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How DRM - Digital Rights Management - works with ebooks

Every once in a while I read something that accuses *evil corporations* of using DRM to avoid *casual lending* of ebooks. If you're not a professional writer or a serious computer nerd, all of this must seem confusing I know. But I can explain it.

As a computer nerd, I can tell you that *casual lending* means handing my Kindle to the person sitting next to me in the plane, not sharing the book digitally. The reason that sharing it digitally isn't *casual sharing* is that once it's out there, unprotected, in a digital format, it can be copied and distributed without the original author getting another penny for it ever again.

When you check out a book from an online library, the books are protected with DRM - Digital Rights Management. That means that the file expires at the end of the lending period. If they didn't do this, then the library would be giving books away for free, and that's not how it works.

In order to make ebooks available through libraries, we must support the technology that discourages digitally sharing (usually called pirating). If libraries, and booksellers, are discouraged from using DRM, then the whole system will fail and go into the hands of the pirates. I vote for libraries!