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A Halloween-Themed Essay in Support of the 2019 International Day Against DRM #IDAD #DayAgainstDRM

The following essay was written by Leanpub co-founder Len Epp and reflects his personal views.

To fight DRM, we need to understand the mindset that drives people to propose, promote, build, and maintain systems that they would reject in any other form of technology.

I know it might seem strange to attribute real causal value to something as seemingly ineffable as a “mindset”. When it comes to high-level political and social analysis, these days we typically prioritize appeals to things like universal economic motivations, or the results of social science studies, and various presumptively natural or universal forces.

But ultimately, policy creation, and especially its enforcement, is made of people, and in addition to these more conventional ways of understanding our world, appealing to the common sense, everyday way we all think about how other people think, is a necessary condition for persuading them to change their minds. …


In 2012, we began publishing a podcast, now called Frontmatter, featuring heavily researched, in-depth interviews with Leanpub authors about their lives and careers, their professional interests, the subjects of their books, and their experiences as self-published authors.

While Leanpub is best known as a platform authors use to write and publish books on science and technology, our authors actually cover a very wide range of issues in their books, from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, and his 2014 series of books on starting businesses in Asia, to Sarah K. …


(Originally published Aug 28, 2014. Imported into our Medium blog on June 24, 2019, by copying and pasting from the Wayback Machine. So, the links are to the Wayback Machine as well! Also, note that our royalty rate is now 80%, not 90% minus 50 cents as it was way back then...)

by Peter Armstrong, Leanpub Cofounder

Today Jurgen Appelo wrote a very well-written post entitled “Why I Don’t Use Leanpub”.

Go read it now. Seriously.

Now that you’re back, you’ll know that Jurgen essentially makes the following arguments:

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