Willing ebook Sellers

Whose book is it ((Balan, Mihai. “eBook.” Flickr. N.p., 22 Aug 2007. Web. 8 Sep 2010. <http://flic.kr/p/2TxVVS>.))

I’ve been home for the past several days and enjoying something of a routine. Mostly I’ve been taking walks and working on Citation Machine, adding a Click to Copy feature to MLA and APA formats. Now users can click the link and have the bibliographic and in-text citations automatically moved to the clipboard along with formatting instructions. Makes sense to me — but we’ll see if it is actually helpful to folks.

I have also continued to read and run across items worth thinking and possibly writing about, shuttling appropriately within my Delicious account.  ..and what has been most eager to break out is an experiment that Sci Fi writer and copyright activist Cory Doctorow conducted around the digital availability of his books.

Going to the major ebook stores, he asked if they would be willing to carry his books without DRM and with a text disclaimer at the beginning of the file that released readers from the “crazy, abusive license agreements” that sellers demand as condition of purchase.

The finding?

“Amazon, Barnes and Nobile and Kobo were all happy to carry my books without DRM, and on terms that gave you the same rights you got when buying paper editions.”

“Sony and Apple refused to carry my books without DRM — even though my publisher and I both asked them to.” ((Doctorow, Cory. “Which ebook Sellers will Allow Publishers and Writers to Opt Out of DRM?.”boingboing. 29 Aug 2010. Web. 8 Sep 2010. <http://bit.ly/9ZnXBg>.))

Doctorow goes into more detail in an interesting piece (Doctorow’s First Law) he wrote in early August for Publishers Weekly.

This is one of several developments in recent months that disturb me regarding the corporate world’s increasing appetite for control over our conversations.  My line now, when folks ask how I like my iPad, “It’s a love / hate relationship,” which is a step down from “I’m still trying to figure out why I bought it.”

Doctorow’s First Law:

Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won’t give you a key, they’re not doing it for your benefit. ((Doctorow, Cory. “Doctorow’s First Law.” Publishers Weekly (2010): n. pag. Web. 8 Sep 2010. <http://bit.ly/9nhhqL>.))

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.