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Monthly Archives: May 2007

In “Why e-books are bound to fail“ April 27, 2007 (Computerworld)

the writer begins:

“E-books those flat electronic tablets designed for reading downloadable, software-based books, are often packed with advanced displays and other leading-edge technology.”

He means e-readers. Why would Computerworld allow him to make such an elementary mistake? The agenda to discount the future for e-readers and by association the future of e-books, confusing ill-informed consumers with deliberately designed negative discourse, goes on even now in 2007.

As far back as 2002 the then OeBF (now IDPF) said equating an e-book with an e-reader is like equating a DVD disc with a DVD player, so why do some writers, five years on, persist in broadcasting an error? Negative discourse coupled with the desultory efforts by Sony with its ‘new’ e-reader is part of a continuing attempt to stifle e-book and e-reader development.

Reading Steve Jobs “Thoughts on Music” (feb, 2007) it is clear that the model for the e-reader is the DRM-free, proprietary-software free, iPod, and the model for an e-books store is iTunes (even though Big Music forced Apple to put DRM restraints on iTunes music).

Perhaps it is time for the ‘book free’ Internet Volume to appear – the iVol. And instead of the eReader we should have a book free internet reader, the iReader.

If the conglomerates who own publishing cannot face free and fair and open competition for print books from electronically generated texts than let them have the scene for themselves, and those interested in the democratisation of information open a new chapter, move on into new internet territory, much in the way Apple did with music.