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

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

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