Apple to Use FairPlay DRM in iBookstore

Ryan Whitwam

Many people had a bit of hope after the iPad announcement that Apple would take an enlightened view of copy protection on the platform’s iBookstore. The device will support the open EPUB format, but now we’re hearing that the store will utilize Apple’s FairPlay digital rights management solution . This system was used mainly on music in the past, but now is relegated to other iTunes content.

Many publishers are expected to employ the DRM on their ebooks, but some more enlightened publishers may opt out. Apple hasn’t had much to say on the matter just yet. We might not be surprised by this, but we certainly hoped Apple would take a stand here. Apple did manage to talk music labels into dropping DRM, so why go this route with books? It could be that Apple is willing to appease publishers in order to get a chunk of the market even if it means going down the same road they did with music.

So, in a few years will we see Steve Jobs write an open letter about his “ thoughts on books ”? How does this sit with you? Should Apple be pushing for a DRM free books store? Do you feel differently about DRM on books than you do about DRM on music or movies?

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