Last week, J.K. Rowling released a teaser for her new project, the website Pottermore, which initially contained a countdown and little else. Speculation regarding the nature of the project was widespread, with theories ranging from a fan-fiction community hub to an online game to a comprehensive encyclopedia of Harry Potter universe lore. The announcement at the end of the countdown is the included video: an online bookstore for the digital audiobook and purportedly DRM-free e-book versions of the Harry Potter series (coming in October), and not much else in the way of concrete details. I’m actually far more interested in how Rowling’s decision to forgo DRM in the Harry Potter e-books will affect the larger digital publishing field than anything she had to say about the website itself (which was honestly very little). I’ve seen the “digital watermarking” process that will be used instead of traditional DRM put to use in niche markets, but never on this scale.
Gizmodo compared the ebook release of HP to the Beatles being available on iTunes–cultural icons appearing in new formats legitimizes the technology.