Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies attempt to control use of digital media by preventing access, copying or conversion to other formats by end users. The advent of digital media has caused concern for many providers of artistic or literary content as many digital media files may be duplicated an unlimited number of times with no degradation in the quality of subsequent copies. This means that the average consumer with PC access can easily make unauthorised distribution of copies of copyrighted digital media.

Until recently, few eBook publishers have implemented full DRM as it is a complex and costly exercise. It is becoming clear however that, unless DRM is implemented, mainstream authors and publishers will be wary of embracing the concept of eBooks for fear of piracy.

eBooks typically use DRM restrictions to limit the copying, printing, and sharing of eBooks. The level of restriction is specified by the publisher or distribution agency and eBooks are usually limited to a certain number of reading devices.

DRM is essential to protect your capacity to earn money from your eBook. Without DRM you cannot control who has access to your eBook.

DRM is distinct from copyright (which you should always retain) and publishing or distribution rights which are negotiated according to an author’s needs. Self-publishing authors usually retain all publishing rights.