ipad.jpgComputerworld is reporting that Apple is not using Adobe DRM, but will use FairPlay.

“Apple has not licensed Adobe Content Server for their iBook store,” Nick Bogaty, senior business development manager at Adobe, told Computerworld. “They appear to be doing something else. … But Apple’s plan to use FairPlay instead of Adobe’s flavor of copy protection will lock in customers to Apple’s ecosystem, says Bogaty, as iPad owners will only be able to buy from Apple’s iBook store, and not be able to transfer their purchases to other devices. With iBook, there’s no freedom of choice,” he said. “

The article goes on to say:

Opponents of copy protection for e-books decry Apple’s use of FairPlay. “[FairPlay] is another in a varied number of DRM schemes that will ultimately confuse the consumer and harm e-book adoption,” said Paul Biba, editor of the e-book blog TeleRead.

Adobe’s Bogaty said that, while Flash will not be enabled on the iPad, users of the iPad should be able to read ebooks that will contain Flash video. They will just see a static image instead of the video and the text will remain unaffected.


  1. There shouldn’t be any surprise here.

    When they need to use DRM (their choice: apps in the AppStore; not their choice: iTunes media (music, video, etc.)) – Apple has always used their own version. I can’t think of any time that they’ve used someone else’s.

  2. Hopefully, many different ebook reader apps will be available for the iPad so we will have our choice of DRM’s: eReader, Adobe, FairPlay, