Repeating similar horrors from Microsoft’s MSN Music, Yahoo will shut down its Yahoo! Music and DRM servers—thus depriving customers of the right to enjoy the music on different machines in the original high-quality format.
Microsoft later backed off. But isn’t this all a perfect lesson for e-bookers who think they’re buying DRMed books rather than simply leasing them? Yes—Kindle owners included. Even if the gotchas aren’t as bad, they bound to show up. Look how Amazon’s main store squeezed out the Adobe format, herded people into its own Mobipocket and now wants them to buy Kindle-format books.
The library angle
"Once again," LISNews comments on Yahoo mess reported by Ars Technica, "this truly provides food for thought for libraries signing up for content services who cripple their wares with DRM. When they decide to leave, they can take their toys with them. Unfortunately, they can also take your toys with them too." Or just go out of business. Ask the librarians who bought Rocket eBooks and Gemstars.
"Protection" and eBabel: The twin toxins of e-bookdom
DRM and proprietary formats—the twin toxins of e-bookdom! And of music, too! The scary thing is that the big recording studios have actually been more progressive than the large publishers in understanding the folly of DRM. "Portection" is a great way to punish law-abiding customers and reward downloaders of pirated books. Quite rationally Amazon brags about selling nonencrypted MP3s. Time for it and its publishing partners to unshackle e-books as well and experiment with social DRM? Or is Amazon too much in love with short-term revenue from Mobi DRM to consider the long run?