- Random House, which in the past has at least experimented with nonDRMed books, and which is encouraging authors of audio books to drop DRM.
- Wiley, which publishes books in a number of areas, including the technical one, O’Reilly’s specialty. It, too, has experimented with DRM-free books. Laudably this house has even tried social DRM, which isn’t "protection" in the traditional sense. Rather books come with users’ names embedded, as a way to discourage sharing. This doesn’t interfere with long-term ownership of books.
- Richard Nash of Soft Skull Press, who, through Wowio, let his titles appear without DRM (yes, Wowio itself deserves praising for relying on a form of social DRM rather than traditional DRM). Soft Skull will be releasing a number of e-books on its own for the iPhone and, I suspect, other formats. And my bet is that Richard will avoid DRM.
- Smashwords (Mark’s company), Book Glutton and other new outlets for independent authors—which aren’t hobbling themselves with any DRM.
- Marc Prud’hommeaux and Neelan Choksi at Lexcycle, who, while offering DRM to publisher as an option, have strongly spoken out against its use.
- Jon Noring. Early on, as a small publisher, Jon discovered that "protection" harmed e-books. His tiny Blue Grass Publishing avoids DRM entirely.
- Cory Doctorow. He’s consistently slammed DRM in his blog and lobbied against it among fellow writers.
- Jeff Gomez, now at Penguin, who, during his names as an Internet marketer for Macmillian, wrote Print Is Dead—where he took some swipes at DRM even though I’m sure that many of his publishing colleagues didn’t especially cotton to this criticism. Let’s hope that Macmillan and Penguin will both pay attention to Jeff’s warning that DRM detracts from price leverage (even though I don’t think that people want to may $20 for e-books, "protected" or not).
- Hadrien Gardeur at Feedbooks, a mostly public domain site, which in the future will be getting into commercial books and doing its best to avoid DRM.
- Techmeme, which, like TeleRead, has regularly published examples of DRM as an anti-consumer technology. So has MobileRead. Keep it up!
In responding, please list or link to the Web addresses of the people involved, and in the cases of stores and publishers, tell how far along they are in dropping DRM. Realistically publishers can’t always wean themselves away from DRM
overnight—given their existing commitments.
Update, noon EST: Yes, it would be nice to have mentioned Baen—which for years has been clueful about DRM and hates it with a passion, just as my own publisher does. Check out the late Jim Baen’s record. As noted, however, I didn’t claim to be mentioning everyone. I want people to help me fill in the gaps. I’m sure there are players missing as important as Baen. Help Mark and me out!
Detail: Yes, as the author of this post, I hereby declare myself ineligible for mention.Google+