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
    Mike Masnick (profile), 31 Dec 2009 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Caught you Mike!

    Kate's bad experience story was initially run on the 28th. Your "DRM tax" story ran on the 30th. I have a feeling you may have parked this story for a couple of days (using the followup story rather than the initial story) just so you could bootstrap in the idea of a "DRM tax".

    You really need to put down the tinfoil hat. This post was submitted by Mark well after the DRM tax post was put up.


    You say that like there is ACTUALLY a DRM tax, which is not the case. The concept of a "tax" is a scare word technique to put down the concept of DRM.


    It is a tax. It's a fact. I don't see how you can deny it other than through pure blatant willful desire to say that I am wrong. It is a "cost" that is added to any product that uses DRM. Anyone buying one needs to consider that cost.

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