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

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Spiros, 10 Jan 2009 @ 2:36pm

    DRM is a check not a

    Are those people who are so strongly against DRM also against banks insisting on a pin number for their ATM bank card?

    DRM is just a check to see that you have the right to use something that someone owns. You don't see people refusing to sign a credit card receipt (unless they stole the credit card) so I don't see what's the big difference.

    Of course if you want to give something away then that's fine. I strongly support people who want to give away content for free just like I strongly support people who want to give me money for free.

    However I respect that people have the right to protect what they own, less people may want to pay but that's surely their right.

    In regards to companies going out of business it's the same as in physical life. I bought some shoes with a 5yr guarantee and the store's now closed. Should stores be giving shoes away for free now?

    BTW:- anyone who wants to give me their bank account number and pin please feel free.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.