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Old 04-01-2009, 12:00 AM   #1
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Post Sony, Google and Barnes & Noble To Partner For Sales of Google Books [April Fools]

EDITORS NOTE: This was an April Fools Day joke -- it's not real


Sony, Google and Barnes & Noble To Bring Millions of First Run Books to The Sony Reader


Dateline: San Diego, CA 9:00 PM PDT, March 31, 2009

In an astonishing move today, Sony, Google and Barnes & Noble announced that they are entering into a joint venture to make millions of first run titles available on the Sony PRS line of electronic reading devices.

This agreement is an extension of the recently announced partnership between Sony and Google to bring Google Books' public domain collection to the Sony Reader. Where it gets really exciting is that the addition of bookseller giant Barnes & Noble to the partnership brings along all of Barnes & Nobles' existing distribution agreements with publishers for still in-copyright works.
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"It's been a sort of open secret that for years we've been scanning pretty much everything we can get our hands on," said Jonathan Ipswitch, director of Content Management for Google, "we just couldn't legally share it in any form. Partnering with Barnes & Noble has given us the legal avenue to do so, and Sony's Reader is the perfect device to distribute on because it supports the open ePub format -- open is very important to us."
It's not all sunshine and roses, however: as the price of its participation, Barnes & Noble insisted that the content distributed by this new partnership would carry DRM.
Quote:
"We were somewhat skeptical of this whole idea initially, I mean we only just bought Fictionwise, after all," said Jordan Andwine, recently appointed Vice President for Electronic Content Marketing at Barnes & Noble, "but with Google offering such a huge leg up on salable content and Sony providing such an excellent vehicle in their PRS devices, we really couldn't pass it up. Once it was agreed that copyrighted works would be sold with copy prevention measures in place, it was pretty much a slam dunk for us."
Another surprise in this announcement is that the partnership will not be using any existing DRM schema.
Quote:
"Epub is pretty much a blank slate as far copy prevention measures go," said Nicholas Fritz, Sony's Director of Digital Security for Content, "yes, the format allows for DRM as part of the standard, but there's no specific DRM scheme specified. We decided to take the opportunity to develop a new approach to DRM that would address most of the usual objections to it. Specifically, we want users to not have to worry about whether they'll be able to read their books again later down the road. Obviously I can't go into any details at this point -- there are still patents to be filed -- but we're all really excited about the strategy we've developed here."
All concerned are being very mysterious about what sort of "new" DRM strategy they might be exploring, but now that they've mentioned it, details will surely follow before too long. If they really have come up with something that addresses the main consumer concerns about DRM, it could really be a game-changer for e-books in general.

The giant, glaringly obvious question on all this is when will this take place? Well this is apparently only a very recently reached agreement, so it will be some time before customers can purchase electronic books as a result of it. Currently, the predicted go-live date for sales will be April 1st of next year.

Whatever comes of this partnership I think it's safe to predict that it will fundamentally rock the e-reading world.


You can check here for additional details when the press release becomes available.

Last edited by NatCh; 04-03-2009 at 03:47 PM. Reason: added a note at the beginning.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:05 AM   #2
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Now *that* is big news!

Edit: You people are evil.

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:13 AM   #3
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Great news. I only hope now this will get Amazon to open things up to compete on the book selling front.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:15 AM   #4
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The DRM part is just idiotic. Waste of money, and many will just not buy the stuff, if they can't strip it (including me.) Barnes & Noble is a dinosaur.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
The DRM part is just idiotic. Waste of money, and many will just not buy the stuff, if they can't strip it (including me.) Barnes & Noble is a dinosaur.
But they really do seem to be trying something new here -- claiming to, at any rate. They were very hush-hush about it, but they also seem insufferably smug. I can't help trying to imagine what approach they're pursuing.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
Now *that* is big news!
I agree with you there, Duck.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
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Sigh another incompatible DRM scheme. Now that epub shows signs of ending the tower of e-babel publishers have happily started constructing a tower of DRM
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:29 AM   #8
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This really is very good news! I have lots of books that I wanted in google books and I hope they include the magazines so I would not buy them. This will force amazon to make steps in this competition. But hope this is results in good than bad for ereaders like us.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:56 AM   #9
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This is good news. I can't wait to see how this plays out. As for the DRM, I'm not going to worry about it until it's released. There are a number of ways DRM can be done without locking content to a format or device while at the same time keeping it from being copied or shared. It sounds like they may be going someplace new with it.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:05 AM   #10
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This isn't an April Fools joke is it? I'm curious as to what Barnes & Noble brings. Maybe B&N will become the distribution site? Hopefully it replaces the Sony store, so Sony can get out of the delivery business. Perhaps an in-store Kiosk as well? That'd be kind of neat.

"we want users to not have to worry about whether they'll be able to read their books again later down the road. " So let the speculation begin.

It sounds to me like they'll keep some kind of online database of your purchases so you can always retrieve them later. Which is what the Kindle store does, yes? I'm only speculating but I can't think of any other way to achieve what they say. Unless perhaps the books are delivered 'watermarked' like the iTunes songs -- unencrypted but the identity of the purchaser is embedded in the file. Personally, that is something I could live with. In ePub format I think an idea like that would go a long way to squashing Kindle.

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Old 04-01-2009, 01:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
All concerned are being very mysterious about what sort of "new" DRM strategy they might be exploring, but now that they've mentioned it, details will surely follow before too long. If they really have come up with something that addresses the main consumer concerns about DRM, it could really be a game-changer for e-books in general.
im hoping the drm they are talking about is watermarks... maybe im just to much of a wishfull thinker
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:13 AM   #12
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April Fool's Joke

This is definitely an April Fool's joke, even the release date is April 1st next year!!
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:21 AM   #13
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It will be interesting to see what Amazon's next move is going to be.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:33 AM   #14
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Just as long as it's not another rootkit ...
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:54 AM   #15
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Ok, just looked at this again....

Happy April Fool's, everyone
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