It looks like Charlie Stross’ prediction came true (at least for this publisher, anyway). Macmillan’s Tor/Forge imprint has announced that they will be selling their ebooks DRM free by July of this year.
I can’t tell you how excited I am at this prospect. Not only that someone is disrupting the (ineffective) status quo by dropping DRM, but that it’s Tor doing the dropping. I’ve been a long time Tor devotee–if they packaged up a 5-page handbook on bicycle training wheels and slapped a cover on it, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. They are one of the largest SF/F imprints in the world, and their success can easily be equated to the success of the genre. This move shows that they’re in touch with the market, in touch with the readers, and in touch with the times.
Charlie Stross has some additional insights on Tor’s plan, including an essay he sent to Tor’s executive management. Have a look-see, it’s a great read.