DRM On My Books
Question in e-mail today:
I have your books on my Kindle. As an author, would it bother you if I stripped the DRM from the ebook, to read it on another ebook reader? Or should I buy another copy?
Speaking personally and only for myself, I’m of the opinion that once you bought the book, in electronic format or otherwise, it’s yours to do with as you please. So if in the privacy of your own home and for your own personal use you de-DRM’d your book files? Fine by me.
I should note on a personal level that typically speaking I don’t strip out the DRM on my ebooks because from a practical point of view I don’t find it particularly onerous. Amazon, Nook and Google all have reading apps for my phone, tablets and computers, so I don’t find the need to crack the DRM in order to read what I want, where I want. I’ll note the Apple bookstore doesn’t have an Android or PC app as far as I can know, which keeps me from buying many books out of that store (Krissy buys some, as most her iReading is done on the iPad). As a practical matter, it’s access, not DRM per se, which is the issue for me, and I suspect access is the issue for most folks.
This is separate, mind you, from the philosophical issue of DRM, which on a personal level I find unnecessary for the books I write, and which from a business point of view may actually become an economic hindrance to publishers in the long run. Charlie Stross mused about this recently, and I recommend his thoughts to you. Other authors may feel differently than I do on the philosophical and economic desirability of DRM for their work, and that’s fine, and I support their choices. My belief is every author should have the ability to say how their work is presented to consumers in the marketplace.
But again, once you’ve bought it, I think the thing is yours. As long as you’re stripping out the DRM for your own personal use, what do I care? Please don’t turn around and put the book on a torrent, etc, blah blah blah. Athena needs college. But I don’t think most people are really that interested in becoming pirates, arrr. I think most people just want to read the books they buy. I’m for people doing that.