Monday, July 2, 2012

Should I Use DRM on My eBooks?

Dear Rich: I am curious to know your thinking as to digital rights management and copyright violations. I have looked at offering our books directly from our website, but have held off on the decision to do so because of lack of DRM. For those unaware, DRM refers to digital rights management, typically software code that controls or restricts access to a work. (BTW, we've addressed DRM and related issues in a previous post.) DRM has been described by one publishing executive as a "speed bump" that doesn't stop anyone from copying. To that extent the four major eBook DRM formats have been widely hacked as have the DRM used in the books from the two leading online eBook stores (Kindle and iBooks). It's illegal to crack eBook DRM under the anti-circumvention rules of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ... but as is clear from a "DRM hack" Google search, the law is rarely enforced. The Dear Rich Staff has no opinion on the matter as we feel equally aligned with the desires of content holders and content hackers. Nolo, our employer uses no DRM for the eBooks it sells directly from its website (and never has).