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
    Passer-by trying to print a paid-for ebook, 3 Nov 2009 @ 7:34am

    Re: eReader Format Does Not Require Re-download for device change

    At the end of the day it is the publishers and authors (has anyone in this forum actually written a book? oh, I am a published author btw) that are trying to protect their content, as with music. It's just they are misguided, as proven by the increase in sales of digital music derived from DRM free sources and Steve's anecdote about his DRM-free publishers.

    It is typical of a consumer, free-for-all forum such as this that people jump in and attack the easy target, in this case Freewise. I have nothing to do with Freewise nor have even used their services but please people, get your facts straight before slating the middleman/distributor who is providing what is clearly a valued service or they would not still be in business...Most of us do not live in a state controlled economy so are perfectly free to chose our providers.

    Thanks for the clarification Steve and for your work in this area. Good luck with your business.

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