Duncan Baird to remove DRM

Duncan Baird to remove DRM

Duncan Baird Publishers is to remove digital rights management (DRM) from its future and backlist titles, in order to put readers “at the heart” of its focus.

The UK publisher of illustrated books in the fields of mind, body and spirit and cookery said it took the decision to remove DRM from 150 of its titles and 80 of its future titles so that readers were not restricted as to which e-reader they could read the books from.

Chairman Duncan Baird, said: “It's your book—you bought it! We believe in that so much, we are removing the DRM from our books. This allows readers the freedom to enjoy our book on any reader, or on any platform, they choose.”

The company’s marketing director and head of digital Vicky Hartley said the move was one of a number of new innovations in its digital offering the company was working on.

“This is part of our ongoing efforts to connect with our readers and have more of an authentic relationship with them,” she said.

Duncan Baird is writing to authors to tell them of its decision, which has met with mixed response. “There are some authors who are obviously scared about digital piracy and we have to prove to our authors that the fact is DRM is a poor deterrent and anyone who wants to can scan in and use it as a PDF file if they want to,” Hartley said.

“Those authors who are more digital savvy are more understanding. Once we explain we are putting readers first, authors are more persuaded.”

Hartley added that: "It gives us the opportunity to work with smaller retailers in niche areas in the ways before we could not."

The managing director of e-book vendor Anobii, Matteo Berlucchi, has been campaigning for publishers to remove the DRM on books to allow other vendors to compete with Amazon. He has branded DRM “expensive” and “ineffective”.

Last week, UK science fiction publisher Tor followed its US counterpart by taking the DRM off its e-book titles.