DRM in eBooks

The subject of DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a hugely controversial one. Supporters are avid that it protects the writer (and the publisher or retailer)  from people stealing their content. Those against DRM say that it merely inconveniences users, and provides publishers a way to punish usage they disagree with.

Let’s look at what DRM actually does.

There are both passive and active types of DRM. These can do things such as limit the number of downloads for a purchased book, requiring a password to open content, requiring a “key” to unlock a download, applying watermarks, etc. All things that at first glance would seem reasonable when applying to a purchased book.

But it gets more complicated than that. There have been instances of retailers removing content from devices without the owner’s permission, whether due to a legitimate copyright claim or because of a blanket act of account suppression. There have been stories of people traveling internationally and finding all their books blocked, because the country they are currently in doesn’t acknowledge the retailer.

There are also instances where download limits, over time, mean that you lose the right to add your book to a new device. The download limits also prevent people from “borrowing” books from a friend unless they use the complicated system provided by some retailers. Then there is always the chance that a retailer will go out of business and your books are lost, or changing device brands makes your purchases invalid.

Supporters of DRM insist that it’s the only way to prevent piracy, but the reality is that every type of DRM is nearly immediately and easily defeatable. Sites even offer “cracked” versions of books, taking away from legitimate sales.

How Simply Written does it.

With all of this in mind, Simply Written has chosen to create your ebook files without any DRM. A good many writers don’t want it included, and we understand that. For those that do want it, Amazon and the iBookstore can add it in when you submit your book for sale.

Whatever your stance on DRM, it’s your business, not ours. We give you a clean file, and you can do with it what you wish. If you want to use these methods to restrict your content, there is plenty of information about doing it on the retailers websites.