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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    The Anti-Troll, 1 Jan 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Caught you Mike!

    "You have bought a license, and Amazon maintains the material in a manner that you can access it and update your new Kindle or other Amazon ebook format readers / software."

    Oh - I see, you are locked-in to the "amazon format".
    Don't try to load the license you bought onto any reader other than one bought from amazon ... right?
    How many different incompatible formats are there today?
    Funny how you refuse to acknowledge this as a problem.
    You probably wonder why government agencies are interested in using a standard format for the many documents they generate. The Anti-Mike would wonder - "what's the problem? As there is no Microsoft tax, it is a fee that you pay everytime Microsoft goes thru one of their famous forced upgrades." I expect that amazon will soon have a forced upgrade of their own, thus forcing every amazon ebook license holder to "upgrade". I wonder how much it will cost .....

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.