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Amazon 'makes it easier' for authors to DRM Kindle ebooks

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Updated Update: This story has been updated to clarify what has changed with DRM and Amazon's Digital Text Platform. No-DRM, Amazon says, was always the default with the platform.

Amazon has added a new tool to its Kindle self-publishing service that lets authors and small publishers easily choose between DRM and no DRM when uploading texts to its online book store.

Amazon tells The Reg that no-DRM was always the default with its Digital Text Platform - used by small publishers and authors as opposed to large publishing houses. In the past, the company says, if authors wanted to add DRM, they had to download separate software. Now, they can add DRM simply by checking a radio button.

The company added the option last week, as noticed earlier today by Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab. The lab assumed the the option to upload books without DRM was new, but Amazon says this is not the case.

Countless authors and publishers posting to Amazon's forum and third-party forums say that this is the first time they've been aware of a no-DRM option. We can only assume that they were unaware they've been uploading books without DRM. The author who first noticed Amazon's new feature has not responded to a request for comment.

It was also last week that Amazon opened the Digital Text Platform to publishers and authors outside the US. As Apple prepares to unveil its long-awaited tablet - rumored to offer access to ebooks - it would appear that Amazon has responded by upping its Kindle ante. Late last night Pacific time, the company announced that it would release a Kindle SDK next month, (partially) opening the device to third-party developers. ®

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