iPad e-books shackled with FairPlay DRM
Apple’s FairPlay DRM will get a new gig with the launch of the iPad, shackling up e-books to prevent illegal copying. That’s a huge problem, because it could prevent users from reading their e-books on other devices besides the iPad.
Adobe, which has its own DRM called Content Server 4, sounded the alarm on this issue weeks ago, and a new report by the Los Angeles Times confirms Adobe’s fears. The company claims that an ePub book protected with Apple’s proprietary DRM won’t work on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Sony’s Reader and future non-Apple devices. Granted, Adobe has a vested interest in building support for its own copy protection, but the fear that books purchased on the iPad won’t work elsewhere is genuine.
The extent to which Apple will restrict the use of e-books isn’t known. FairPlay, however, was used in iTunes music until last year, when Apple removed the DRM but also raised prices on select tracks in a deal with record labels. FairPlay is still used in movie and television files purchased through iTunes.
The use of FairPlay will probably be up to publishers. While most will certainly opt to lock up their files, the LA Times notes that some publishers, including O’Reilly Media, may decline, taking the dissenting opinion that DRM actually hurts sales. Last month, O’Reilly reported that its e-book sales rose 104 percent in the 18 months since it stopped using DRM. The huge increase probably has something to do with e-readers’ recent rise in popularity, but it seems clear that the publisher isn’t suffering.
As the popularity of e-books grows, being able to read them on multiple devices, sometimes by different manufacturers, will be crucial. If FairPlay prevents you from reading a book on an Android phone, or a dedicated e-reader, it’s a problem. People who are enamored with the iPad regardless should consider buying their books elsewhere if they haven’t just given up and turned to piracy.
1 Comments on iPad e-books shackled with FairPlay DRM
- Posts: 16
- Posted on: 18 Feb 10 19:16
Yeah, it's got a DRM format but it's also got a DRM-free format, and you can make your own books. It runs on Win, the Mac, iPhone, WinMob, some Symbian, Palm, and some others.
I've used Adobe's protected format and it's an invention of the devil him(her?)self.
I hate it so much that I've actually gone and repurchased anything in Adobe format in eReader format.
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