Here are a few really useful articles I’ve come across in the last couple of weeks, all of which have to do with developments in the business. I’ll stick them in here in the order of the events they refer to:
Eoin Purcell’s written an interesting article on who he sees as the winners and losers in the ongoing relationship wrangles between the publishers, Apple and Amazon, as the nature of publishing changes.
Charlie Stross predicts the end of Digital Rights Management and explains quite clearly why by giving us a rundown of how Amazon do business – which is quite frankly, astonishing (and disturbing) in its ambition.
Not long after Charlie posted his article, Tor announced it’s ditching DRM. For those who don’t know, Tor (Tom Doherty’s imprint, along with Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen) are one of the world’s biggest sci-fi/fantasy publishers. They also published ‘The Gods and Their Machines’ in the States.
Basically, this is the first move by a major publisher away from trying to cement readers into using a certain type or brand of reading device, or to stop them from copying their books from one device to another. It’s a realization that the main defence against piracy is not to restrict the readers who buy the real books, but to make it as easy as possible for them to get hold of them, and use them the way they want to. A positive move, one that gives people less reason to buy pirated material while also reducing Amazon’s (or Apple’s) attempts to create a monopoly.