Like a Librarian With a Big Ruler: Apple Rumored to use DRM With iBookstore

I’ve got mixed feelings about DRM. For the uninitiated, DRM – or digital rights management – is what Apple used to shackle down iTunes songs for years just to make the music publishers happy. DRM stops you from taking that song that you purchased and transferring it to another device that you don’t own. Essentially, it stops you from stealing or reselling the song.

Now me, I think that you’re stopping stealing. So … I don’t see that as being a problem. On the flip side, when I try to watch Star Trek on my PS3, I can’t, because of iTunes DRM system. Kinda frustrating in that respect.

The LA Times is reporting that Apple may be using FairPlay DRM to lock down the iBookstore. From the article:

Veteran iTunes customers will recognize the locks as FairPlay, a digital rights management software that once limited how many times digital songs can be copied onto different computers. (Apple phased out FairPlay for music a year ago, and now sells unfettered tunes.)

Next month, Apple will be dusting off those digital cuffs for books, according to sources in the publishing industry.

Like I said, I’ve got mixed feelings here. Frankly, I can’t think of another device that I’d want to view a book on other than the iPad or iPhone, but I also never figured that Lindsay Lohan would ever get ugly, and I sure was wrong on that one. Of course, who knows what will really happen here, and until April, we’re not going to know. Let’s hope that book publishers are a little smarter about this than the music publishers were.

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