Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sony Reader Gets Some Love

Living in the future with the book of books
Last week I gave a talk about social media to some marketing and promotions people for two Canadian publishers. As a speaker's gift, I was given a Sony Reader Digital Book.

It's a thin slab of aluminum, the size of a paperback and the thickness of an iPod. It's wrapped in a soft leather cover and, when closed, looks for all the world like a Moleskine notebook. Open that cover, and it's a whole different story.

David Rothman at Teleread can smile at this:
Sony's idea is that you will buy a Book (about $300) and then spend even more money at the Sony eBook Store online, where it sells e-books burdened with Digital Rights Management (DRM) locks. Scott McClellan's insider peek at the Bush Administration, What Happened, is available for $16.77, for example. But, once I buy that ebook, I can't share it, resell it or make copies of it.

So, I have absolutely no intention of buying it, or anything else from Sony's online bookstore.

Why? Because I want to have the same rights with my electronic content as I have with my books in the real world. DRM takes those rights away.

And, because the Reader Digital Book can also display plain text files, Word documents, PDFs and hundreds of thousands of public domain books like The Prince or Sense and Sensibility. Those books are available in a format the Book can read at sites like Feedbooks and ManyBooks . And, of course, the motherlode of all public domain e-books is Project Gutenberg, which is home to about 250,000 free titles.

Emphasis added by me.

For the past couple of days I've read Little Brother on the device, read research for some writing I have to do, read a long wikipedia entry on World War One and have started to re-read The Great Gatsby. I've had lots of comments on the subway and Go Train. One woman, looking over my shoulder at the magically changing pages looked at me and said, "Is this what we've all been waiting for?"

And, I have to say, holding a little silver book that contains a shelf full of fiction and research, it does feel like I'm living in the future. The fact that that future is 100 per cent DRM-free makes it taste pretty sweet.

Emphasis added by me.

Wow. I would have liked to have spoken to that woman about the implications of her statement!

-- via Wet Asphalt

Previously here:

Sony To Kindle: Up Yours!
Sony’s Strange Strategy
A Gadget Too Far
Sony, The New Titanic?
eInk eBook Readers: They’re All Dead, Jim!
Amazon: Already Toast
More Bad For Sony Reader: Kindles Coming
Borders Catches Cold, Sony Reader Gets Pneumonia?
Sony Reader Can Be Bought In Spain!
Oprah, Get A Sony Reader!
Sony’s In Worse Shape Than I Thought
Sony Has Big eBook News Today
Oh, NOW He Believes Me!
Macbook Air Vs Everex Cloudbook Vs Sony Reader
Does Borders Know The Sony Reader Exists?
Sony: I’m Not Alone
What’s Going On With Sony And Its Reader?
Sony’s Got Something Big For Their Reader
Has Sony Just Lost Its eBook Battle?

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