Saturday, January 30, 2010

News: January 30th

College Newspapers Could See Future With iPad has a very short note about the iPad that suggests that the iBookstore might be used for distributing College Papers:
Assuming that Apple gives an easy way for organization to create an iTunes/iBooks account, it should be possible for college news publications to be available on the device.
Which is an interesting thought, but I think it's doubtful; at least based on what they showed at the announcement. The interface they showed seemed geared to books, not magazines or newspapers.

Maybe that's coming...

Far & Beyond
The blog for Far Away Books is having conflicting thoughts about the iPad. On Thursday, in a column titled iPad for iBooks, they enthusiastically declare the iPad the winner over the Kindle:
Absolutely iPad is a winner.
It will take some people some time for some authors (and their publishing houses) to figure out how to use it. It will take marketers some time to figure out how to fully exploit it (expect to see authors doing “product placement” and publishing houses and authors looking at pay per click revenue from books more closely). But a good development for the book world.
Just a day later, enthusiasm has changed to anxiety in iSad for now, due to the lack of details for small publishers:
After his announcement yesterday that “this afternoon we’re throwing it open to all publishers,” we expected to see details posted on how all publishers could join on the website. You know, info about royalties, agreements, specifications, contracts, ISBNs, all the need to know things so that publishers could gear up for iBooks.
But there is nothing to be found. Anywhere. Yet.
Ahh, it's early days, and we're all a bit anxious...

iPad a Threat to Publishers?
Who knows how eBooks will play out here, but in Australia, the iPad appears to be striking fear into the heart of publishers. The problem there is that Australia (and New Zealand too, I think) has managed to protect it's publishing business by preventing importation of lower cost books from overseas (parallel importation.) Former NSW premier Bob Carr thinks Australia will have to act:
"The Federal Government will have to sooner rather than later lift the ban on parallel importation because of the competition to traditional books now being provided by these technologies."

Walls close in on e-book garden
David Gelles at wonders about the DRM Apple is using, and how it will work (can you play on other machines/readers, or just on Apple's?) He notes that there's currently two worlds; Kindle, and ePUB documents using Adobe’s Content Server 4 DRM.
But the EPUB files with Adobe’s DRM can be read on more than two dozen different e-readers, giving consumers a choice of hardware. This has resulted in two e-book ecosystems – Amazon’s walled garden, and the more open network of devices supporting EPUB files with Adobe DRM.

Should Apple introduce its own DRM for EPUB files, it would create a third system and further complicate consumer choice.

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