Doctorow: DRM advocates are "the real pirates"

<p>Publishers who continue to use digital rights management (DRM) or other methods to tie readers to a single e-book device, are &quot;bent on the destruction of publishing&quot; and are the &quot;real pirates&quot;, according to Cory Doctorow, a keynote speaker at today&#39;s O&#39;Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) conference at the Frankfurt Book Fair.<br /><br />The author, activist and co-editor of the influential Boing-Boing blog urged TOC delegates to &quot;restore ownership to books&quot; and blasted publishers and rightsholders who continue to apply DRM to their content.<br /><br />Doctorow said: &quot;Digital licensing systems currently employed destroy the bond between the readers and the book.&quot;<br /><br />He said that DRM was a &quot;farcical&quot; way to get money out of readers, adding that &quot;there is no mechanism whereby a retailer of a [print] book can take it away from you&quot;, describing a system that this happens as &quot;insane&quot;. Earlier this year, Amazon was the centre of controversy in the US when it <a href="../news/91946-amazon-likened-to-big-brother-after-deleting-1984-from-kindles.html" target="_blank">remotely deleted Kindle versions</a> of <em>1984</em> from customers&#39; devices after the edition was added to Amazon&#39;s catalogue without the rightsholder&#39;s permission.</p><p><a href="../news/98903-amazon-settles-big-brother-law-suit.html" target="_blank">Amazon last week settled a lawsuit</a> over the fiasco with a Michigan teenager&mdash;who had his Kindle notes deleted as well as his e-book&mdash;for $150,000. <br /><br />Doctorow added that ownership was the &quot;most valuable asset that publishers have&quot; knowing that a book &quot;is passed to kids or has come from your parents&quot;. <br /><br />The third keynote speaker at TOC&mdash;the first of publishing&#39;s pre-eminent digital talking shops to take place in Europe&mdash;Doctorow sounded a note of optimism. He said: &quot;The library of tomorrow will better than the library of today. Just stop believing that the pirates in your digital department are right.&quot;<br /><br /> </p>