blog, and be sure to weigh in with your opinion in the comments section there.

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