Friday, 27 April 2012

E-books without DRM? So is this format-shifting of a kind?

It can be done.  Tor, of Tom Doherty Associates, will shortly be selling its entire backlist free of DRM.  How important is this?  Well, as Tor itself explains:
“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty. “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”
Format-shifting (of a kind, that is) doesn't have to be a dirty word, now, does it?

Tor itself is big enough to make a difference, too:
Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is a New York-based publisher of hardcover and softcover books, founded in 1980 and committed (although not limited) to arguably the largest and most diverse line of science fiction and fantasy ever produced by a single English-language publisher. Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, is also the home of award-winning Forge Books, founded in 1993 and committed (although not limited) to thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction and general fiction. Together, the imprints garnered 30 New York Times bestsellers in 2011.
This is an extremely interesting development in the publishing world - and one we should all follow closely.

If Tor, its readers and authors all benefit from such a move, it will make the job of those who insist on controlling our every content move just that little bit more difficult to justify.

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