Tor E-Books Go DRM-Free


Once authors get 50 percent or more of the proceeds, book prices will drop to the 25 cent to $1 range.
I expect that in six months we'll start to see that un-DRMed publishers sell more e-books than locked-in publishers.

Bwahahahahaha. Hahahaha. 6 months? That's too quick for any other publisher to make the strategic / technical change, so it's going to be Tor outselling the locked-in publishers. With one genre of material -- science fiction? Bwahahahaha.
Calibre is great. With or without the DRM-stripping code.
When I check e-books out of the library they come with a 21-day limit. After 21 days the book is no longer accessible.

Why can't e-books that are sold come with the license to lend out copies for a limited period like that?
Charlie - they do. Both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble sites have e-book lending programs. They are subject to significant publisher restrictions.
This is what I've been waiting for. I haven't wanted to buy an ebook reader, because I dislike the idea of "buying" books that I don't own and are so restricted in use. But if they ditch the DRM, I'll seriously consider buying an ebook reader and using ebooks when I'm considering what nifty things I can buy with my luxury budget. It won't rush to the top of my list, but now it might go on that list.
Maybe most people just aren't concerned enough about esoteric DRM to bother with taking extra steps to "emancipate" their libraries? Am I reading this correctly to understand that the magic "button" and "switch toolkit" that Doctorow mentions are currently more fictional than the stories published by Tor?

As it stands, buying DRM e-books is currently as easy as hitting a button.
You know you can load PDF documents directly onto a Kindle.

@6 There are plenty of DRM-free books that you can purchase today, though they're generally not from big name authors with a few exceptions (Rowling). Also, you can always borrow books from KCLS and SPL for free.

Perhaps more importantly, you don't need to buy anything at all. If you have a smartphone, you already have an ebook reader. Even if you don't, you obviously have a PC which means you have an ebook reader. It may not be as comfortable to read on as an eink device (shut it about "backlight headaches" from LCD-based readers, those are not real), but it's something you can already do today, right now, without spending even $80.

@7 I don't really understand that part, either. What does a "buy this book {somewhere else}" link have to do with auto-conversion? There are already plenty of conversion tools to swap back and forth between multiple formats, so that's not really fictional. From what I could tell, he was basically saying, "All of those existing conversion apps are borderline illegal, but now that one of the big publishers will sell DRM-free books they wouldn't be," which is ridiculous because it assumes that you can only get DRM-ful books today (which is completely untrue, with plenty of smaller publishers like Baen being DRM-free for years).

More importantly, once a majority of publishers go DRM-free, you won't need to do anything (well, unless you're still using a Kindle) because all of the non-Kindle readers use epub and all of the non-Kindle stores use epub. If you do insist on sticking with Kindle, just convert your DRM-free epub purchase to mobi using Calibre.

Ideally, digital publishing will follow the digital music model. Absolutely no DRM on purchased content, DRM on subscription content (libraries, in the case of ebooks). I expected this to take off pretty quickly once Pottermore finally shipped their DRM-free-but-watermarked books, and the Apple antitrust/price fixing investigations/lawsuits can only help push the industry to evolve faster.

@8 PDF is a shit ebook format that's not even worth mentioning.
Yay. The sooner this happens the sooner we can kill off more brick and mortar independent bookstores.