Originally Posted by Brad
...3. Reasonable DRM policy...
This is the one component of the matrix that has yet to be resolved in any satisfactory way. Purchased eBooks _MUST_ be either transportable or so cheap that I don't mind buying multiple copies. If they sell for any significant price they need to be transportable to new devices, both alternate devices as Brad mentions _and_ new devices. I need to be comfortable that when my current device dies, a new device can be purchased and loaded with my existing library.
Also at issue is what happens to the traditional paper&ink library. To move to eBooks, they need to be able to handle the DRM on a "loan" basis. There exists technology today for checking out/in software licenses. I worked on implementing such systems into our application software when I was with Macomedia (several variations over time). Libraries need a DRM system that supports such check in/out functions in both their server software and the client's eBook reader. The system should allow:
1. checkout of a license when acquiring a copy of the data file
2. the server should then prohibit additional check out
3. the license should expire in a given amount of time and have a "grace period" where the license borrower "owns" the license but can't access the book
4. license should be renewable with a new checkout by the current holder at any time during its life and for a small additional grace period
5. the license should be able to be checked in by the current holder at any time during its life or during the grace period
6. when the grace period expires without a checkin, the server should then reset and allow a new checkout by anyone
7. the DRM system should be non-proprietary so that multiple, competing vendors can create devices, reader software, eBook compilers/converters, and server systems that are all compatible with each other (like UPC codes, ISBN codes, ...)