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Old 06-22-2010, 04:02 PM   #1
Dulin's Books
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Is Adobe DRM epub endangered?

because of the price war among the better known devices?
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:23 PM   #2
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I'm a little puzzled by ADEPT and the B&N variant...can you read both the original ADEPT and the B&N version in Adobe's desktop programs?
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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the b&n variant was supposed to be included in adept but i dont know if that has actually been done yet.
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:35 PM   #4
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Could be. If Amazon succeed in making the Kindle store the dominate book store--and they're trying like hell by putting Kindle apps on every gadget under the sun--they're format could become dominate.

But not necessarily. Apple's AAC format didn't come to dominate digital music despite iTunes being by far the dominate music store. Once DRM dies it's all moot since it's so easy to format shift when DRM isn't involved.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:11 PM   #5
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[SNIP]
But not necessarily. Apple's AAC format didn't come to dominate digital music despite iTunes being by far the dominate music store. Once DRM dies it's all moot since it's so easy to format shift when DRM isn't involved.
Small point of information -- the AAC format isn't "Apple's AAC format." It's an actual international standard, standards body and all. The only thing related to AAC that was Apple's was their (so-called) "Fairplay" DRM, notable mostly in that Apple extracted surprisingly non-restrictive usage rules from the big labels back when the iTunes store first opened. Allowing use on up to five computers plus as many iPods as you liked was a huge surprise at the time. Nobody thought at the time that Apple would get the big labels to allow that good a deal for the end-users.

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Old 06-22-2010, 05:13 PM   #6
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True. But my point stands. The DRM died, and the AAC format didn't overtake MP3 despite the success of iPods and the iTune's store.

So maybe Amazon's likely (IMO) dominance of the e-book store world won't mean .mobi becomes the standard even after DRM dies.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:13 PM   #7
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Adobe DRM is probably safe; after all, it is supported by one of those feuding "big brands". And it is the DRM of choice of the anything-but-Amazon camp.

Ebookstores that rely on Adobe DRM and servers, though?
Those are at some risk.

Basically, the entire Kindle market gets its DRM'ed content from Amazon.

The Adobe DRM readers, however, are an open competition between B&N, Kobo/Borders, Sony, Fictionwise, and a zillion "national champion" regional stores. On paper, all devices and ebookstores are supposed to be equal under Adobe. The reality, though, is that Nook is more equal: Nook's Adobe support is one-way; it supports plain-vanilla Adobe DRM but their DRM is currently only available on Nook hardware and likely will never be available at competitor bookstores. And, unlike Adobe, B&N is actively porting their reader software to smartphones and tablets.

And, because Nooks come hardwired to the B&N store they'll have preferential access to Nook buyers. Other bookstores will have to rely on PC-based sales to get to Nook buyers.

So, the way it works for now is the largest single block (Kindle) is off-limits to vanilla Adobe bookstores and the single-largest block has a strong incentive to go with B&N. Its not much of an issue right this minute because B&N hasn't gotten their act in gear outside the US but once they get their regional right story straight there is serious danger for the other Adobe Adept bookstores. Especially if B&N DRM support shows up on second-tier readers.

And, of course, iBooks doesn't have much of a presence but over time they might amount to another big player.

For all that buyers gripe (and rightfully so) about regional rights on ebooks, those regional rights are the best hope the regional ebookstores have to survive.

Last edited by fjtorres; 06-22-2010 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Adobe DRM is probably safe; after all, it is supported by one of those feuding "big brands". And it is the DRM of choice of the anything-but-Amazon camp.

Ebookstores that rely on Adobe DRM and servers, though?
Those are at some risk.

Basically, the entire Kindle market gets its DRM'ed content from Amazon.

The Adobe DRM readers, however, are an open competition between B&N, Kobo/Borders, Sony, Fictionwise, and a zillion "national champion" regional stores. On paper, all devices and ebookstores are supposed to be equal under Adobe. The reality, though, is that Nook is more equal: Nook's Adobe support is one-way; it supports plain-vanilla Adobe DRM but their DRM is currently only available on Nook hardware and likely will never be available at competitor bookstores. And, unlike Adobe, B&N is actively porting their reader software to smartphones and tablets.

