Now Firebrand Technologies is offering social DRM as an option for publishers sending out review copies to librarians, journalists and others by way of Firebrand’s NetGalley service. Congrats to all involved. None other than Bill McCoy, now executive director of the International Digital Publishing Forum, was talking up social DRM while at Adobe. Too bad the people there were too set in their ways to follow up.
Unlike the usual encryption-based DRM, social DRM need not get in the way of books being read on a variety of platforms. And you can access socially DRMed books forever without relying on the continued survival or goodwill of the people who sold you the books.
Let’s hope that Firebrand can find a market for social DRM far beyond the present use. If I were B&N, I’d jump on this one as an alternative for publishers. Um, don’t told your breath—stubborn dinos that the B&N people can so often be, especially in their eagerness to lock in customers. Come on, B&N. Prove me wrong. Please. If you really really want to save your e-book operation, this could help.
Related: Publishers can ‘compete with’ Amazon…but should they?, by TeleRead Chris Meadows, who among other things mentions the no-brainer of dropping DRM. As for the IDPF, these days the focus on “lightweight” DRM by way of the related Readium Foundation (cached page—the current site is being revamped). No! Let’s ditch traditional DRM entirely, and if publishers want something, let it be social DRM.