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.