The big news today is JK Rowling's announcement that she will be self-publishing ebooks of her novels through her own company, Pottermore. Joe Konrath, prominent for his opinions about self-publishing, discusses the implications for traditional publishers. It's a good read: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/06/jk-rowling-will-self-pub-harry-potter.html
As he points out, Harry Potter has been available in ebook format for a long time, just not legitimately. This brings me to the other big news point about JK Rowling's publishing venture: there will be no DRM (from the Wired article:)
For Rowling it means keeping the e-books DRM-free and trusting her fans not to pirate her works rather than assuming that they will. Rowling is instead opting for a digital watermarking system that links the identify of the purchaser to the copy of the ebook. This doesn't prevent people sharing copies on the web, but does try to ensure that any copies will be traceable to a buyer.
As I tweeted this morning,
@AgentsJDA hopefully this is the beginning of the end for DRM. Watermarking is non-customer hostile & a gentle nudge not to share widely.
I do stand by that. I am making an assumption that any of you reading this know how ineffective and counterproductive DRM is, but if not let me know in the comments and I might blog about it on my personal account and link from here.
Interesting times, everyone!