- Kathryn Patterson
Pirates and LendInk and Lies, Oh, My!!
The item needs a reasonable price point.
The buyer has the right to move the purchase from one digital device to another without hassle.
The buyer can lend or give the item to a friend without jumping through hoops.
The distributor needs to treat the buyer with respect, and not assume the person is a thief (see the image below).
There's a story among game developers about a man who purposefully did not stop pirates from getting free copies of his games. Why? Because the pirates wrote reviews and discussed the games that they liked online, generating more than enough revenue for the man to balance out what was lost to the pirates. Neil Gaiman released his book, American Gods, online for free back in 2008 with no DRM. All of his print book sales went up. All. Of. Them. In 2009, Wil Wheaton published a DRM-free pdf of his book, Sunken Treasure, on Amazon for $5. Not only did sales of this electronic book explode, but the print version also began to sell again, as well as some of his other books. There are more stories out there of people who reject DRM and trust people to be nice and who made money doing so; there is even a grassroots movement called Defective by Design that aims to rid the world of DRM. So why are we so worried about pirates and piracy that a group of misanthropes shut down a legitimate business because of a supposed piratical threat? Especially since pirates actually help sales and therefore the bottom line?