A couple of days ago, author Steven Lyle Jordan complained that anti-DRM advocates were tagging his books on the Kindle store with labels like “defectivebydesign” and “drm-infested.” The trouble is, Jordan’s books don’t have DRM. He wrote:

DbD’s answer to fight the Evil Empire: To tag every ebook vendor’s books with their anti-DRM tags, regardless of whether DRM is there, to protest Amazon’s actions. Their “Kindle Swindle” campaign is openly devoted to this practice.

In the comments that followed, the executive director of the Free Software Foundation left a note addressing the issue:

Hi Steven,

We do not intend to tag all Kindle books. The intent was only to tag books that actually have DRM. When the Kindle first started, all available books were in fact DRMed, so some of our older published materials don’t make a distinction. However, since then, we have highlighted and praised authors who do DRM-free, and asked people to tag those books accordingly with drmfree (see http://www.defectivebydesign.org/blog/1240).

We’re clarifying the instructions on the page that you pointed to. [The page has now been updated. -Ed.]

I’m sorry your books got tagged incorrectly, and for any role we may have had in that confusion. It was not at all what we intended, so I hope we can keep working together in the future to make the DRM/DRM-free distinctions correctly.

And, thank you very much for releasing your works without DRM.

John Sullivan
Executive Director, Free Software Foundation


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