Ebook DRM is like an urban legend that just won’t die. Publishers act like my mom, FW: FW: FW:ing the same disproven ideas back and forth and working themselves into a frenzy. Unfortunately, while I finally got my mom to check Snopes once in a while, there is no similar fix for publishers.
They think it is a technical issue, but I can download Calibre and remove my ebooks’ DRM in a flash. Whenever the technology improves, so will the workarounds. As Wil Wheaton pointed out, piracy is a service issue, and the best way to combat it is to provide a model that people find easy to use and worth their money (See: iTunes)
…the truth is that DRM can be hacked. It does not eliminate piracy. It not only fails as a piracy deterrent, but it also introduces restrictions that make ebooks less attractive than print books. We’ve all read a print book and passed it along to a friend. Good luck doing that with a DRM’d ebook! What publishers don’t seem to understand is that DRM implies a lack of trust. All customers are considered thieves and must be treated accordingly.
I want integrated multimedia, dynamic formatting, and advanced layouts and interaction that will rip open complex format genres from children’s books to textbooks without requiring them to each be standalone apps. It would unleash a torrent of creativity that would be incredible to see.
Unfortunately, the only think I can see breaking this stalemate is an open format device more attractive than the Kindle gaining ground with consumers. If one comes out, I’ll be at the head of the line.