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image Defenders of Kindle DRM might want to check out a just-posted TeleBlog comment from Steve Pendergrast, a co-owner of Fictionwise and eReader.com.

eReader offers anti-piracy measures related to use of credit card numbers (protected). And it’s a proprietary format. But long term, Steve would prefer a nonproprietary open standard, and commendably Fictionwise already offers nonDRMed books in a variety of formats when publishers allow this.

The Kindle gotchas ahead

Meanwhile, in the case of the Kindle, Steve cluefully writes:

"Kindle’s success (whatever that is, all we have currently is secondhand rumors on number of units) does not prove DRM is good. Customers do not realize the ‘gotcha’ until they want to move their purchases to another device.

"Then they realize what the issue is. Kindle was just released 8 months ago. Most customers have not thought about upgrading to other devices yet.

"A year or two from now is when the backlash will start to kick in. Many kindle customers, new to e-books, are not even aware of the issue yet."

Pro-Kindle owner, not anti

No, Kindle owners, Steve isn’t against you, and in fact his e-book stores offers books readable on Kindles.

He’s for you—just as I am in reminding you that Amazon is only renting books to you. The best solution, as I see it, would be the use of nonDRMed ePub, or else ePub with social DRM.

For now, just remember that Steve and I both have something in common: an appreciation of the value of intellectual property. Do you really think Steve and I would be so skeptical of DRM if we felt it helped sell e-books? Just the reverse. And that should apply to large publishers, too—not just the Baens.

Meanwhile let’s remember that while Steve and his brother, Scott, enjoy a lot of clout within e-bookdom, Amazon has much more. If Amazon can offer MP3s without DRM infestation, why the devil can’t it sell e-books without it?

Related: Fictionwise contest through which you can win $500 credit or an iPod touch.

 
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