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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why all the moaning about Kindle DRM is a crock

Much like the inane obsession over security, I consider the endless moaning over Kindle DRM to be a crock.

In June, my Kindle broke. Since I already had 6 Kindles locked to my account, this was the DRM-fear-mongering person's nightmare. All my old books which I had bought had become unusable. I wasn't using the Kindle much at that time (when I'm at home, I rely on the library, rather than spending money on books), so I wasn't motivated to even call Amazon about it.

Now, on the eve of my Japan trip, I finally was motivated enough to call Amazon's customer support. I explained my problem, and in 3 minutes, Amazon's customer service rep released all my licenses and I could download all my books again. Now I have to leave the Kindle plugged into the wall charger while it re-indexes the universe.

Seriously, I don't understand the hyper-ventilating over DRM. If Amazon goes out of business or de-supports the business (very unlikely --- I expect Google to give up on books first), the DRM is so insecure that it's probably crackable. If not, I'm happy to keep giving them money for such a useful device.


Phil said...

DRM is designed to hurt competitors, not consumers. Remember, Apple was happy to remove DRM from its music... once it had already sewn up the market for portable music players.

The biggest cost of DRM is not draconian policies but foregone innovation.

Piaw Na said...

Oh sure. But at this point, I think every Kindle owner has an incentive for everyone else to be locked to the Kindle "standard". :-)