DRM Is Evil, Part 8,492: Nook Pulls Out Of UK, Exploring Options To Let People Retain Access To At Least Some Books
from the drm-sucks dept
Yet another story of how badly DRM screws over legitimate buyers, with no actual benefit for copyright holders. This time, it’s about the total failure of Barnes & Noble’s Nook ebook reader, which is struggling globally, and shutting down entirely in the UK. Nate Hoffelder has a great article explaining why the Nook has been such an abject failure, but a key point highlighted by the Register is that the company is still working to see if there are ways that legitimate buyers can keep access to at least some of the books they purchased.
In one of the most amazing statements this author has read, the company says it’s trying to set up a deal with Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand “to ensure that you have continued access to the vast majority of your purchased NOOK Books at no new cost to you” (emphasis added).
Of course, this is hardly a new phenomenon. Remember when Microsoft had a DRM it called “PlaysForSure”? And remember when it shut down those servers, blocking people from ever moving that content to new machines? Or how about when Scholastic shut down its Storia DRM’d book offering, meaning parents who purchased ebooks for their kids had digital pixie dust instead. Or when Rhapsody/RealNetworks killed off an old DRM, killing off access to songs people had legitimately paid to access. Or when digital comics company JManga shut down and with it took down access to purchased content. And remember when Adobe changed its DRM and made old ebooks obsolete?
This kind of thing happens again and again and again. And for what? What benefit does it actually create for copyright holders? At best it only serves to entrench the most dominant retailers, taking power away from the copyright holders (who already took power away from the actual creators). And it tends to do nothing to stop actual copyright infringement, because all of those works are still readily and easily available.