Why Do I Need Digital Rights Management? - EditionGuard

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Why Do I Need Digital Rights Management?


September 1, 2022

Most authors and publishers need digital rights management (DRM). DRM allows authors and publishers to customize and control access to their digitally published works.

But Why Do I Need Digital Rights Management?

Digital theft is a big problem. Theft costs authors and publishers more than $300 million a year in lost sales. Having the power to add DRM to your ebooks is essential.

What If I Don’t Need Digital Rights Management on My eBooks?

It’s true that certain genres and ebook types require little in the way of DRM. It’s important to know your reader and their tolerance for restrictions. Sharing, loading on multiple devices, and other limitations can impact reader experience. But theft does disproportionately impact indie fiction authors. Having the ability to add some digital rights, even just a watermark or social DRM, can make a difference. These forms of DRM offer the least restrictive form of digital rights. However, they still protect your work without impacting the reader experience.

How Does Digital Rights Management Protect Me?

Digital rights management allows you to control who, how, when, and for how long someone has access to your work. There are multiple levels of DRM available. Authors and publishers can customize the level of DRM they apply based on what they’re publishing and who the audience is. There are four types of DRM that are available free with EditionGuard:

Adobe DRM

Adobe DRM is highly restrictive, limiting use to a single reader. So, for example, libraries and professors who allow students to check out books for a few weeks or a semester can set the DRM so that the content expires after a specific length of time. Authors can restrict content to a specific app and a single reader to prevent unauthorized access. While not everyone requires DRM that is so restrictive, it can also be extremely useful to prevent unauthorized theft of intellectual property on business publications and white papers.

Readium LCP

Readium LCP is an open source DRM comparable to Adobe. It offers reliable digital rights management for authors and publishers. Readium LCP requires the reader to enter a password to access the content. The content cannot be accessed without purposeful sharing of the password. This helps prevent theft.

How Do I Choose Between Adobe DRM and Readium LCP?

Both Adobe DRM and Readium LCP are considered active DRM. Active DRM solutions can also prevent readers from printing or copying content. The biggest difference between the two is that Readium LCP is less restrictive about the device used to access the content. Adobe DRM requires the use of the Adobe app and the creation of an Adobe account. When it comes to Adobe vs Readium LCM, there are advantages to each DRM solution. To choose you need to know your audience.

What If I Don’t Want That Much DRM Restriction?

For many indie authors, balancing DRM needs with reader experience means opting instead for passive DRM. EditionGuard offers two forms of passive DRM, EditionMark and EditionLink.


EditionMark protects the author by including a watermark on the content. However, it is readily available to download on any device the reader chooses. This form of DRM is ideal for fiction writers who must consider reader experience and still want to protect their content. Readers can choose to share the ebook, but it will be watermarked.


EditionLink is the lightest-touch DRM available. It offers a simple download link for which you can optionally set an expiration date. Readers can easily share the link with friends. It offers the least restrictive reader experience but also the most risk for theft. Some indie authors benefit from having a book shared from one reader to another, as it can result in long-term loyalty and growth in readership.

Isn’t DRM Expensive?

DRM is included in all EditionGuard plans. While active DRM has an associated per-book download fee, the books requiring Adobe DRM or Readium LCP are priced to account for those minimal fees. Passive DRM does not have a fee associated with it. In all cases, the small investment made in digital rights management is far less costly than the millions lost each year in digital theft.

Your EditionGuard plan makes it easy for authors and publishers of all types to choose an ebook fulfillment service and ebook DRM solution that works for them. The four best ebook DRM solutions are included in every EditionGuard plan. You can see a side-by-side comparison of these ebook DRM solutions here.

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