Sunday, January 31, 2010 / Media - Walls close in on e-book garden

It’s easy to be an intellectual property utopian, from a customer perspective; reality is a bit more complex – as perhaps the Financial Times might agree, with its policy of offering free access to a tiny number of articles each month (access to 8 articles every 30 days, to be precise), and charging a weekly fee (starting at $3.59) for unlimited access.

The digital publishing industry and consumer advocates breathed a sigh of relief when Apple chief executive Steve Jobs revealed that the iPad would use the open EPUB format for the electronic books it sold through the iBooks store .

Unlike Amazon, which has quickly grown to be the world’s largest seller of e-books, it appeared Apple was steering away from introducing its own file format that would only work on Apple products. Instead, by choosing EPUB, a more common format, it looked like Apple was breaking with its past walled-garden approach.

Those hopes were quickly dashed. According to executives in the digital reading industry, Apple is planning to add its own digital rights management software. Apple could not be reached for comment. / Media - Walls close in on e-book garden

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