There was a very interesting story on NPR yesterday about whether DRM — digitial rights management — is helping or hurting ebook sales. It's a well-done story that quotes experts on both sides.
Personally, I think DRM is a bad idea. I completely agree with the author who says it makes it too difficult and frustrating for readers, as well as with the book marketing expert who says that filesharing actually helps to build a fan base by getting the word out.
Also, as I've heard (read) Angela Hoy of WritersWeekly point out before: The people who pirate ebooks would probably not go out and buy the ebook if they couldn't steal it, so it's not actually resulting in lost sales.
I think you have to look at the cost in each scenario. You could put DRM on your ebooks, make sure no one can pirate them, but also create lots of problems for legitimate customers. Or you can not use DRM, risk a few pirated copies, but also gain fans through filesharing. While filesharing may cost you a sale occasionally in the short run, who is to say that 1) the new fan would have heard of you and bought the ebook themselves, had they not been sent the file, anyway, and 2) that they won't go out and buy your next book, now that they know who you are?
I am curious what other writers and authors think. Do you support DRM? Or do you think it's a bad idea?