Publishers backing DRM helps Amazon achieve monopoly • 30 November 2011 • The SnowBlog

Publishers backing DRM helps Amazon achieve monopoly

...or so says Charlie Stross. The argument runs like this: the big publishers don't want people nicking their books, so they insist on DRM so they're locked down nice and tight. The biggest and best DRM platform is Kindle so that's where they head. But once Amazon have taken over the world, they will have considerable power over the big publishers and will squeeze their profits. (Or to misquote evil-Willow from that one episode of Buffy: "In my world the publishers are in chains and we ride them like ponies." Not that Charlie Stross said anything specifically about chains or ponies. I'm just colourfully illustrating his point.) Anyway, have a read of the blog post. It's an interesting idea, no? Fear of naughty, light-fingered readers is pushing big publishers into the maw of the threat that they should be focussing on. It also makes me wonder what I'd do if I had a magic wand that gave me control over the world of publishing. Get ready for threadbare profit margins whatever happens, I suppose. I mean either Amazon are going to 'win', in which case margins will get thinner, or electronic self-publishing is going to combine with reader-led forums to bypass a lot of traditional publishing... and margins will get thinner. If I get to choose our method of execution, I think I'd probably prefer option 2. Incidentally, I saw the link to the Charlie Stross post on Tim O'Reilly's Twitter feed. Not a bad fellow to follow.


The SnowBlog is one of the oldest publishing blogs, started in 2003, and it's been through various content management systems over the years. A 2005 techno-blunder meant we lost the early years, but the archives you're reading now go all the way back to 2005.

Many of the older posts in our blog archive suffer from link rot. Apologies if you see missing links and images: let us know if you'd like us to find any in particular.

Read more from the SnowBlog...

« The People's Library
Whatever happened to Climate Change? »