Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amazon Kindle France and DRMs : different strategy or Bug ?

After the happy news of Kindle's arrival in France, I feel a little unease for a few days :

While the choice of some Kindle publishers (self and classical alike) is to not have DRMs, it seems the Kindle France Store applies DRMs ebooks  regardless of that choice. This is also true for foreign books. So if some self-publisher, adding the book in the US KDP, decides to have no DRM, it is nonetheless used for the "french" ebook store.

A few self-publishersI know have confirmed having been presented in KDP with the choice of DRM/noDRM, while Bragelonne (one of the major SF/Fantasy classical publisher), opposed to their use told me (Twitter inside) :
"Not us. We provide the files without DRMs. We can't do anything about it, Sorry".
"DRMs at Amazon are not of our initiative, we have no choice with the .azw layer".
"We provide the files without DRMs, after that it's Amazon's cloud that make it encrypted".

From what I've seen, even books published without DRMs through other Kindle platforms (Kindle US for example) are present on the KindleFR store WITH the handcuffs.

What I don't understand is that until now, and on all the national Kindle platforms, Amazon clearly stated regarding its DRM policy, that they don't decide it, but leave it to the publishers to decide. Not only was it clear, but it also WORKED that way. Well, if some publishers want to shoot themselves in the foot, that's their right after all, but here, the DRMs seem to have been applied regardless of the publisher's choice.

Finally, even if Amazon's Help page state that a restriction may be in place, at least some kind of HINT may be better, to show that the books ARE DRM ridden.
It may be possible that the DRM encryption are used systematically, whether the number of devices being limited.
It also may be a simple bug , in which case it may be important to raise it as soon as possible, so that it's corrected and not too many DRMised books are sold.
Lastly, it may be a strategical choice, in which case it's most important to mobilize against Amazon strong-arming DRMs in the French Kindle Store, before perhaps establishing them worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. Ray,

    I don't have DRM on my self-published American Amazon books. If that happens in the French Amazon, they must somehow be putting them on the books. It seems like it would be a lot of work. Of course, I'm tech illiterate, so maybe it's just some program they use.

    Would you be interested in reviewing the first book in my Fantasy Trilogy, Sower of Dreams. (It's more Fantasy than SF, although the hero does cross from Earth to another world.) It's been endorsed by the late Andre Norton, the grand dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I could send you a Smashwords coupon. (You don't have any contact place that I could see, so I'm asking here.)

    Debra Holland