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August 31, 2010
Doctorow v eBook Publishers
Cory's latest Publisher's Weekly column
describes his most recent round of struggles around publishing his latest book online. In particular, he's trying to get the book available without extra DRM attached, and to have an electronic copy sold under the same terms and conditions as are attached to a sale of a physical book.
You'd think that wouldn't be a particularly revolutionary thing to try, but you'd be surprised. (OK, if you've been reading me rant about the locked house that iPad is and why I bought a Droid rather than an iPhone, then maybe you're not surprised.) Doctorow talks about his "First Law":
"Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won't give you a key, they're not doing it for your benefit."
That's sort of obvious but apparently not something people at Apple and Sony agree with, as they're the two publishers Doctorow calls out for being unwilling to cooperate with his plans. As always, his books are available for free download elsewhere anyway, so it's really unclear to me what those companies think they're protecting.
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