CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR J K Rowling has launched the Pottermore online reading experience, which will invite fans online, and will sell DRM-free ebooks of the series for the first time.
The project, which is a collaboration with Sony, involves bringing the Harry Potter books online, telling the story through a web site and exclusively selling the ebook and audiobook versions in multiple languages.
What makes Pottermore so interesting is that the ebooks will not feature digital restrictions management (DRM), copyright protection designed to prevent media content from being illegally distributed on filesharing networks.
This is a significant move, as it means that the ebooks can be used on any device, from Amazon’s Kindle to Apple’s Ipad, both of which lock their own ebooks to their respective platforms. This open approach will be welcomed by many who find DRM technology invasive and obstructive, and it might set a precedent for other authors and publishers considering entering the digital world.
To cope with the possibility of so-called ‘piracy’ the ebooks will feature a digital watermark that will identify who purchased the book. This will allow authorities to track down who shared an ebook with the rest of the world, and those users could be faced with lawsuits for copyright infringement.
Could this be the straw that breaks the back of DRM?
Millions encountering eBooks for the first time — and DRM-free too — will start wondering why the hell all other eBooks aren’t DRM-free!
I would love to spit on the tossed-to-the-curb corpses of Adobe Digital Editions and DRM-stripping tools.