Tor founder Tom Doherty on publishing without DRM

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And you get loyal readers like me – someone who refuses to buy “books” that have an unknowable expiration date and who refuses to work around it by breaking even stupid laws like the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions.

I have books in this house older than the United States (some by centuries). Still perfectly readable as originally published. I refuse to conspire in breaking that literary chain of culture.


I just wanted to say I really like Tom Doherty.

I remember when the perpetual second fiddle Sci-Fi publisher Baen brought out their DRM free eBook store. At the time I think they were the only one in the industry who did it, and everybody thought they were nuts. They would even give full CDs full of books away for free. All of the other publishers, if they were doing eBooks at all, were pushing their own proprietary eBook readers with uniformly horrible DRM. The industry consensus was that Baen would be pirated to death in a year.

A couple of years later Baen was the only company making money on eBooks and everybody else had lost a bunch of money on expensive DRM solutions. Of course most of the publishers still wouldn’t go along with the no-DRM idea, it was just too crazy.

Sadly, Amazon came along and bailed them out instead of forcing them to see that DRM is inherently self destructive, and now Amazon has them by the balls.


Of course, it is beyond trivial for anyone who knows how to type words into a keyboard, to circumvent Amazon’s (et al) DRM schemes and freely convert their titles to their hearts content, even on Amazon’s very own eReaders.
Uhm, or so I heard :smiley:

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