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Old 12-22-2007, 03:12 AM   #1
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Thumbs up The future of books - bleak or bright?

Looks like Penguin Books might be finally embracing ebooks.

There's a very nice post from Jeremy Ettinghausen at The Penguin Blog

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Towards the end of every year I tour the office, brazenly declaring that the next year will undoubtedly be the year of the ebook, so why should 2007 be any different? But this year, there is more and more evidence that the tipping point for digital reading, if not here already, is just around the corner. With this in mind Penguin, like many other big publishers, is getting its As, Bs and Cs converted into ones and zeros and preparing our catalogue for a time when words will be blithely transmitted across the ether to a variety of devices via a variety of services.
This alone would be good news, but there's more, there a couple of great videos depicting two different visions about the future of books.

The one I like talks about freedom from restrictions. Now this could just be marketing, (after all, Bezos was all for freedom) but...

If one of the big publishers is truly embracing ebooks with this vision, this could very well be the start of the catalytic change we need inside the publishing industry. Could Penguin be the EMI of ebooks?

What do you think my fellow mobilereaders?
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:40 PM   #2
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I'd probably buy a few ebooks (if not already in the local library) if they were DRM free, there is no way I'd get DRM anything.

Our library started offering ebooks that are checked out over the internet but they contain an auto expiring DRM.

Just after I checked out a couple of books my PC came down with a bad case of trojan so I had to rebuild.

The ebooks from backup were obviously unreadable because of missing licences. Now I could have contacted the library and asked them to reset the books so I could re-download but I didn't bother. You may not always have that option anyway depending how you obtained them and how long ago. The current company may honour its purchase but what if it disappears.

It would be a great day if I could just find and purchase an unencumbered ebook, until then I won't be buying any.

Steve
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SteveB View Post
It would be a great day if I could just find and purchase an unencumbered ebook, until then I won't be buying any.

Steve
I'm a little puzzled what's stopping you from buying "unencumbered eBooks", Steve. If you like SF and Fantasy, Baen sell all their books DRM-free. For more general fiction, Fictionwise sell all their "Multiformat" books DRM-free.

Finally, to stretch the point a little, if you use Windows, you can buy any Microsoft Reader (LIT) book and trivially remove the DRM from it, ending up with a DRM-free book.

So what's stopping you from buying eBooks?
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:17 PM   #4
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I'm a little puzzled what's stopping you from buying "unencumbered eBooks", Steve. If you like SF and Fantasy, Baen sell all their books DRM-free. For more general fiction, Fictionwise sell all their "Multiformat" books DRM-free.

Finally, to stretch the point a little, if you use Windows, you can buy any Microsoft Reader (LIT) book and trivially remove the DRM from it, ending up with a DRM-free book.

So what's stopping you from buying eBooks?
I hadn't realised that there were larger booksellers who sold DRM free. There are a couple of (real) books I've never been able to get so I'll check at a few places for them. They are long out of print so ita hard to say if there is much chance though.

Perhaps it might be a good idea to keep a sticky topic in the forum with a list of ebook sellers that sell DRM free books. The more people start supporting these perhaps the faster the idea will get general acceptance.

Steve
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