What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and it refers to different technologies that publishers use to limit copying, sharing, and printing of e-books.

The use of DRM is controversial. At first glance, DRM seems like a necessary thing to fight piracy and protect the author’s copyright. But DRM doesn’t do its job well. It’s relatively easy to remove DRM from an e-book. So the only thing DRM does is to annoy honest customers by restricting the ways in which they can use their legitimately purchased e-books.

Disadvantages of DRM: 

  • DRM prevents customers from reading their e-book on multiple e-book reading devices (e-reader, computer, tablet, cell phone…). Some types of DRM limit e-books to only one device.
  • Unlike DRM-free e-books, e-books with DRM can’t be converted from one format to another with software such as Calibre. If you buy an e-book with DRM at Amazon, you can read it only on your Kindle, not on any other e-reader.
  • If you switch to a different e-book reading device, you may lose access to your DRM-protected e-books.
  • Honest customers are treated like potential criminals.
  • Unlike physical books, you don’t own the book, just limited rights to use it. You can’t sell, trade, or lend most e-books, so readers have fewer rights and options than readers who buy paperbacks.

That’s why Ylva Publishing books are DRM-Free on any of our e-books. We believe that our readers should be able to read their e-books in whatever format and on whatever device they choose, without fear that they won’t be able to access their library anymore at some time in the future.

What’s your stance on DRM? Tell us about your experiences by leaving a comment. We’re looking forward to an interesting discussion.

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About the Author : Astrid Ohletz


  1. joanarling February 26, 2013 at 12:21 - Reply

    Congrats on and thank you for your stance on DRM! In fact, for me the “R” translates to “restriction” — and why would I want to spend money for something restricted?

    It’s true, the easy availability of stolen intellectual property poses a problem: ultimately only very few authors (or film producers, etc) will put much work into products if they cannot make a living from it. But DRM cannot be the answer. Instead, people must be made aware that not being willing to pay will eventually work against their own interests. And content providers need to realise that they lose customers like myself who refuse to buy DRM’ed products.

    • Ylva Publishing February 26, 2013 at 15:21 - Reply

      DRM-free e-books are the future. Right now, a lot of authors and publishers still think they’re losing money by offering DRM-free e-books, but it’s the opposite. A lot of readers rightfully refuse to buy DRM’ed books, so that restricts a book’s audience.

  2. Felicity July 21, 2019 at 15:16 - Reply

    Thank you so much for this! I really appreciate the trust you place in your customers and the convenience that comes from not having crappy DRM.

    In the past, I’ve begrudgingly bought books which you need Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to read, then removed the DRM because it’s inconvenient. However, several times now the DRM has been improperly configured, or there’s been a glitch with their software, and I haven’t been able to open the book I’ve bought. I really think it makes the buying and reading of books a less enjoyable and valuable experience.

    I will certainly be giving preference in my reading habits towards publishers like you in future, even if ADE does eventually begin working again.

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