Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day Against DRM

While I don't have the desire to rant at length about DRM right now, I do feel compelled to make some mention of it on this "Day Against DRM". Others have explained very well the reasons to avoid DRM. This post, however, is a call to the big book-sellers to ditch the DRM.

Once upon a time, all songs in the iTunes store were clad in DRM. So I continued buying CDs. Eventually, Amazon started becoming a major player in digital music, providing DRM-free MP3's. While I would have preferred something other than MP3, I have purchased digital music from them. Around the time Amazon finally arranged deals with most of major labels, Apple started taking steps toward making the iTunes store DRM-free.

I recently purchased a NookColor eReader from Barnes & Noble. I am running a full version of Android on my NC, so I have access to the OverDrive app (for borrowing eBooks from the local library), the Nook app, the Borders eBooks app, and the Kindle app. However, I have yet to buy/borrow a single eBook from any of these. Make no mistake, I have bought eBooks, but only ones that are DRM-free. For now, it must be DRM-free or I will just look for a used dead-tree version.

Barnes&Noble, Amazon, and Borders: treat me like a responsible adult by offering the books I want DRM-free and I will buy them.

BTW, I have not yet bought any books from, but I intend to. They have a good selection of books, both DRM-free and DRM-clad. You can refine your search to only show those that are DRM-free, which is what I do.

Friday, February 18, 2011


In reading Seth Godin's Linchpin I ran across several thoughts that really resonated with me.

In the chapter "The Resistance" Seth discusses many of the ways we sabotage our own success. In the section "This Might Work" he points out that often our problem is not fear of failure, but rather success. "Consider the argument that it's just as likely you hold back out of fear that something might work." As bizarre as this may sound to some, I admit that I have sometimes found myself captive to this very fear. Change is uncomfortable, even if it is for the better.

In the chapter "The Powerful Culture of Gifts" Seth compares giving gifts without v. with the expectation of getting. One statement really hit home with me, because I have thought much the same thing myself: "Consider the the family that exchanges cash at Christmas. If everyone is giving and getting the same amount, there's not much happening, is there?" I am getting more and more uncomfortable with the "I got you something so you owe me"/"You got me something so I owe you" way of doing things.

After finishing the book, I was considering how to summarize the book. My first thought was something along the lines of 'how to be a valuable commodity to whoever your employer may be.' Then I had to laugh at myself at how totally wrong that summary was. The very fact that I would use the word 'commodity' in the description bears witness to Seth's premise that we have marginalized employees to mere cogs in a factory. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the point is to be 'invaluable' and NOT just another 'valuable commodity.'