Chill out, DRM’s not the reason that guy lost his (public domain) Google ebooks

Wonder if HathiTrust would work any better?


There’s a story getting a bunch of attention on the internet this week about Jim O’Donnell, a Georgetown professor who went to Singapore and updated his Books on Google (s GOOG) Play app there. The app then deleted many of the books O’Donnell had downloaded, and he wasn’t able to re-download them in Singapore.

O’Donnell originally attributed the problem on DRM: “It turns out that because I am not in a country where Google Books is an approved enterprise (which encompasses most of the countries on the planet), I cannot download,” he wrote on a library listserv in a post entitled “DRM follies.”

At Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow picked up the story under the headline “Cross a border, lose your ebooks,” writing that the episode “points out just how totally, irretrievably broken the idea of DRM and region-controls for ebooks is.” And the story is still getting play today.

Except…DRM had…

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