Hachette insisted that Amazon sell its books with “Digital Rights Management” that only Amazon is allowed to remove, and now Hachette can’t afford to pull its books from Amazon, because its customers can only read their books with Amazon’s technology. So now, Hachette has reduced itself to a commodity supplier to Amazon, and has frittered away all its market power. The other four major publishers are headed into the same place with Amazon, and unless they dump DRM quick, they’re going to suffer the same fate.
The subject is more fully covered in Doctorow’s article for The Guardian. (You can read the entire thing here.) But the point he makes is valid, and will remain valid for the foreseeable future: the only beneficiaries of DRM are the ones selling the e-readers.
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