Love Cory Doctorow's take on this.... via Stephen Downes
Doctorow's First Law
- Doctorow's First Law By Cory Doctorow Aug 02, 2010
- I'm happy to say that after much work, I have persuaded three major retailers to offer my e-books without any technology or license conditions that would prohibit my customers from moving the e-books they've purchased to a competitor's device: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
- Doctorow's First Law: "Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won't give you a key, they're not doing it for your benefit."
- Apple has a mandatory DRM requirement for books offered for sale for the iPad. I know many Apple fans believe that because Steve Jobs penned an open letter decrying DRM that the company must use DRM because they have no choice. But this simply isn't true. Sony has the same deal.
- Dirty fighting instructors say: "any weapon you don't know how to use belongs to your enemy."
- if Apple offers a DRM-locked edition of one of my books, even I am not legally allowed to remove the DRM without Apple's permission, even if I'm making a perfectly legal use under copyright law. And I certainly can't authorize my readers to do so.
- If you think about it, this is a rather curious circumstance, because it means that once a technology company puts a lock on a copyrighted work, the proprietor of that copyright loses the right to authorize his audience to use it in new ways, including the right to authorize a reader to move a book from one platform to another. At that point, DRM and the laws that protect it stop protecting the wishes of creators and copyright owners, and instead protect the business interests of companies whose sole creative input may be limited to assembling a skinny piece of electronics in a Chinese sweatshop.