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Old 12-13-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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Question Why is it good that Sony went epub?

Please forgive my ignorance in this post, but I am a bit confused about something.

It seems like people were pretty jazzed about the Sony Reader Store going to epub because it is a more universal format. Or at least that is the impression I had. But what good is this format if it is DRM-ed?

As an experiment, I tried buying a book from Barnes & Noble in epub. I made sure it was inexpensive because I knew this might not work. I tried to put it on my Sony Reader and of course it says my reader is not authorized. I wasn't surprised, but I was hoping it would let me enter in my information to "unlock" the book for this device.

So if we are still locked in to using purchases on specific devices, then what good is epub? Like I said, sorry if this is a dumb question, but I feel like I am missing something here.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #2
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(doggie with intense frown taps paw waiting impatiently for an answer from Sony to this question)
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:21 PM   #3
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Sony advantage

One advantage for Sony is that eventually the old BBeB books will no longer be readable. As it is half of those books I bought from Sony are no longer downloadable.

Thus, we are all forced to keep buying NEW books from Sony. On the other hand, why would anyone want to re-read any book?

We pay for the read and then the books becomes useless anyway.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahmad88 View Post
Please forgive my ignorance in this post, but I am a bit confused about something.

It seems like people were pretty jazzed about the Sony Reader Store going to epub because it is a more universal format. Or at least that is the impression I had. But what good is this format if it is DRM-ed?
It's good because:

1. ePub is a standard which everybody (except Amazon) supports. Therefore you have an extremely wide choice of different stores at which to buy books.

2. Pretty much every device (except the Kindle) now supports ePub. Therefore you are not "locked in" to any particular manufacturer when looking for devices.

Quote:
As an experiment, I tried buying a book from Barnes & Noble in epub. I made sure it was inexpensive because I knew this might not work. I tried to put it on my Sony Reader and of course it says my reader is not authorized. I wasn't surprised, but I was hoping it would let me enter in my information to "unlock" the book for this device.
As a general answer, you need to authorise your device with ADE. However, at present, B&N are using a new encryption method for their ePubs, which it will take a while for other devices to be able to use, but it should happen over time.

Last edited by HarryT; 12-13-2009 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Typo.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:33 PM   #5
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B&N is now the exception, because they are using "password" DRM on their ePubs. This will potentially be available to everyone (i.e. all reading devices and all ebook retailers) next year, but currently B&N ePub is B&N only.

You can buy from anyone else selling ePub and it will work on your Sony, but that was true before. The big advantage of Sony going ePub is that everyone (including Nook owners by the way) in the US can buy ebooks from Sony. I bought six from them this weekend. They have a different selection of ebooks than most other sites, so this helps the ePub infrastructure, even if they are not the cheapest. If more people buy from the Store then prices may even come down.

So far, nothing I have described is an advantage to Sony Reader owners, but in the long term the LRX format could not survive. No publisher is going to stand for paying extra for a minor format, so Sony would have to pay to convert from ePub to LRX. Since they already support ePub on their Readers, this change was necessary to survive (and I'm sure they got a good deal from Adobe for giving up LRX).

The geographic restrictions on ebooks are a real problem, made more apparent by the standardization more or less world wide on ePub. All that can be done at present by readers is to work out ways around them. Based on recent posts it seems reasonably easy for non-US customers to buy from Sony, but I have not been following the details.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:37 PM   #6
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Question on ePub Zondervan NIV Bible

Wallcraft,

I notice I can buy the Zondervan NIV Bible in ePub format direct from Zondervan at $ 2.00 cheaper than from Sony.

If I did that, would my Sony 3.1 PC software and my PRS 900 be able to read it?
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
One advantage for Sony is that eventually the old BBeB books will no longer be readable. As it is half of those books I bought from Sony are no longer downloadable.

Thus, we are all forced to keep buying NEW books from Sony. On the other hand, why would anyone want to re-read any book?

