DRM hurts publishing

It was easy to give away copies of Tessa Dare‘s Legend of the Werestag.

  1. I bought three copies from My Bookstore and More.
  2. I asked the winners what file format they wanted.
  3. They told me. I downloaded the file from Samhain Publishing in the requested format, and sent it on to them.

Why could I do this? No DRM.  If Samhain had used DRM on their files, I would not have been able to host a giveaway on my website.  Samhain would have lost three sales, and a tiny portion of my itty-bitty spotlight.  DRM doesn’t prevent piracy; pirates can crack any form of DRM in about five seconds, and they have no compunction doing so, because hello, they are pirates. They eat DRM for breakfast. There isn’t an e-book format out there that can’t be cracked, and once it’s cracked once, the now DRM-free format can be served up on pirate sites.

So what does DRM do?  It makes it impossible for law-abiding people to make legitimate use of files that we purchase (one legitimate use: creating buzz about a title by hosting a giveaway).  DRM doesn’t stop piracy. It stops legitimate purchases.

DRM is the equivalent of trying to prevent teen pregnancy by teaching kids the rhythm method: Not only does it not work, but teaching it is counter-productive.

A quick reminder: It is still “Love your DRM-free Werestag” Week!

Courtney Milan writes historical romances, which might lead people to think that she could be cool. In reality, she's about four different kinds of geeky. At present, this blog is where Courtney applies semi-dormant geek skills to publishing.

4 thoughts on “DRM hurts publishing

  1. DRM = Digital Rights Management

    It means files can only be played by the person who bought them. Before iTunes went DRM-free, if someone bought a song from them it would only play on their computers and not anyone else’s.

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