FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I currently own about 50 ebooks in secure Mobipocket Reader format. I've accumulated them over the past 7-8 years, originally using a Palm Pilot and most recently a Windows Mobile smartphone. Interestingly, the reader client software for this format is available for the PC and most smartphones - except the iPhone. I was thinking about getting an iPhone and noticed that a competing reader - eReader - is available. Not a problem, I thought, since DRM is supposed to protect the content and not inhibit usage. I contacted Fictionwise.com to see about converting my library (90% of my ebooks were purchased there), only to be told that this was not possible. I would have to re-purchase my entire library in the new format. These books cost anywhere from $2.00 to $20.00 each. I'm really not prepared to buy them all over again. And what happens in the future when this DRM scheme is no longer used? Buy them yet again? I have pretty much decided that I will no longer be buying any ebooks until some sort of standard evolves. It is simply too risky and expensive. There's a lot of speculation on the internet concerning why a Mobipocket Reader isn't available for the iPhone. After all, Mobipocket did announce that the reader would be -available soon- over a year ago. It turns out that Amazon.com bought Mobipocket and uses an altered version of the secure Mobipocket format for its Kindle reader. Note that the Kindle will NOT work with -standard- secure Mobipocket ebooks - only secure .amz books available through Amazon. So speculation runs that Amazon is also suppressing the release of the iPhone version of the Mobipocket Reader to help protect its Kindle device, given the huge popularity of the iPhone.