We pay for the read and then the books becomes useless anyway.
Wow, you couldn't download half of your books? I only had something like 11% I couldn't download.

They are supposed to switch them all over, so you should be ok eventually. But how are they not readable?
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmaru View Post
If I did that, would my Sony 3.1 PC software and my PRS 900 be able to read it?
Yes. The only thing to be sure about is that your copy of Desktop Adobe Digital Editions is using the same AdobeID as your Sony. One way to check is to confirm that ADE can read one of your Sony ePubs. This matters because 3rd party ePubs are typically downloaded by Desktop ADE.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:52 PM   #9
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The advantage of Sony having switched to ePub is that ADE encryption has been cracked. So it's now easy to liberate ebooks bought through Sony. B&N's ePub encryption hasn't been cracked yet, but it's probably just a matter of time. Until then, everyone should buy ePub from Sony and unlock the files so they can be read on any device. =D

Does anyone know which encryption method Fictionwise uses for its ePub files?
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:09 PM   #10
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Does anyone know which encryption method Fictionwise uses for its ePub files?
It is password based, with the password for B&N ebooks being your credit card number. That is all that Adobe and B&N are saying about the scheme.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:12 PM   #11
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It is password based, with the password for B&N ebooks being your credit card number. That is all that Adobe and B&N are saying about the scheme.
B&N cannot be selling ePub now with the password based DRM and ADE won't handle it and thus your purchases won't be valid. I expect an update to ADE to handle this when CS5 is ready to start dishing out this passworded DRM for ePub.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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B&N cannot be selling ePub now with the password based DRM
I think they must be doing so, they are just not available from Adobe yet (i.e. B&N are using their own servers). The way to check would be to change to a new credit card and see if the Reader asks for you to enter it when first opening an ePub from B&N. If you use an existing credit card (e.g. used for eReader ebooks from B&N) this will already be on file and the ePub will open without prompting for the password.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #13
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Wow, thank you all for the quick replies. This makes much more sense.

OK, so I can buy epubs from anywhere else except B&N it sounds like.

If I go to a website to buy a book, is there a particular epub format to look for that Sony readers will read?

Do we know that eventually everyone will be using one form of encryption for epub or is that just wishful speculation?
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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No, ePub is ePub (unless it's the B&N flavour of ePub, that is ). You'll be fine buying from anywhere else.

We know that Adobe will be offering a new version of ADE (Adobe Digital Editions - the software that's installed on reading devices to read ePub and PDF files) which will support the new B&N DRM mechanism (in addition to the current one) from early next year. What we don't know is how long it will then take device manufacturers such as Sony to produce new firmware versions that incorporate it. To say that Sony haven't been "quick of the mark" to take advantage of new ADE versions would be being over-generous to them.
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:03 PM   #15
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Caution is the rule

After reading all this I'd be very cautious about book purchases.

It appears Sony and BN and Adobe all have DIFFERENT copy protection schemes. They may not be interchangeable or crackable.

I just installed the new Adobe 1.7 for reading DRM protected PDF books. It would not read files I had moved from an older PC 4 years ago. The message stated that all their DRM PDF books are LINKED to a specific PC.

I did download a free sample of a BN book yesterday and Sony 3.1 could read it. Today I downloaded a new sample of a BN book and Sony 3.1 could NOT read it. It appears the DRM mechanism is EVOLVING.

My solution is to use BN only for the free samples to try the book and then only purchase the books from Sony. These DRM ePubs are completely different than the free ePubs obtained elsewhere.

I have a Sony PRS 505 now but soon will have the Sony PRS 900 and get rid of the PRS 505. We will just have to pay higher prices at Sony to be sure we can read these books.

My present BBeB files can all be read by Sony 3.1. However, some are now unavailable for download. I went through 10 books on my wish list at Sony and removed them first and then reinstated them. I received no warining on those of not being available for download.
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