And, because Nooks come hardwired to the B&N store they'll have preferential access to Nook buyers. Other bookstores will have to rely on PC-based sales to get to Nook buyers.

So, the way it works for now is the largest single block (Kindle) is off-limits to vanilla Adobe bookstores and the single-largest block has a strong incentive to go with B&N. Its not much of an issue right this minute because B&N hasn't gotten their act in gear outside the US but once they get their regional right story straight there is serious danger for the other Adobe Adept bookstores. Especially if B&N DRM support shows up on second-tier readers.

And, of course, iBooks doesn't have much of a presence but over time they might amount to another big player.

For all that buyers gripe (and rightfully so) about regional rights on ebooks, those regional rights are the best hope the regional ebookstores have to survive.
That's the question. A few months ago it was Amazon DRM vs. ADE, with "everyone else" supposedly lining up behind ADE. Now its Amazon DRM vs. B&N's Variant vs. Fairplay vs. "everyone else" lined up behind ADE.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:46 PM   #9
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Adobe did announce that B&N's variant would be added to the next version of the Adobe Digital Editions Mobile source. Once that happens, B&N's variant will be available to all the rest of the device vendors who do Adobe DRM both for their new devices (essentially automatically), and also for older devices (at the cost of a firmware upgrade). The B&N variant being "special" is supposedly a temporary situation.

How that will all play out in real life remains to be seen.

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Old 06-22-2010, 05:49 PM   #10
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Adobe did announce that B&N's variant would be added to the next version of the Adobe Digital Editions Mobile source. Once that happens, B&N's variant will be available to all the rest of the device vendors who do Adobe DRM both for their new devices (essentially automatically), and also for older devices (at the cost of a firmware upgrade). The B&N variant being "special" is supposedly a temporary situation.

How that will all play out in real life remains to be seen.

Xenophon
Supposedly manufacturers were give that version in the beginning part of the year. What remains to be seen is if/when they'll utilize it.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:20 PM   #11
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Adobe did announce that B&N's variant would be added to the next version of the Adobe Digital Editions Mobile source.
Right.
The Hardware licensees.
*Not* the ebookstores, though.
Theoretically, all ADEPT-based ebook readers will be able to (someday) access B&N DRM'ed ebooks. But only B&N will sell books in that format.
A one-way street.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #12
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Right.
The Hardware licensees.
*Not* the ebookstores, though.
Theoretically, all ADEPT-based ebook readers will be able to (someday) access B&N DRM'ed ebooks. But only B&N will sell books in that format.
A one-way street.
Content Server, which is the Adobe DRM server software, is being updated (already is?) to add the option of password based (B&N style) encryption. So anybody using Adobe DRM will be able to offer their choice of either type of authorization. Adobe's idea is that eventually whichever type of authorization a store decides to use (ID based or Password based) won't matter as they'll be interchangeable from an end user perspective. That's why they made their deal with B&N, to avoid fragmenting ePub DRM if they could.
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:53 PM   #13
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I have a question. Now, if you buy an ePub book at B&N, you can't read it at ADE in your PC. Do they think to update that too?
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #14
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I have a question. Now, if you buy an ePub book at B&N, you can't read it at ADE in your PC. Do they think to update that too?
Link to the Nook faq on the Abobe website:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/digitalp...noble_faq.html

According to the faq there should be a new version of ADE this year supporting B&N epub.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:27 PM   #15
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Content Server, which is the Adobe DRM server software, is being updated (already is?) to add the option of password based (B&N style) encryption.
At which point the "other guys" will have a chance to sell, via PC, to Nook customers already trained to wirelessly go straight to B&N's store. Seems like a stacked deck to me.

Plus, let's not forget B&N's deal with Pandigital to hook up *their* reader to B&N's ebook store. If they make other deals like that with other hardware vendors they'll have a huge visibility advantage.

Everybody thinks Nook is gunning for Amazon's business, and they are to an extent, but to a greater extent they are gunning for everybody else's business first. We may not get to a two-player race, but its likely we'll see a three-point-something player race with all the other ADE licensees adding up less than one full-fledged player.

Not a fun place to be if you're one of the "others".
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