Why eBook sellers get it wrong

I just finished up the second of several surveys for Borders. Borders is trying to get into the eBook business, and it appears they have no freaking clue how to pigeon-hole me into their categories. Apparently, folks who are interested in non-DRM content, who finds the category "Mac / Networking / Internet" really limiting for his tastes in computer books is not going to be well served by their new store. I put that I prefer sellers like Baen Books (simply because they have a no DRM policy towards books, and have some authors that I enjoy reading), along with O'Reilly, Apress, and Steve Jackson Games. Really, it boils down to me being able to get the content that I want (PDF or ePub books) and not have to worry about some crappy DRM scheme making my reading experience a pain in the ass. Is that too hard to grasp?

Amazon gets it right in that you don't notice the DRM as much (and when they do, boy do people howl). The Adobe DRM that is in use on most eBook devices is, frankly, a pain in the ass. When publishers realize that most of their customers aren't going to steal their content, (and those who are going to steal their content likely already have it), we'll be able to have a serious, and intelligent conversation about eBooks. Until then, I guess we'll have to suffer several tone-deaf iterations while folks sort out the details.


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