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Old 09-27-2006, 05:10 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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iRex iLiad owner calls for DRM support

While we've chattered ad nauseam about the Sony Reader these days, we don't want to forget that the iRex iLiad is an attractive alternative for any respectable geek. However, despite its superior screen and connectivity, the iLiad still lacks the ability to display DRM-protected e-book content, which is a deal killer for many of us. Well, unless publishers suddenly decide to abandon DRM. Nah, only in dreams.

So MobileRead editor Roland "CommanderROR" is calling for action to address the lack of commercial content delivery for the iLiad device. If not being able to read commercial e-books on your iLiad without breaking various laws leaves you a little unsettled, join the discussion and help us to find a working solution. And by solution I don't mean holding iRex developers captive in a dingy jar.

Regrettably, I failed to mention that the photo is under CC Attribution-NonCommercial 1.0, and that full credits go to Fred Benenson. It was shot during an anti-DRM protest at the Virgin Megastore on East 14th Street, NYC. If you're into cool photos check out Fred's Flickr stream.
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:18 PM   #2
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Thanks Alexander...that frontpage post is really nice...provocative...^^
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:59 PM   #3
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Simple PDF password support would be a start ...
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Old 09-27-2006, 07:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
attractive alternative for any respectable geek.
LOL....I like your phrasing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pdam
Simple PDF password support would be a start ...

They say it's already supported
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:18 PM   #5
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I wonder why these e ink devices can't run windows ce? That way you could load ereader, mobipocket, ms lit.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:16 AM   #6
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I wonder why these e ink devices can't run windows ce? That way you could load ereader, mobipocket, ms lit.
Well, for one thing, Linux is free for the companies to develop on. I know Sony uses Linux because the cost of licensing Windows cuts into their bottom line while giving cash to one of their competitors.

Another reason is that Windows would have (at least) to have Eink drivers developed for it. In fact, though, it would have to have a lot more work done - given the slow refresh speed of Eink screens, the UI would have to entirely change, and many design decisions within Windows would have to be reconsidered.

Then there's the fact that they'd only be allowed limited access to the Windows software - with Linux they can see everything, and change anything they need to. With Windows, they'd be dependent on Microsoft for at least some of that. This way they can also hide proprietary drivers and so forth from Microsoft.

Windows CE gets you compatibility with a lot of apps, but Linux gives the potential for many as well... If the reader companies desired, they could port their apps to Linux for free! ;-)
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:16 AM   #7
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i am supporting it . waiting for irex.
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Old 09-28-2006, 05:47 AM   #8
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In the 80ies, lots of Apple II software was protected. When the users stopped buying protected software it disappeared virtually overnight. In other words, DRM should disappear when the publishers start realizing that their sales sucks because of DRM.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:03 AM   #9
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In the 80ies, lots of Apple II software was protected. When the users stopped buying protected software it disappeared virtually overnight. In other words, DRM should disappear when the publishers start realizing that their sales sucks because of DRM.
That may have worked for software, but unfortunately for us, publiishers still have paper books to fall back on. In their view, the sales of ebooks or so small compared to paper that it isn't worth it to risk pirating of unprotected books.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:23 AM   #10
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I hate DRM ... I won´t support that ...
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Old 09-28-2006, 11:04 AM   #11
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Same here.
I said it already elsewhere, but:
I won't support DRM. Even if I have no physical medium, I like to own what I bought. I am not going to rent my books, except if the price would justifiy it.

DRM, independent of the system, will only let me read my books till the DRM system goes down/is not supported anymore, if that ever happens I will loose all my books. We are already seeing it in the form, "you have $DRM-system support on System A but not on System B,C, whatever".

I'm definitely not going to loose my money on DRM content.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by da_jane
I wonder why these e ink devices can't run windows ce? That way you could load ereader, mobipocket, ms lit.
I thought it would be a piece of cake to write ereader or similar software for the Iliad and linux. My guess was that ebook suppliers would not like to loose there business to Sony and therefore jump onto the iliad ship.

I still hope for it.. As Alexander states the specs are much better and the device much better suited to review pdf’s or other content because of the bigger screen (Zooming features seem to be rather limited with Sony’s ereader).

So I fully support that we need to have to possibility to buy books or other content. If it is with or without DRM I actually don’t care. The only other thing I care is that we need to have a decent reader on our device to view the bought material.

I still think we will see DRM support. However if it doesn’t happen in reasonable time we might have another BETAMAX. This time however it would not be Sony to have the disaster…
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:38 PM   #13
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/agreed with b_k

My answer on the DRM situation: Yo ho yo ho, a pirates life for me

You can easily find any ebook in an easy to convert format if you know where to look; however I would immediatly buy ebooks if the price was reasonable and if there was no DRM.

Last edited by mori; 09-28-2006 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:46 PM   #14
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Heh, I didn't say I would not call it fair to buy the paper version and "find" a ready-made digital version of a book somewhere
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Old 09-28-2006, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_k
Same here.
I said it already elsewhere, but:
I won't support DRM. Even if I have no physical medium, I like to own what I bought. I am not going to rent my books, except if the price would justifiy it.

DRM, independent of the system, will only let me read my books till the DRM system goes down/is not supported anymore, if that ever happens I will loose all my books. We are already seeing it in the form, "you have $DRM-system support on System A but not on System B,C, whatever".

I'm definitely not going to loose my money on DRM content.
I agree. I find E Ink readers attractive for the ability to read online content offline -- i.e. the equivalent of printing it out. The iLiad is better suited toward this end than the Sony Reader due to its HTML support and 1024 x 768 resolution for portrait-mode PDFs.

For commercial books, it's a no-brainer that Sony is easily better positioned financially to contract with mainstream publishers than Irex, DRM or not. I don't see Irex having the will or the resources to change direction anytime soon.

Like b_k, I'd rather own what I purchase than license it. Many paper books that I own are out of print, and many of those books were printed by publishers that have long since gone out of business. An orphaned paper book has no impact on its readability, but the lifespan of an e-book is almost entirely dependent on its publisher's existence and support. Even if a publisher doesn't go out of business, it can be acquired and therefore have its file support policy affected or eliminated.

Just Say No to DRM.
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