The popular Harry Potter series went on sale in ebook format in the last week of March.
Unlike most ebooks, they are for sale exclusively on J.K. Rowling’s new web store Pottermore. Instead of being encrypted like the ebooks you buy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, these books are in an EPUB format, the most popular open ebook standard, that can be read on pretty much any computer or device.
According to an article from The Salt Lake Tribune, “publishers insist on encryption in the form of ‘Digital Rights Management,’ or DRM because they believe it stops piracy.” Really, they just want to make sure you have to buy your books from the same place you bought your eReader.
Until now, Harry Potter books have been among the most pirated books in the world because there have been no legal electronic versions. Fans have had to scan or even retype entire books to be shared online.
Now, legal electronic versions are available on Pottermore in a variety of formats compatible with whatever eReader you happen to be using. All downloads will include invisible “watermarks” that identify the buyer to discourage widespread sharing but will be able to be shared between friends.
If this method of selling unencrypted ebooks turns out to be a success, it may pave the way for other authors to follow suit and change the way ebooks are sold forever.
Learn more in the original article by Peter Svensson.