For what it's worth, Tor Books (publisher of my upcoming Only Superhuman
) will be offering all its e-books DRM-free starting soon
. I'm not sure if that's exactly what you're talking about, but from what little I understand about the subject, I think it's along the same lines. So maybe things are starting to change.
Removing the DRM will at least remove the technical restrictions to exercising one's ownership of ebooks, but I bet that publishers and vendors are still going to enact license agreements that try to prevent lending and resale.
I can't find S&S's ebook license agreement right now, but here's Amazon's
. "Digital Content is licensed, not sold, to you by the Content Provider. ... Unless specifically indicated otherwise, you may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense, or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove or modify any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content." And this applies to DRM-free content too!