Retail DRM is an apple; Library DRM is an orange
April 27, 2012 | 10:46 am
By Paul Biba
That’s the title of an article in The Digital Shift. Here’s a bit of it:
The decision on Tuesday by Tom Doherty Associates, publishers of Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen imprints, to make its entire list of ebooks available DRM-free by early July 2012, caused a tremendous amount of discussion in publishing circles with little reference to the library market.
From a librarian perspective, such news is secondary to the ongoing battle to convince publishers such as Macmillan, which is the parent of Tom Doherty Associates, to make even DRM’d content available to the library channel. Something Macmillan has steadfastly refused to do. Talking about DRM-free books, then, is a bit like “focusing on the new skylight you want when you haven’t yet built the walls to support the roof,” as one prominent librarian put it.
Even though the decision could possibly signal a lessening of fear among some publishers, DRM will remain an integral part of the library lending workflow for the foreseeable future. Whatever rethinking is going on among publishers, and that in itself could be a positive, it still remains that what a publisher decides to do with DRM on the retail side does not necessarily correlate to anything they will do with DRM on the library side.
More in the article.