E-paper devices coming, but what about DRM?...

e paper a revolution in reading

I noticed on the news over the weekend that Philips is about to ship its e-paper PDA this summer. The device, which has a roll-out screen, allows users to read Internet-style newspapers on the move.

All great stuff, of course, but what about the digital rights management (DRM) involved with the technology?

To give you an example - I can download an e-copy of my sports betting paper, the Racing Post, in Adobe PDF format, at a cost of a quid per section. I can then forward that file to as many people as I want to via email. I'm breaking the contract of course, but has the Racing Post thought this one through? I doubt it...

Philips claims to have solved the DRM issue by using a proprietary electronic file format for its e-paper device. Normally I'm against the use of proprietary file formats, as it doesnt help the industry or consumers in the long run.

In this case, though, I'll give Philips a thumbs up for using a proprietary technology, as it will allow content providers and publishers to sign up to the service, safe in the knowledge their information isn't going to get ripped off.

There's a good piece on newspapers testing e-devices over on the International Herald Tribune's site today. Have a peek here...


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