e-books and why nobody likes them

Ok I got my first Ebook reader. A used Franklin eBookMan EBM-911. Why? well it's the only ebook reader ever made that had a wide compatability with ebook formats because it has the ability to read both the franklin ebook format as well as the mobipocket format because it actually is a scaled back version of a palm pilot with some wierd differences.

First and foremost it's an Ebook reader. the screen and the low processing power lends it's self to ebook reading. They attempt to add in a music player, memo and other crud that is basically useless. So the device sold like crud and they discontinued it.

But it got me thinking, it's power is that it will ACCEPT loading software. So an OpenSource ebook reader that uses an OpenSource ebook format could in fact be loaded on it. (Something the rocket and RCA ebooks can not do. as well as all other dedicated Ebook readers.)

Ebooks are a utter failure because there is 70,000 different formats. Everyone thinks their secret format is better than everyone elses. and all they succeed in doing is convincing consumers that ebooks are worthless as they are locked to a specific device. consumers want to be able to take that copy of "Snow Crash" they bought 3 years ago and install it on their brand new ebook... which today is 100% impossible. mobipocket books are locked to the device's serial number.

what is needed is a ebook format that will allow open content as well as protected content that is not locked but in a way watermarked with the buyer's name and other information so if the book appears on the internet, the person that bought it can be sued into oblivion by the publisher and or writer.

locking the user from copying it is stupid and only serves to upset the user. making it freely copyable but exposes the user to dire concequences if he/she releases it to the world is an option.

Adding a simple authentication system that requires the reader to authenticate with the book might also help, espically if the authentication system is based on information the user can easily back up.

I'm going to look at some ideas, gziped-SGML sounds like a good start for a format and wrapping it in an encryption system or another system that will embed the purchaser's information into the book will be the first alpha test of the format.

that way ebooks can be read on a zaurus, ebookman, palm, CE whatever device....

there has to be a solution to this, unfortunately noone is looking at this particular problem.


Popular Posts