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
    darkbhudda, 11 Jan 2009 @ 10:12pm

    A few years ago I went through the same pain with one of the Adobe Acrobat major releases which broke the previous DRM. Took something like 6 months before Adobe's own DRM scheme updated to the latest version of Acrobat Reader. Then I had to go one by one and re-authorise them. There was no "re-authorise my library" function. After a few hours of clicking on one by one, and not having the software fail 50% of the time for no discernable reason, I gave up and just downloaded pirated versions instead.

    Now even though the sites have started releasing DRM free version, I am turned off getting ebooks. I still do once in a while, but rarely now.

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