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. icon
    TW Burger (profile), 4 Jan 2010 @ 4:47pm

    Technology Woes

    Aside from problems with Sony customer support (I have had many issues with Sony as a technician and customer - not the least of which was that root kit incident)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal

    The core of the problem is not DRM it's the way DRM is handled.

    If I buy a paper based book it's mine. I can read it, lend it to a friend, quote from it in my writing (attributing the source), or leave it on the public transit for someone else to read.

    Digital media should be the same. How about having all of the media in one common format and you can copy to and from any device. There just has to be a DRM code number to enter for the eBook that is registered to you and can be transferred to another user.

    There should also be a way to not allow the seller to delete your cop like Amazon did to Orwell's 1984 on Kindles.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html

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