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Old 06-22-2006, 02:10 PM   #16
Bob Russell
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Actually, Adobe is a big part of this, and Bill McCoy has expressed his enthusiasm of the new zip-based container spec. I haven't seen the Sony name, but despite their history I wouldn't give up on them completely and for all time.

DRM has not been addressed yet, so each company has freedom to add that as they see fit. That also means that interoperability at the consumer level can still be out of reach at the moment for DRM'd material. But based on my limited understand so far, it seems that this is a huge step forward, both because industry leaders are working together, and because developments like this would appear to be a prerequisite for any hope of a good interoperable DRM solution.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeister0
The whole point of DRM is to create customer lock-in
Actually, the point of DRM is to protect the owners of the intellectual property (i.e. copyright holders) from having that IP taken without them being paid for their work.

This is why I'm not categorically opposed to the very concept.

However, you are quite correct that some "providers" see DRM as a method to force their customers to remain only their customers forever. It's been tried various ways throughout the centuries again and again and it's never worked for long. Heck, it hasn't even worked for Sony lately -- you'd think they'd notice that at some point.

For the pulishers & authors, volume sales are profit -- they need to sell as many books as they can so that ~$1.35/unit they clear and share between them will add up to something worthwhile. Actually they need to do that just to stay afloat.

Their resistance to e-books has been based in their fear that they'll sell one copy and it will be duplicated to all of those who would otherwise buy the thing, and the Pubs would end up with nothing. The fact that actual Publishers are getting on board with this initiative is encouraging, because it means that they have started to see the money through the haze of their piracy fears.

DRM which allows me to do anything with an e-book that I can with a paper one (lend, sell, read, etc.), is not what I'd consider restrictive. The reason I see this development as a hopeful sign is that if a universal format is implemented, then some sort of universal DRM is likely to follow. That leaves us reading any book on any platform, and only the single front battle to convince the publishers that they don't need to require a DNA sample to open the text up for reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeister0
and I don't believe for a minute that any of these players, as well intentioned as they sound today, won't succumb to the temptation to try to create a vertical lock on the software distribution mechanism, the software reader, and/or the hardware device. Sony will not be the only provider trying to do this, and that is assuming their product ever actually gets out the door.
Since this format is already out in the open, they'd have a hard time doing that. The hardware is not owned by any of them anymore than IBM still owns all PC hardware, and anyone can create software to open and display a file format that is open source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeister0
Making pronouncements at a trade conference is easy. Actually doing what they say in the marketplace is a lot harder, and history so far is not promising.
Here, we agree, but I still view this as progress -- not the goal, you understand, but progress.

BTW, I'll be out of touch for a couple of weeks, so don't be alarmed if y'all don't hear from me for a while.

Sure wish I had a nice e-ink reader to take on this trip.
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