Unlocking Our E-books

A year after they decided to stop using Digital Rights Management anti-piracy protections in their e-books, fantasy and science fiction publisher Tor Books observes “no discernible increase in piracy on any of [their] titles”:

When we made the announcement there was an immediate reaction from the media. The Guardian explained how ‘Tor rips up the rulebook on digital rights management’ and the BBC featured a long article with arguments from both sides, drawing links with the music industry’s experience of the transition and highlighting that “the key difference with the music business is that the book trade can see what mistakes the record labels made and avoid them.”

But the most heartening reaction for us was from the readers and authors who were thrilled that we’d listened and actually done something about a key issue that was so close to their hearts.

Mike Masnick wonders which publisher will be next:

I’m still amazed that any publisher thinks that DRM is a good idea. Now Tor’s provided more evidence that removing it doesn’t increase infringement rates. So, in one single move, publishers can provide significantly more value and convenience for ebook buyers, and take some of the power away from Amazon without any risk of greater infringement. It’s astounding that publishers aren’t pushing each other aside to make a similar move.