DRM: Will More Publishers Drop It?

An Amazon customer who has not identified herself has alleged that Amazon has shuttered her account and removed access to her content without a good explanation.

In response to the buzz on the Web, Amazon posted a short statement on its customer forum that casts some doubt on the original story. (Update: Reportedly, access to the account has been mysteriously restored. No word on that from Amazon yet.)

Either way, the incident fomented some anti-digital-rights-management sentiment on the Web, with many on Twitter and email lists discussing how DRM makes the alleged action by Amazon a possibility and ways of getting around it. Some even went so far as to advocate breaking DRM and taking the files out of the Amazon ecosystem.

Major publishers have been slowly taking steps in recent months to test what their business would look like without DRM. Macmillan has opened a DRM-free e-bookstore with its Tor imprint and HarperCollins recently launched a social-reading app that pushes customers toward a DRM-free e-bookstore.

The incidence and effect of piracy on the e-book market is thought to be lower than in other digital media; expect to see more experiments like this from large publishers soon.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Small iPad Big Problem for Amazon? (Marketwatch)
Apple is expected to announce a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet at a press event today (something it likely wouldn’t have done under Steve Jobs). The new device could spell trouble for Amazon and its Fire product.

Amazon Discontinued Kindle Touch? (PaidContent)
Amazon has apparently discontinued the Kindle Touch and Kindle DX products in favor of the Kindle Paperwhite, its newest e-reader. If you wanted a touch-screen, e-ink Kindle e-reader, you might have to wait a while: orders for the Paperwhite are backed up four-to-six weeks.

Bundle-Watch (C|Net)
The Humble e-book Bundle is now over $1 million in revenues over just a few weeks. Even if publishers aren’t jumping out of their seats (and they should be), others are. StoryBundle, a company that has the same sales and marketing angle as Humble Bundle, is on to its second bundle of e-books: a Halloween-themed package.

New UK Online Bookseller, Wordery (The Bookseller)
A UK-based book wholesaler, Bertrams, is launching Wordery, a new online bookstore. The store will not sell e-books initially but may in the future, Digital Book World has learned from one of the company’s representatives.

Hearst to Publish Thanksgiving E-Cookbook (NYT)
While the magazine publisher company has already entered into the e-book publishing market with specific brands like Cosmopolitan, this latest e-book will be taking content from multiple Hearst properties. Related: E-Book Publishing Rejuvenated at The Wall Street Journal.

More Audio-Books Coming to Your Car (PW)
A deal between Aha by Harman and Podiobooks, two audio-books vendors, will bring more audio-books to your car and make it easier for you to listen to them without taking your hands off the steering wheel and your eyes off the road.

INscribe Digital Does International Deals (PW)
Digital content distributor INscribe Digital announced new deals with a Chinese and a Swedish publisher, among others. Related: INscribe Library Deal With 3M.

Being Prepared (DBW)
Prior to launch, Wiley has produced 22 books about Windows 8. It says the books are available in both p- and e-book format. Will they work on the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablet?

Advice From Bezos (37signals)
Some sage advice from the CEO of Amazon on one thing people who are right all the time often do.


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