Why I’m DRM Free

All of my books are DRM free. I know that DRM is useless – I can break Amazon’s in a few clicks and almost every major DRM system has been shattered upon release – and I want people to read my books. That’s why I give them away when it makes sense (you can get Mytro free on the iBooks store now, for example) and try to offer my own download pages when possible. I’ll continue to do this.

I thought I’d share a talk by Cory Doctorow on this very topic and explain my position on books these days.

Libraries used to be the ultimate DRM-breakers. You could walk in, get as many books as you wanted, read them, and return them. I worry that, in the future, libraries will take huge hits in funding. Therefore, it makes sense for Indie writers to think in terms of what we can give back to readers rather than what they can give to us.

I want people to pay me because they like my work, not because they have to. That’s my goal here. I’ve had plenty opportunity to see how “old” publishers treat books – like commodities to be shipped and then pulped – and I never liked it. I like what’s happening now.

Joanna Penn offers some excellent notes from Cory’s talk:

Anytime someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won’t give you the key, it’s not there for your benefit. On why DRM is a bad idea. Also, how Hachette is one of the publishers with mandatory DRM. Plus, indies should make sure they actively choose not to use DRM – on some of the distribution sites, it is auto-selected. It’s certainly not necessary – as publisher Tor is now DRM free.

Fame won’t make you rich but you’ll have a hard time getting sales if no one has heard of you. Starts around 9mins in. Discusses how the deal for creators has got worse as the big conglomerates have consolidated into larger organizations. Talking about copyright laws, entertainment companies and law suits that are trying to control technology. Mentions Hugh Howey and indie authors, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Madonna switching to the concert organizer instead of a record label/distributor.

Information doesn’t want to be free. Starts at around 17mins. On censorship, privacy and more. The laws that protect DRM also stop the disclosure of flaws that can harm you. Scary stuff about ‘ratting,’ how your devices including your computer’s camera can be hacked – but now it is illegal to inform you how you can protect yourself. Seriously, this is awful stuff.

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