I don’t put Digital Rights Management (DRM) software on the ebooks I sell; it doesn’t work, so why bother? So I’ve never had an issue with Defective by Design and their campaign against DRM. To be sure, our opinions differ, DbD essentially objecting to DRM on a philosophical level, and me on a practical level, but I never considered the difference an issue.
Until I discovered something about the ebooks I was posting to the Amazon website: My product pages were getting vandalized, as far as I’m concerned, with “defectivebydesign” and “drm-infested” tags, despite the fact that my ebooks had no DRM applied to them.
At first I thought someone with a personal grudge was singling me out for grief, or some other author was tagging the competition to diminish their sales. What I recently found out that it was DbD, intentionally tagging all Kindle books. Their reason: Amazon, in their opinion, was E-VILLE because of their willingness to apply DRM to books, their exercising control over lending of books, and their ability to monitor (and potentially remove) what was on customer’s Kindles.
DbD’s answer to fight the Evil Empire: To tag every ebook vendor’s books with their anti-DRM tags, regardless of whether DRM is there, to protest Amazon’s actions. Their “Kindle Swindle” campaign is openly devoted to this practice.
This, to me, is the equivalent of protesting a grocery store’s business practices by attacking the delivery trucks of its vendors, and beating up the customers that approach the store. In short, it is petty thuggery, the strategy of the stupid bully. And most importantly, it does not bother Amazon in the least, because it does not affect them in any way. Amazon won’t even be bothered removing the tags from product pages, which indicates how little the issue concerns them. DbD is wasting their time, and making selling hard on ME and other vendors… not Amazon.
Message to Defective by Design: If you don’t like DRM, that’s fine with me. But if they have a beef with Amazon… take it up with Amazon. Stop sabotaging the work of honest creators who share your beliefs and follow your examples… you’re not hurting your intended target at all, and you’re making yourselves look stupid.