DRM (Digital Rights Management)

DRM is the system that the major eBook retailers use to stop eBooks being given away, sold or lent by their original buyers. The business model that the likes of Amazon follow means that they need to get the maximum possible payment out of each reader, so what they don’t want is the digital equivalent of used bookshops. This follows closely along the lines of the software publishers like Microsoft who again would much rather there is no resale of software by the buyer.

Before we get onto the ethical questions this raises we have to say that this policy of just one buyer does help the author’s finances. At the same time we must admit that Amazon has been good overall for the independent author financially and that they did force the large publishing houses to reduce the cost of eBooks reflecting their lower production costs.

We had better explain DRM now. It’s a software lock, almost like a hiden password, put on the eBook so that only readers owned and registered to the buyer can view the book. Now most of the companies will allow that buyer to have multiple devices running eBook reader software all registered to the buyer and being able to read his library of DRM books.