Tor, the sci-fi and fantasy imprint of Pan MacMillan, has announced that it is set to remove digital rights management from its e-books.
Over in the US, it was announced that Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen books would become DRM free in July. Tor UK also said that it would be making its electronic novels DRM free over the next three months.
President and publisher Tom Doherty commented: "Our authors and readers have been asking for this for a long time. 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."
Jeremy Trevathan, Pan Macmillan's Fiction Publisher in the UK, added: "We know that this is what many Tor authors passionately want."
So soon enough, when you buy a Tor book on one e-reader format, you'll be able to transfer it across to other devices, should you wish. Whether existing Tor e-books will become DRM free this summer isn't clear.
Reaction from readers has certainly been positive, unsurprisingly. One comment on the UK blog announcement read: "I have never bought e-books because of the insulting DRM whose only effect was to punish me for being an honest person. Finally, I will be buying e-books and I look forward to it."
Pan MacMillan is the first major publisher to take this step, but thus far only with its sci-fi imprint. It's thought that other publishers may eventually follow suit, and will certainly be keeping a keen eye on the resulting sales.