DRM AND BOOK PUBLISHING: This short video by John Bond of Riverwinds Consulting gives a quick overview of digital rights management in book publishing.
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You Can Write and Publish a Book: http://www.booksbyjohnbond.com/you-can-write-and-publish-a-book/about-the-book/
Hi there. I am John Bond from Riverwinds Consulting and this is Publishing Defined.
Today I am going to discuss DRM or Digital Rights Management. I will be discussing how it relates to book publishing. DRM can be a confusing topic and it certainly provokes strong feelings with many people.
First DRM is a form of protection used with eBooks that limits the reader or buyer with their ability to copy it or to share it with others.
DRM is widely used in the book publishing industry, as it is in the music, film, gaming, and other creative industries. Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Barnes and Noble all limit the buyer’s ability to share the work with others.
DRM works by having embedded code or programming tie the exact content to a user’s account or to a particular device. Some DRM programs allow the user to share or copy content with a specific number of people or times. Others allow no sharing.
According to its advocates, the goal of DRM is to prevent illegal sharing or piracy which might deprive an author or publisher from sales or royalties.
There is very restrictive DRM that requires the user to be online the whole time while reading; less restrictive ones which are more liberal with copying and sharing; watermarking which is less invasive but pulls on the reader’s conscience to play by the content’s stated rules; and all the way down to those companies that impose no restrictions on the material.
The arguments for DRM are that the material costs money or time to create and therefore people should have to pay for it. It also shows the reader that the company views the content as having value and therefore requires payment, versus free content on a let’s say a website.
There is a vocal group that is stridently anti-DRM. Some of the points they make are:
-DRM costs money and adds to the product costs.
-DRM causes aggravation to the user and leads to frustration among buyers or readers, even if you want to do such innocent things as read on multiple devices or make a backup copy.
-DRM prevents legitimate sales because of the hoops that are usually required.
-And most of all that they are pointless as they are always work arounds or hacks.
Whether pro or con, it becomes an individual or institutional decision. There are conflicting studies that say when books are free of DRM, sales increases. That pirating does not have a negative effect on eBooks sales. And there are other studies that say the reverse.
The decision may be decided already for you, in that, if you are going to use a large distribution channel like Amazon or Apple or others, they require DRM. However, you may be able to dial back some of the choices on how restrictive they are.
When you have to make a decision about using DRM and how restrictive to make the copying and sharing options, I would suggest think through the paper book parallel. That is would an owner of a paper copy be able to do the things you are trying to restrict the eBook owner from doing…..