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Harry Potter and the Deathly DRM

J. K. Rowling revealed today that she will sell eBook versions of her Harry Potter series online. According to Wired, the books will be available on all major devices without digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.

Instead of limiting use of the digital file, Rowling will add a digital watermark to the eBook to discourage piracy. Do you think this move by a major author could convince other publishers to drop DRM restrictions?

Check it out: “While strict DRM ensures that you are the rights holder before you can access the content, digital watermarking (sometimes known as social DRM) simply associates the file to the purchaser. This means that e-books can be used across any platform, but if they are uploaded to file-sharing websites, the copyright holder should be able to tell which purchaser was responsible (although any file-sharer worth their salt would know how to remove such a watermark).”

eBook blogger Mike Cane summed up the potential impact of this move: “Millions encountering eBooks for the first time — and DRM-free too — will start wondering why the hell all other eBooks aren’t DRM-free!”

We’ve written about how DRM can restrict your ability to copy and paste text from an eBook–how has DRM affected your reading experience?

 

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