DRM on books is for zombies

A few months ago, when I got my iPhone and wanted something to read on the Kindle app, I excitedly bought a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for my first read.

That’s right. Jane Austen remixed with one of the bloodier pop culture memes of the moment. You’ve likely heard about it. What could go wrong?

A whole lot, it turns out. The author remixer had completely different ideas about how the concept should be executed, and it was too far from my great expectations. Despite my enthusiasm for the source material with bonus braiiiiiiins, I couldn’t finish more than half of the book.

Here’s a problem: my sister and a number of friends have bought the doomed tome. If Amazon didn’t use DRM on their Kindle titles, I might’ve been able to save one or more of them $13 by passing along my copy.

Another story you may have recently heard about was David Pogue). It turned out that the publisher didn’t actually have the rights to sell the book. So, of course the innocent purchasers got punished. Amazon says it won’t happen again. But how can we be sure?

If you find this situation frustrating, please take a moment to sign the petition at Defective By Design calling for removal of DRM from Kindle:

We believe in a way of life based on the free exchange of ideas, in which books have and will continue to play a central role. Devices like Amazon’s are trying to determine how people will interact with books, but Amazon’s use of DRM to control and monitor users and their books constitutes a clear threat to the free exchange of ideas.

Read more about the petition here. Thanks @jpalfrey for the tip!

Photo by
Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

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