♦♦ Why No DRM ?
What is DRM?
Why Our Ebooks Have No DRM
What is DRM ?
DRM (Digital Rights Management) refers to a method of protecting digital content that a publisher can apply to videos, music files and ebooks. Adding DRM has three drawbacks. Always, DRM makes your digital products cost more. Sometimes, the DRM does funny things to your computer. And often, DRM limits what you can do with your own purchase. For example, many DRM-afflicted ebooks do not allow you to print the files.
What is the Problem?
There is a danger in publishing DRM-less ebooks: they are easier to steal than the protected kind. Authors who spend a great deal of time, sometimes years, to create a significant book, may be concerned that their labors of love might be so easily lost.
The problem is parodied in a bit of doggerel:
Sweet Publishing is Chaos!
A war of Us and Them.
Will Readers ever pay us,
If we don’t use DRM?
In the world of music, the problem was faced and resolved by the iTunes model: selling the songs for cheap made much more sense than going after students and grandmothers for illegal downloading.
Could this plan work for ebooks? … If publishers do not use DRM or lawsuits, will readers respect an author’s rights?
One Calabash of Wine
There’s an African tale about a king who wanted to celebrate his wedding, so he invited all the members of his village to his grand hut, to enjoy a spectacular feast. He asked each person to bring one calabash of wine — a calabash is a large gourd, which, when dried, can be used to carry liquids. On the night of the feast, hundreds of persons lined up in front of the king’s hut, and each one poured from his calabash into an enormous kettle. When the kettle had been filled to the top, the king’s servant dipped a cup inside, and served one cup of wine to the king.
The king drank from the cup and then shouted: “It’s a miracle!”
Hundreds of persons around him looked up and waited for the explanation.
“We have all heard,” said the king, “that water can be changed to wine. Here we have a case of wine being changed to water!” And the king dipped his cup into the enormous kettle, and again there was nothing but water there.
The king understood the secret, and laughed out loud. And then slowly, the people understood, and they laughed, too. Each person had thought that they could save a few of their own resources. Instead of bringing wine to the king’s kettle — each person added a gourd filled with water only. Each person thought: “this is only one cup of water, only one. My contribution does not matter at all.”
Our DRM-less Ebooks
The ebook version of this work is copyrighted. You can’t legally reprint or sell any part of this work; and you cannot upload this file to any website, torrent site, or file-sharing sight, where other persons may obtain it for no cost. But are you allowed to give a free copy of the ebook to your friends?
I’ll tell you an open secret. If you do share this ebook with your friend, I’m not coming after you with a lawsuit in one hand and an organic carrot in the other. I want you to read my ebook, find a job you’ll love, and have the greatest summer of your life. And take care of the kids with all your sincerity, skills, creativity, and kindness.
Along with all this, I would love to:
♦ Get paid a fair amount for my many hours of hard work: planning, writing, editing, designing, formatting, updating, and promoting this book;
♦ Prove that low-cost ebooks (without DRM) can be published and survive;
♦ Publish future editions of this book and ebook, updated, expanded and improved;
♦ Offer more free resources on the book’s companion website.
Your support — by springing for a dollar to buy one of the ebook editions — is a small thing but a very important one.
—The DRM-Free Author, Michael Pastore