Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Did You Know You Probably Don’t Own Your E-books?

DRM and Ebooks

Image Courtesy of Olivier Bourgeois ~

I’ve written about a corporate “device” or “digital method” called Digital Rights Management (DRM) before—here are 5 past posts that talk about it

When I say you “probably” don’t own your e-books, I mean, if you’ve bought them all from Amazon and certain other retailers, you don’t own them, because they have DRM woven into their soft warm bodies

A couple of those past posts about DRM also talk about Cory Doctorow—two of them have videos of Cory

On his blog BoingBoing, Cory recently had the article, What’s Wrong with the Copyright Office’s DRM Study?

And, for those of you in countries other than the USA, do stay tuned in; because, in our world of corporate takeover and general shenanigans, what’s in one country can easily invade others

Before I share a few excerpts from Cory’s article, here’s a very brief definition of DRM:

“Digital rights management (DRM) schemes are various access control technologies that are used to restrict usage of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works.”

Also, be aware that Copyright does have its Problems

O.K., now, excerpts from Cory’s article:

“The Copyright Office…fails to even show that DRM does anything useful in the world, but still advises against allowing people to buy or share tools to let them bypass DRM in order to do the kinds of things the Copyright Office endorses, from repairs to security research.”

Here’s the “main point” of the article:

This month’s US Copyright Office study on Section 1201 of the DMCA identified many problems with America’s DRM laws, which ban bypassing DRM even when no copyright infringement takes place.

If you read that last linked article, you’re in for some very shocking truths

So, here’s Cory’s major conclusion:

“…the report’s recommendations fall far short of the minimum standard that the Copyright Office should aspire to, namely: allowing Americans to use their property in lawful ways, even if some corporation wishes they wouldn’t, because it hopes to sell them expensive parts, service, apps, or other add-ons.”

So, all that is potentially hard to interpret; and, corporations want to keep it that way………

However, an excerpt from one of those 5 past posts of mine might clear things up, just a bit…

“When Amazon sells you an an eBook for the Kindle they have the right to remove it at any time. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is referenced and Amazon can take your books away if it finds you’ve been ‘naughty’.”

While most folks still trust the major retailers to not suddenly snatch all their e-books (since, technically, they are not owned but just “licensed” for use), if you’d like to explore the DRM-Free life, check this out…
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7 responses to “Did You Know You Probably Don’t Own Your E-books?

  1. Adrian G Hilder July 12, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Interesting but the publisher or self-published author can choose whether they want to apply DRM or not to their book on Amazon and others. Tor stopped applying DRM as it did little to deter real pirates (DRM is easy to crack) and inconvenianced customers who wanted to move eBooks they had purchased to other devices. Tor’s sales of eBooks improved after they did this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alexander M Zoltai July 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Excellent points, Adrian !

      I considered including my experience with Amazon and being able to choose no DRM; but, I thought those really interested in the topic might take my links and read my past posts…

      The Tor example is a good one—thanks for adding to the discussion :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica Bakkers July 13, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Hence why I will always keep my print copies of all my books too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dgkaye July 17, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Great article Alex and thanks for the links. DRM always puzzled me, exactly because they can still be pirated, yet harder to be able to move them to another device. And to comment on your words, you better believe what’s going on in one country can catch fire to others, especially when they see how easy it is to manipulate people. Sad. :)


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