I talked yesterday about a soft paternalism that Amazon is using to encourage people to use their Kindle device for more things that just reading books. As I mentioned before, the Kindle is so extraordinarily good at displaying text, and making it pleasant to read, I’m all good with this being a single tasker – rather like a really good kitchen knife. I don’t need a corkscrew on my chef’s knife, after all.
If I could only read that book on a Kindle and nothing else forever, I’d be pretty ticked off and would be unlikely to buy the book. Even so, when I am looking for titles, I’ll go to other publishers (like Baen) first to see if that title has been released in a non-DRM protected format first. That’s the copy I’ll buy. My husband has a Kindle, too, and we don’t like to make the reading experience totally account-specific. If I buy a book for the household, after all, everyone can read it! Yes, I know that some authors and publishers allow for lending a book for a couple of weeks. While I’m all good with not being able to access the content while the book is “leant”—I couldn’t if it were a dead tree title, after all—many of the restrictions, and the paucity of publishers that allow this make this a really unsatisfactory solution. I think that there should be some option for a family account. Do like many software company and go for maybe five or so users to be on the license.
The funny part is that Amazon got it right when it came to music! You pay a buck for a song, just like iTunes, but the song is non-DRM protected, so you can play it on any device that suits your fancy. And it only costs a buck. iTunes charges extra for non-DRM music, IIRC.
In my case, it makes for more sales.