This is interesting. The basic argument is that a DRM’d product is inferior to a non-DRM’d product, and thus publishers forcing some booksellers to provide DRM’d ebooks while the publisher directly sells those same books non-DRM’d is “putting booksellers at a disadvantage”.
Nothing sucks more than a great new technology with old-world thinking attached to it. Such has been the case with ebooks, unfortunately, with antiquated views on DRM, pricing, and storefront protectionism resulting in pissed off customers and libraries hollering from the nearest rooftop. What we’re left with is a platform that could do much to spread knowledge and the practice of reading among entire populations being stifled by those that still think the world should operate based on analog philosophies.
Did you catch the news yesterday on Boing Boing? There was an early report (which was later corrected) that the indie comics publisher Top Shelf Productions had gone DRM-free in their online store, but that is sadly not the case – not quite, anyway.
Following in the footsteps of publishers like Tor-Forge Books,Image Comics, and Baen Books, Top Shelf Productions is taking steps to go DRM free. Today they are testing the waters by releasing a few comics without DRM.
“This a page, usually printed with only the book’s title, that precedes the title page in the book. When dinosaurs roamed the earth, the function of the bastard title was to identify and physically protect the paper text block until it was bound. Sort of like the tissue paper they still put in fancy wedding invitations. I daresay that ebooks do not require any such protection. It is utterly without use in an ebook. Begone!”