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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tor E-Books: DRM Free Starting in July

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM

About five minutes after I finished reading Why I Break DRM on E-Books: A Publishing Exec Speaks Out, I saw that sci-fi author John Scalzi blogged this news:

Tom Doherty Associates, publishers of Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen, today announced that by early July 2012, their entire list of e-books will be available DRM-free.

“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty. “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”

DRM-free titles from Tom Doherty Associates will be available from the same range of retailers that currently sell their e-books. In addition, the company expects to begin selling titles through retailers that sell only DRM-free books.

Right now DRM on e-books is more theoretically annoying than anything else—thanks to Kindle apps on my iPhone and Mac, for example, I can read whatever Kindle books I've purchased on plenty of devices. But counting on Amazon and Apple and whoever else to keep playing nice with each other isn't the smartest strategy—and when you get right down to it, if you're buying a book with DRM, you're buying something that's been hamstrung.

So good on Tor. This is a smart move: Anyone who was already pirating Tor's stuff will continue to do so, because, you know, dicks. But when it comes to the people who legitimately buy their e-books, Tor's taken a pretty big step toward no longer annoying and frustrating them. Here's hoping other publishers follow suit.

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