Thursday, January 08, 2009

FIctionwise to lose Overdrive DRM service.

UPDATE:
A Co-worker contacted Overdrive and posted this in the comments, but I thought it merited a post to the original to forestall any misunderstanding:

I contacted OverDrive to inquire about this and they responded with "Please rest assured that OverDrive is NOT going out of business, but winding down its contract with Fictionwise. We are in fact growing and thriving- and working to improve all of our services and offerings to our library partners."


On January 30, 2009 almost 300,000 books purchased by customers of Fictionwise will lose their DRM coding previously provided by Overdrive . Overdrive has informed them that they will be shutdown on 30 January with no reason given. Since Fictionwise doesn't have the decryption keys, they are not able to provide new versions of the books to all customers.

Fictionwise is trying to figure a way around the problem and says on their site:

"Fictionwise obtains "feeds" of eBooks from several different content aggregators, and these aggregators use their servers to deliver encrypted files to our customers. One of these aggregators, Overdrive, recently gave Fictionwise notice that they would cease serving files to Fictionwise customers as of January 31, 2009. That means that eBooks purchased from Fictionwise via Overdrive's servers will no longer be downloadable after that date. To protect our customers' investment in eBooks, Fictionwise immediately ceased selling all Overdrive eBooks and began negotiating with publishers to allow eBooks previously purchased from Overdrive to be substituted, where possible, with eReader format files."

From BoingBoing

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Greg left this comment:
I contacted OverDrive to inquire about this and they responded with "Please rest assured that OverDrive is NOT going out of business, but winding down its contract with Fictionwise. We are in fact growing and thriving- and working to improve all of our services and offerings to our library partners. "

Pekka K said...

This is underscores the basic problem with all DRM. It cannot be trusted, pure and simple. I know that i will be able to transfer all or almost all the Fictionwise books that are affected by this to the eReader format (which is owned by Fictionwise) but for the others I would not be able to transfer them to a new computer for instance (as far as I understand). Many fictionwise eBooks are in non-DRM formats but the books by more well known authors tend to be DRM:d. Hence they might not be readable with new devises and so on... It is well overdue for the publishing industry to come to the realization that the music industry seems finally to have arrived at: All DRM is inherently self-defeating.