Just Click No for DRM

lock-drm-binding-contract-948442_960_720My understanding is that when an author publishes a book on Amazon that there is a box, pre-checked for your convenience, to elect putting DRM or Digital Rights Management on your book. I’ve also heard that once you say yes, you’re stuck with your choice. I’m going to argue that the best choice is to unclick that box. But first, the case for sticking with the default.

Copying an MP3, ebook, or other digit content is normally a trivial exercise. You do it every time you send your latest opus to an editor as an email attachment, copy your final manuscript to an external hard drive for backup, or drag a copy of your work-in-progress to a jump drive so you can polish it a bit at work. (We’ll pretend that last part is just while you’re on break or lunch.) In essence, DRM is a scheme that is supposed to prevent someone from copying digital content or that prevents it from being used on a device other than those authorized. For example, if someone purchased your book and gave a copy to a friend, DRM should in theory prevent the friend from being able to read the book on their Kindle.

When presented with the choice of DRM most uninitiated authors are going to go with the default (that must be the best choice, right?) or investigate to see what DRM is, and end up at the same place. Why would you want to make it easy for people to pirate copies of your book? Think of all the money you’ll miss out on from any lost sales. It seems like a logical choice. It probably isn’t. Continue reading “Just Click No for DRM”