“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.”
Tor’s not the first SF publisher to offer their books in DRM-free format. Baen has a whole e-library of releases that are also completely open.
One of the arguments against DRM is that piracy might not be anywhere nearly the threat that user indifference or hostility is. If you’re the steward of a given media empire that is losing out to any number of other things — video games, comics, television, or the dozen do-it-yourself entertainments that are slowly gaining ground — is it sensible to make the physical act of acquiring and consuming your product as ornery as possible?
Granted, I don’t run into as many issues with DRM as other people might, but I suspect that’s more because I’m technically savvy than it’s because DRM is as invisible and seamless as its proponents like to claim.
I’m still planning to offer my own e-books in Kindle format, but there will be at least one entirely DRM-free edition to go with it — and at least one way to get hard copies, too. It’ll be interesting to see which editions do the best.