David Rothman sez, "Fed up with DRM, Stephen Windwalker and I are tagging our books "drmfree" (no quotes in the actual tag). We're both authors of newspaper-related novels among other works, and in a TeleRead.org post we're encouraging writers of all kinds to do the same at Amazon's Kindle Store and elsewhere. Care to join in, Cory? What's more, we suggest that readers tag DRMless books on their own, when they find them at stores. The suggested tagging standard is 'drmfree' without any hyphen to muck things up. One reason for the tag is to make it harder for Amazon to take away your Kindle books, as happened to a customer who supposedly returned too many NONbook items. With DRM, you simply cannot own books for real. Lessen the threat by buying 'drmfree' books when possible. Again–no quotes on the actual tag."
I'm with David on this — I wish I understood more about the DRM on the Kindle. I've been trying to find out for weeks, for example, what the story is with the "DRM-free" option for Kindle means — is there a patent or contractual term that prohibits owners of Kindle DRM-free books from moving them to competing devices, or patents or other claims that prevents competitors from creating readers or converters for these books?
And, what, exactly, what the mechanism by which Amazon removes the "read-aloud" feature to comply with requests from the Authors Guild's members? Is that a firmware update to the device? A flag in the file-format? If the former, can users refuse the updates? If the latter, what other flags are there, and does buying a DRM-free Kindle file mean that they can't be switched on for you?