Are book publishers making the same mistakes a the record labels?

Its certainly starting to look like it. TechDirt (via Slashdot) is pointing to an article in Slate which notes that publishers are worried about Amazons Kindle is about to give them the same dominance in book selling that Apple enjoys in online music distribution.

TechDirt then goes on to point out that Apples dominance is a result of the record labels demanding DRM on everything, creating the massive lock-in that Apple has been able to take advantage of.

If the record labels had, instead, pushed for an open solution, then anyone else could have built stores/players to work as well, and it could have minimized Apples ability to control the market. Yes, everyone is now opening up (including Apple), but it took a long time, and Apple had already established its dominant position.

And now book publishers are doing the same thing. Its the publishers that are pushing for DRM and limitations that will inevitably result in users being locked into Amazons platform. If the publishers had pushed for more open solutions, then barriers to entry would be lowered and a more competitive market could develop.

DRM is one of those technologies that looks like an easy solution in the short term but, in reality, it consistently comes back to bite us all.

One Response to Are book publishers making the same mistakes a the record labels?

  1. on 01 Mar 2009 at 12:05 am Angelo

    Audio DRM really isnt all that its cracked up to be. Even if Amazon is persuaded to incorporate DRM on the its audiobook downloads, the impact isnt sufficient enough to create dominance. Amazon would have to sell a helluva lot of Kindles to make that happen. And as I hear, many, if not most people still prefer reading books.

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