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Tor, Forge to remove digital rights management from ebooks

Starting in July 2012, ebooks from Tom Doherty Associates imprints Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen will be distributed without digital rights management.

The New York–based publisher, a subsidiary of Macmillan, posted the announcement on its blog on Tuesday:

“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” said president and publisher Tom Doherty. “They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”

The decision applies not just to frontlist titles and new releases, but will encompass the publisher’s entire catalogue. The DRM-free titles will be available for purchase from the usual ebook sellers, as well as from retailers specializing in DRM-free ebooks, such as Baen Books.

  • Qwerty

    ” The DRM-free titles will be available for purchase from the usual ebook sellers…”

    …and available a few seconds later for free, as soon as readers can post them online.

  • Chris Bass

    @06e76178014b07aca0ea6d05e86a7ca3:disqus I don’t think removing DRM will decrease piracy. It’s already happening with DRM books already. DRM-free titles will just be more accessible to all kinds of formats, preventing constant conversion (i.e. you can’t read iBooks on anything but iPads, .mobi files on anything but Kindles, etc). This will be a jump for readers who buy content, and then own the content they purchased, much like a paperback copy. Digital publishers like BookTango are already doing this, to an extent, by offering authors the chance to have their books available on ALL spectrums, (iPads, Kindles and Nooks,) to offset this issue.

    Just because you remove DRM or don’t, doesn’t mean people won’t get access to it. But we should make it easier for people who buy the books and want it everywhere.

  • Django

     Hate to break it to you, Qwerty, but every Tor book available in ebook form (and many that aren’t) are available for free on all the pirate sites anyway (and usually in great big batches: “1000 free science fiction epubs and mobis!!”). Removing DRM just means Tor has decided to stop punishing the people who actually purchase ebooks.

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