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
    Char, 17 Jan 2009 @ 4:04am

    DRM on eBooks

    Yes, DRM does pose some problems (like the one you indicated), but it still has been very effective for the industry and between Fictionwise, BooksonBoard and ContentRealtime it has worked 100,000 times or more. Why complain about something that works, just because a publisher is going away? That is like complaining that Chyrsler repair service doesn't work, when you bought a Chrysler car, but they went away. Even with paper books sometimes the "dog eats a book or two". Get over it. I don't necessarily like all things DRM, but sometimes good enough is better than something else that creates more problems.

    the team at Contentrealtime.com

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