DRM Screws Users Again: eBooks About To Disappear Due To DRM Provider Shut Down

from the don't-buy-anything-with-DRM dept

Around here, it's basically preaching to the choir, so most of you probably recognize this already, but buying anything with DRM on it is basically asking for trouble down the road. The latest example? An eBook seller named Fictionwise has realized that one of the companies that provides DRM for some of its books has announced that its shutting down at the end of the month. Because that DRM has to check in with an authentication server that's no longer going to be there, everyone who "bought" (really: incorrectly thought they bought) eBooks that used this DRM will discover that the books they paid for no longer work (Update: as noted in the comments, this DRM doesn't authenticate every time -- just any time you try to move the content to a new device. Also, Fictionwise is working to get replacements and has done so for many of the eBooks impacted already). It's as if a publisher could retroactively erase the text from within a physical book that you bought. Since Fictionwise is just passing on the eBooks from third party aggregators, it has no means of replacing the "disappeared" eBooks. Has anyone found any thing that DRM is actually good for yet?

Filed Under: drm, ebooks
Companies: fictionwise


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2009 @ 1:27pm

    The only "good" DRM

    Literally, the only DRM that (so far) hasn't totally ass-fucked the consumer is Steam's. They had some relatively minor issues over the years that affected 10-30% of the user base for a brief period of time (longest was 2 weeks) but most of those were service issues and not DRM related.

    Hell the only "DRM" problems with steam games have been the third party DRM that the developers foisted to run on top of Steam's!

    The only reason I buy into Steam still is because Valve has, since day 1, said they would push out a patch that takes away the need for the DRM check in. Then you only have to worry about losing your burned DV/C discs and serials.

    Though thinking about it I think the quote was they would "feel morally obligated" or some such. Bah I'll have to recheck it now.

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