Sony Trumps Amazon

By Glenn Fleishman August 13, 2009


Sony opts to adopt open format for ebooks. Sony said it will adopt an industry-standard format commonly called Epub (but made up of a variety of underlying open standards) as the sole format in which it sells electronic books by year's end. Sony sells the Reader, soon to be available in new models at cheaper prices.a

By adopting Epub, Sony makes it broadly possible that books you purchase from Sony will be readable on a range of dedicated and general purpose hardware not, in fact, made by Sony. Epub preserves the option for digital rights management (DRM) encryption that locks where and how books are read. But that DRM can be managed across many devices due to the open nature of the specification.

It's not "you own the ebook you buy," as I discussed recently, but it's a large step closer. Amazon's Kindle devices use a proprietary protected format controlled by Amazon, although they can read certain open formats, but not Epub.
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