Apple refuse to sell DRM-free eBooks

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Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital content. As a content creator, his is a unique and important viewpoint that clashes directly with antiquated pro-Bono business models. Doctorow’s body of science fiction is captivatingly modern and so too are his finger-to-the-man opinions that hopefully, will help change the way digital books are circulated.

Surprise, surprise: Apple and Sony rejected Cory’s idea of circulating DRM-free paid versions of his books with the following note below, while Kindle, Nook, and Kobo stores embraced the idea. This is the note that Cory wants added to his books (from Craphound):

“If the seller of this electronic version has imposed contractual or technical restrictions on it such that you have difficulty reformatting or converting this book for use on another device or in another program, please visit for alternate, open format versions, authorized by the copyright holder for this work, Cory Doctorow. While Cory Doctorow cannot release you from any contractual or other legal obligations to anyone else that you may have agreed to when purchasing this version, you have his blessing to do anything that is consistent with applicable copyright laws in your jurisdiction.”

If an author, whose livelihood is supported by his work, can support DRM-free and even FREE content, why can’t Apple and Sony? It is simple Gorden Gekko-esque greed, based in stodgy economic models, that gets in the way. Apple may have abandoned DRM in music files in 2007’s big digital-brouhaha, but they’ve hardly left the backwards business model that trusts no one. Their stitch against the suggestion, of course, points to Craphound where all of Cory’s novels are freely downloadable. His works not only come in every format under the sun, but they come Braveheart free.

Whether or not Apple allow content creators to SELL DRM-free books isn’t the issue here; it’s why they don’t allow the above addendum to be included in the iBooks Store.

You can read more from Cory Doctorow all over the net, but his most famous haunts are his personal blog: Craphound, and BoingBoing, a popular geek site he and a few mates pioneered.

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