Dispatches From The Ebook Wars

by Patrick Appel

Sony is coming out with a new reader.

I'd counsel Amazon's competitors to embrace openness even more. In particular, they'd be wise to let people trade eBooks. They could do this even while maintaining copy protectionyou could authorize your friend to read your copy of The Da Vinci Code for three weeks, and while he's got it, your copy would be rendered unusable. (I'd prefer if eBooks came with no copy protectionas is the case with most online musicbut many in the publishing industry would never go for that.) Kindle's rivals could also get together to create a huge, single ePub bookstore. Publishers would have a big incentive to feed this store with all their booksif they provide books only to Amazon, they'd be helping to create a monopolist in their industry, and that's never good for business.