NetGalley Adds Social DRM Option to Its eBook ARC Platform

12472399134_c17d3e42b1_hFor the longest time NetGalley has given publishers the option of sending DRMed Epub or DRM-free Kindle ebooks when distributing advance copies of ebooks to reviewers, retailers, librarians, etc.

Now NetGalley is adding a third DRM option: social DRM.

Social DRM, or digital watermarks (the more accurate technical term), is a type of DRM that doesn't restrict access but instead involves personalizing a copy of a file with info that can be used to identify who bought it. Or in the case of NetGalley, the info will lead back to the reviewer, librarian, etc, who downloaded it from NetGalley.

Basically this gives publishers the reassurance that they can track down a leak while not actually bothering rule-abiding readers.

“It’s always been important to NetGalley that we offer readers of influence as many ways to access content as possible, while also preserving the publishers’ legitimate right to protect their content,” said Susan Ruszala, President of NetGalley. “We are pleased to support the emergence of Social DRM as an additional reading option for publishers to enable if they choose.”

The social DRM is provided through Firebrand, NetGalley’s parent company. And as with the other DRM options offered by NetGalley, any legal actions resulting from illegal sharing, such as takedown notices, will continue to be the responsibility of the publisher or author.

image by Dusty J

About Nate Hoffelder (11473 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."

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