Okay, so a friend just sent me a link to the New York Times article Would You Sign My Kindle? Authors Sign eBooks Electronically, in which it talks about new software that allows authors to take photos at signing events then electronically sign and email the images to the recipient. (In fact, the recipients don't even have to be in the same room, or state for that matter, to be a part of the signing event). The recipient can then attach the photo with the digital signature to their eBook file (or, as the article points out, post the image on their facebook page, etc).
As much as I hate this, I find the technology incredibly neat - in much the same way I find the autopen machine captivating. Although, to be honest, I like the autopen because it is a machine and an object (and analogue). Digital signatures don't really turn me on. And, while I'm sure they will find a higher valuation in the future, I find it hard to assign a value, other than personal, to them.
Will a collector of digital books, then turn around and sell their digital copy with the digital copy of the author's autograph?
As I said to my friend:
If I want an autograph, I want the hand that touched the pen that touched the paper. Not a facsimile - which is what this will always be.... More and more I find myself falling into the neo-luddite camp (sans the destruction of new technologies of course).
Labels: Autography, autopen, Digital signatures, signing eReaders