Harry Potter ebooks coming this fall – DRM-free

The hot story today was the official launch of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling's new website. it's going to have all sorts of interesting content for the pottermaniacs, including Harry Potter ebooks as well as "sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book" and that Rowling has brought to life "both the Sorting Hat and Ollivanders experiences from her books for the first time on Pottermore, by revealing the questions asked by the Sorting Hat – which places newcomers into their Hogwarts houses according to their characteristics – and the magic behind the Wand Chooser – which finds the right wand for each user from over 33,000 possible combinations". While that's very interesting, it's not the big news today. The Inquirer is reporting that Pottermore will be selling the ebooks DRM-free.

The ebooks won't be encumbered with DRM but they will come with watermarked data. This should make it possible to track a pirated copy back to the original source.

Okay, now I understand why the ebooks will be sold on just the one website. This new piece of data also lends credence to the twitter rumor that Kindle ebooks will also be supported. (Obviously they're not using the Kindle DRM either.)

I have to hand it to J.K. Rowling, her agents, and her publishers for being more tech-savvy that I anticipated. Someone figured out that DRM doesn't actually prevent piracy. And since they can't prevent it, they picked the next best thing.

They'll know which customer pirated which copy of the Potter ebooks. That's going to put them at least 1 step up on publishers.

About Nate Hoffelder (11390 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on Harry Potter ebooks coming this fall – DRM-free

  1. Ah, so there will be Kindle too? So far, only ePub is mentioned. But it’d make sense for K too. How long before there are iOS/Andy/webOS app-books? Heh.

  2. Krystian Galaj // 23 June, 2011 at 2:15 pm // Reply

    So, if they are able to identify a specific customer, and this customer’s copy makes its way onto the Internet in numbers, they’ll be able to sue that specific person for really big damages. I wonder if they plan to, as a deterrent.

  3. Too late for them putting piracy watermarks on their books. There are loads of places online to download her books illegally. JK Rowling has missed the piracy boat.

5 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Rowling will sell the Harry Potter ebooks on her own starting in October
  2. Google eBooks to support Pottermore, Harry Potter ebooks - The Digital Reader
  3. Harry Potter Ebooks Delayed Until 2012 - The Digital Reader
  4. Harry Potter eBooks Are NOT DRM-Free in Kindle Format - The Digital Reader
  5. Pottermore DRM is Hacked – Provided by Booxtream - The Digital Reader

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