The largest science fiction publisher in the world, Tom Doherty Associates (whose labels include Tor, Forge, Orb, and Starscape books) announced on Tuesday, April 24th, that "by early July 2012, their entire list of e-books will be available DRM-free." President and publisher Tom Doherty cites pressure from authors and readers, stating:
Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time. They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.
While we aren't yet sure whether or not the ebooks will be distributed with a burdensome EULA (ebooks should carry with them all the same freedoms we can expect with printed books), this is pretty big news and it can certainly be considered a victory in the battle against DRM!
On BoingBoing, Cory Doctorow points out that this decision comes, "six weeks after an antitrust action against Tor's parent company, Macmillan USA, for price-fixing in relation to its arrangements with Apple and Amazon." Cory's optimism is simply contagious when he writes that he believes that, "this might be the watershed for ebook DRM, the turning point that marks the moment at which all ebooks end up DRM-free. It's a good day."
It is a good day. So let's celebrate! Let's get together, have some fun, and take action to pressure some more ebook publishers to drop DRM! On May 4th, people all over the world are going to be hosting events for the Day Against DRM, and you can join them!
Pledge to take action and we will contact you about an event in your area.