Macmillan’s Tor Imprint Launches DRM-Free E-Bookstore at Tor.com

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Macmillan, Tor/ForgeBy Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

Following its recent announcement that it will be selling its e-books without DRM starting this summer, Macmillan’s Tor/Forge science fiction and fantasy imprint has announced that it will be selling those e-books through its own store.

The store at Tor.com will sell DRM-free e-books “from all of the Tor imprints, and maybe a few other surprises,” according to Fritz Foy, senior vice president of strategic technology for Macmillan, speaking at the Publishers Launch conference in New York to a crowd of industry professionals.

When asked by Digital Book World if the new Tor.com store would sell books outside of Tor or Macmillan, Foy said “maybe.”

“DRM does not prevent piracy…does not allow for an optimal reading experience…doesn’t allow us to best serve our authors and our readers and did not create a healthy, competitive retail marketplace,” said Foy.

Foy brought along several associates to help explain the move, including Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow.

DRM says that “by buying this book, you will read it only on a certain sort of screen or on a certain sort of platform,” said Doctorow. “And let’s remember that DRM cannot prevent piracy.”

But DRM reduces competition, he said, “DRM prevents competition, not copying.”

Science fiction writers may be for the move as well.

“Removing DRM makes our readers a lot happier,” said John Scalzi, president of Science Fiction Writers of America, an association for science fiction writers.

According to Scalzi, Tor has sent a note to its authors saying that the imprint will still be enforcing copyright, shifting it from technology to the legal department.

“It’s always delights a conference organizer when a speaker decides to make an announcement at the show,” said conference organizer Mike Shatzkin.

Write to Jeremy Greenfield

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