Business Impact of Ebook DRM



The publishing world has rapidly transited from print to digital format in a short span of time. As books began to get digitized, these assets provided publishers and authors with numerous benefits, such as instant release and distribution, and a broader audience. From pricing new releases to author royalties and a slew of platforms for books to be marketed and sold, every aspect of the publishing and content business began to be reconsidered and reinvented in the online domain.

But with it brought one of the most significant challenges that the content world has had to contend with — the protection of their intellectual property rights. In the past, traditional books were exploited through unauthorized methods, but given the limitation of the physicality of the material, print book piracy was restricted only to local regions. However, today, given the ease with which ebooks can be easily replicated and transmitted through online ebook piracy, we can see more extensive and broader instances of breaches in copyright law.

Piracy is not a new phenomenon but is changing form rapidly. As long as intellectual property has been around, the physical piracy of books was prevalent. And so today, every industry that invests in digital content is dealing with some form of intellectual property theft and forgery in one way or another.

According to research, ebook piracy costs the publishing industry over $315 million in losses. With more and more people reading ebooks at an increasing rate and e-reader devices sales on the rise, tracking down illegal downloads across numerous file sharing sites has become a humongous and almost impossible task. The unfortunate part is the mentality held by downloaders; how they expect content for free or for very little because they do not realize the cost of producing a quality ebook. As an author, you would know that your book begins as a manuscript and goes through numerous series of revisions before it is finally published. And within the content chain, multiple other forces are involved in ensuring a quality ebook is published.

So, how can you, as an author or a content creator, ensure that your works are protected under copyright law while also ensuring that you do not suffer losses from publishing your creative works? To protect your investment in the content you produce, ebook DRM or digital rights management can come to your rescue. With the rapid shift in book sales from physical to digital, it’s time to take a good look at the business impact of DRM. As a content creator or a publisher, what benefits can you expect from ebook DRM, in the face of growing online piracy?

Here’s how you can benefit from using ebook DRM:

  • Access to increased content
    One of the least known value propositions offered by digital rights management that very few customers are aware of is the greater access afforded by the availability of DRM restricted ebooks in libraries.


  • Competitive pricing
    Since ebook DRM restricts the use of your content, the books that you sell with DRM limitations can no longer be shared, distributed unlawfully, replicated or even loaned to others. According to behavioural data, consumers are likely to pay for DRM limited material if it is demonstrated that such books come at a low cost. Besides, using DRM could introduce new services that offer a range of ebooks and competitive pricing points. For instance, ebook DRM could be effectively used to provide limited-term access to specific ebooks. So, if readers are looking to rent rather than purchase, ebook DRM could work to that advantage.


  • Novel opportunities
    As a publisher, you could use ebook DRM as an instrument to enable and evaluate new uses of content. For instance, ebooks could now be rented, as stated above, and publishers could even visualise a broad range of novel business ideas that extend DRM as a control mechanism to activate short-term usage, sharing and a variety of social characteristics.


Ebook DRM protects your investment in your content. It enables you to control the access and usage of your digital content. As a content owner, you have the opportunity of imposing limitless restrictions on your creative works, including restricting its distribution, text selection, text copying, and more. By shaping the marketplace for digital content in a genuine way, choosing ebook DRM can pave the way for you to concentrate on writing more content and creating a healthy and growing worldwide market for ebooks.


The digital era has ushered the publishing industry into a time of unprecedented change. Any assumptions that may have held true in the past decade may no longer be developing today and in the near future. Hence, authors and publishers must reconsider their positions with regards to ebook security and genuinely accept the role of DRM in the publishing world to prevent online piracy. By making an informed decision about DRM, you could ensure you provide a wide range of content products to your audiences, do your part in building a healthy digital marketplace and create a happy and satisfied customer base.

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