Sci-fi publisher Tor Books says it’s scrapping DRM

Tom Doherty Associates – best known for its Tor science fiction imprint – has announced plans to scrap digital rights management (DRM) in the US and UK.

It says that by early July this year, the entire list of Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape and Tor Teen e-books will be available DRM-free.

Tor has one of the longest lists of any English language science fiction publisher, including China Mieville, author of The City and the City, and Peter F Hamilton, author of the Void trilogy.

“Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time,” says president and publisher Tom Doherty.

“They’re a technically sophisticated bunch, and DRM is a constant annoyance to them. It prevents them from using legitimately-purchased e-books in perfectly legal ways, like moving them from one kind of e-reader to another.”

DRM-free titles from Tom Doherty Associates will be available from the company’s existing retailers. The company says it also expects to begin selling titles through retailers that sell only DRM-free books.

“We know that this is what many Tor authors passionately want,” says Jeremy Trevathan, fiction publisher of Pan Macmillan, which owns Tor UK. “We also understand that readers in this community feel strongly about this.”

The move marks an increasing willingness by publishers to consider going DRM-free. Other publishers, including Baen, Angry Robot and J K Rowling’s Pottermore website, already sell their e-books without DRM, and other, larger publishers are rumored to be considering doing the same.