Apple Will Add DRM To Smashwords Books In iBookstore

A loose end popped up in my head today about Smashwords ePub eBooks that will be distributed to Apple’s iBookstore.

Here’s the Twitter exchange I had with Mark Coker, who created and runs Smashwords:

The eBooks sold at Smashwords itself are DRM-free.

It’s also very likely that anything BiblioCore distributes to the iBookstore will be wrapped up in FairPlay DRM too.

5 responses to “Apple Will Add DRM To Smashwords Books In iBookstore

  1. Seems like a particularly dumb move as you can purchase the same book in a compatible format, DRM free.

    It essentially means that if you want the convenience of directly downloading the book instead of having to wait until you can synch the ePub file through iTunes you get saddled with DRM.

  2. Yes. But this is not specific to Apple. Smashwords books distributed to Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Amazon also get DRM slapped on them. I highlighted Apple because Steve Jobs himself went on record as not favoring DRM.

  3. A good point, and just as dumb for all of them.

    Interestingly FictionWise which is a Barnes & Noble company sells a lot of eBooks without DRM.

  4. Steve Jobs went on record as not favoring DRM for music because music has never had DRM.

    Steve Jobs went on record as favoring DRM for the media that have had DRM.

    Movies have always had DRM. The earliest DRM for movies is that before Videotape, you had to go to the movie theater to watch a movie, you couldn’t see it anywhere else. Then Videotape and DVD had DRM. Steve Jobs supports this.

    Physical Books have DRM. The DRM is that you could not easily Xerox and distribute books to all your friends, etc., even for free. It is a natural DRM. Steve Jobs supports DRM on eBooks to mimic this real-world situation. I, as an author, support this. Finding your book pirated is not right.

    If an author wants to sell their book without DRM, they can simply have it sold as DRM-less ePubs from other vendors. Those can then be easily read on the iPad with the appropriate app, including iBooks.

  5. No. VHS tapes had zero copy-protection until Macrovision came along.