Digital Rights Management (DRM) – What is it?

As eBooks become more and more prevalent some of the acronyms you hear may be a bit confusing. One of them is DRM – Digital Rights Management.

DRM is a way that publishers can lock an electronic copy of a book and stop it from being copied and then passed on to others without them paying for it.

One of the consequences of this is that sometimes (maybe more often than you like!) your eBook reader can’t access a book because it doesn’t let you load a book onto your reader.

It’s a problem for libraries because we don’t want to restrict our users as to what device you own, but our suppliers of eBooks don’t always let us buy books that can be used on all devices. We try our best to use a supplier with the maximum range of devices, but sometimes our borrowers are disappointed.

For more information there is a great Digital Rights Management Tip Sheet created by the American Library Association.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Masaru Kamikura