Here’s a talk I gave earlier this year at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in NYC, about the way that DRM gives distributors control over publishers and writers. This talk went down very well, and is the source of “Doctorow’s Law,” which a lot of people have asked me about: “Any time someone puts a lock on something you own, against your wishes, and doesn’t give you the key, it’s not being done to your benefit.”
There’s some errata here, though: the Overdrive debacle was due to a licensing dispute, not a bankruptcy; and there’s now a “DRM-free” option for the Kindle, but I can’t find out if the file comes with legal encumbrances that would prevent people who buy one of these from moving it to a competing device (no one at Amazon will answer my queries about this). And I’ve also been told by Amazon that supposedly Audible will do DRM-free audiobooks, but they haven’t answered repeated queries about the details of this.
TOC 09 “Digital Distribution and the Whip Hand: Don’t Get iTunesed with your eBooks”