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Charlie Stross: ‘DRM Has Proven to Be a Hideous Mistake’

Author Charlie Stross thinks that if publishers released DRM-free eBooks, they would be less beholden to Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem.

In a blog post from earlier this week, the British science-fiction author argues that Amazon’s domination of the eBook market makes them ruthless when it comes to supplier discounts. He writes: “Amazon has ruthlessly used its near monopoly of online sales to exert monopsony buying pressure against suppliers, forcing the likes of Holtzbrinck or Penguin or Hachette to give them a deep discount on ebooks. In the past they have de-listed publishers’ paper editions during negotiations, chopping their sales off at the knees in an attempt to force them to grant favourable sales terms.”

Stross, who is published by Ace Books, a Penguin imprint, thinks that to survive, the Big Six should publish DRM-free eBooks. He writes: “As ebook sales mushroom, the Big Six’s insistence on DRM has proven to be a hideous mistake. Rather than reducing piracy[*], it has locked customers in Amazon’s walled garden, which in turn increases Amazon’s leverage over publishers.” (Via Boingboing).

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