Despite Awful Customer Service, Woman Felt Forced To Buy Another Sony eBook Reader... Thanks To DRM

from the drm-lock-in dept

We were just discussing the DRM tax on a Kindle, which is the "price" of having to rebuy any ebooks you want to keep later on if you decide to switch to another platform. Some of the commenters on that post scoffed at the idea, and insisted that "in the future" this wouldn't be an issue, because most likely there would be ways to take your ebooks with you to other readers. Of course, that's little comfort to people today. Reader Mark sends in this story of how Sony initially refused to fix a Sony eBook Reader that only broke because of an update that Sony pushed the woman to install (oddly, they required her to send them the reader). So, effectively, Sony contacts her, tells her to send in her working eBook Reader, then they send it back and it's broken. And they refuse to fix it because it's out of warranty. Nice.

But here's the kicker. After all of this, she went out and bought another Sony ebook reader. She noted that she would have gladly purchased a competing product "but would have lost access to the library she's spent hundreds of dollars building up." And there it is. The DRM tax at work creating serious lock-in and consumer problems. At least in this case, due to the publicity from Consumerist, Sony agreed to reimburse the woman, but you shouldn't have to get a major publication to tell your story first to get that kind of resolution.

Filed Under: drm, ebooks, ereaders
Companies: sony


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  1. identicon
    JEDIDIAH, 4 Jan 2010 @ 7:13am

    The "tax" is not a new idea really...

    The "tax" is not a new idea really. Those of us that apply our anti-monopoly invective towards Microsoft have been referring to the need to pay for forced upgrades and at least one copy of the monopoly product as a "tax" for DECADES.

    Where have you been?

    Would you feel better if we called it a Toll? Would you feel better if we referred to Sony as bridge trolls? They outsource toll road management to private companies so it wouldn't be "terribly innacurate" either.

    All Mike has done is taken some really OLD anti-Microsoft rhetoric and applied it to Amazon and Sony as BOOK vendors. The fact that this can be done at all by any stretch of the imagination should deeply disturb everyone here (even the the libertarian wannabes).

    With incompatable Turing machines you at least have a technical reason and sort of an excuse for things being segregated into mutually incompatable fragmented islands.

    With pure data, there just isn't any excuse really.

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