[Athen] More on DRM for Apple iPad ebooks

Shelley Haven ShelleyHaven at techpotential.net
Tue Feb 16 09:28:43 PST 2010

The LA Times reports that Apple is offering their DRM
"FairPlay" (currently used on iTunes) to publishers for their ePub-
formatted ebooks on the upcoming iPad. It limits how many times
digital songs can be copied to other devices; presumably it would work
the same, limiting how many instances of a downloaded ebook could co-
exist on a user's devices. (Link below article.)

Apple to wrap digital books in FairPlay copy protection [Clarified]
February 15, 2010
When Apple launches its iBook store to sell titles for its new iPad
device in March, many of its titles are expected to come with a set of
handsome digital locks designed to deter piracy.

Veteran iTunes customers will recognize the locks as FairPlay, a
digital rights management software that once limited how many times
digital songs can be copied onto different computers. (Apple phased
out FairPlay for music a year ago, and now sells unfettered tunes.)

Next month, Apple will be dusting off those digital cuffs for books,
according to sources in the publishing industry.

No doubt some publishers, including O'Reilly Media -- which has
vociferously argued that digital locks are harmful to sales -- will
opt not to deploy FairPlay. (O'Reilly, which puts out technical books,
was not on the list of five publishers during Apple's announcement of
the iPad, but is discussing a deal with Apple.)

But the majority of publishers are expected to embrace FairPlay, along
with other copy protection software such as Adobe's Content Server 4,
as a means to squelch incipient book piracy as the e-book market
begins to take off.

-- Alex Pham

Clarified 1:50 pm: An earlier version of this post said Apple phased
out FairPlay a year ago and now sells songs without DRM. Apple
continues to use FairPlay to protect other iTunes content. Thanks to
our readers for noticing this omission!

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