Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

The old adage may be true for publishing. With 2011 looking like the onset of the adoption of cloud computing, companies such as Amazon have adapted their platforms to embrace cloud computing in what should be a very positive way for consumers and publishers alike.

With over 28% of Internet users expressing a desire to own a Kindle it is clear that Amazon and it’s eReader are going to be major players for the foreseeable future. So Amazon’s forward thinking about the delivery of eBooks has been refreshing.  With the announcement of its eBook loan scheme coupled with the ability to access your titles over as many machines as you wish, Amazon has taken a positive step forward to dismantling the cumbersome ties of DRM.

The loan scheme in itself is interesting and something which will help increase author fan bases and sales and something that I have only support for when it is launched in the UK, hopefully later this year. Basically Amazon are allowing Kindle account holders to ‘loan’ books from their personal libraries to other Kindle users for a period of 14 days.  During this time the account holder cannot access the title.  I think this is a brilliant idea and something which will increase word of mouth for titles.  Hopefully the scheme will also open up other areas of possibilities for readers too.

The decreasing stranglehold of DRM from the uptake of cloud computing (i.e. the ability of eReaders to access content hosted on remote severs) is also a major positive step forward and one which will reassure consumers that the content they have bought and own will always be accessible to them on as many machines as they have registered with their account. DRM is too prohibitive and draconian to work and only hinders legitimate consumers.  Hopefully 2011 will see and hear the death knell of what is a counter-productive system which serves neither publisher, author or consumer well. 

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