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
    The Anti-Mike (profile), 1 Jan 2010 @ 3:55pm

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

    Mike bootstraps all the time. He gently introduces a concept with a post like the one putting forth the idea of a "tax", which is his non-opinion on an opinion piece. So far it's all opinion, right?

    After a little while (days to weeks) he starts to bootstrap. He links to stories like this with terms like:

    We were just discussing the DRM tax on a Kindle, which is the "price" of having to rebuy any ebooks you want to keep

    Notice he doesn't refer to it as an opinion anymore. Now the DRM tax IS something. It isn't someone's opinion anymore, it is a Techduh-fact.

    A couple of weeks from now, something else will come up, and Mike will use a link like "such as the woman who was forced to pay a DRM tax because of Sony" or something similar.

    Now, Mike will come along and say "everyone know the original is an opinion", but over time, and over multiple steps up the bootstrap pyramid, people lose track of the source of the original concept, and start to accept the term or the idea as a fact.

    That's bootstrapping.

    There is no DRM tax. The federal government has no DRM tax, the state governments have no DRM tax, and local governments have no DRM tax. There is no DRM tax.

    6 months from now, the term "DRM tax" will be used freely on techdirt, as a put down to the concept of DRm in the same manner that a "paywall" is used only to put down suscription based websites.

    It's the techduh way... ;)

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