DRM, ebooks and the iPad

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A little while ago I got involved in a discussion on Digital Rights Management (DRM) and the iPad on Twitter. @MacMK had recently bought a digital book at Bol.com, and complained that she was given no warning that this would not work on her shiny new iPad.

Young girl balancing a book and an apple on head

Most eBooks are sold in PDF or ePub format and are commonly protected with Adobe’s Digital Experience Protection Technology (ADEPT) DRM scheme. Although there are quite a few ebook readers that support this format, Apple products are one of the few that don’t. This is because Apple sells ebooks through its own iBook Store, protecting the files with their own proprietary FairPlay DRM scheme. As a result, the standard iBooks app on Apple’s iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) only read unprotected and FairPlay-protected ebooks. This is also the case of the very popular Stanza app.

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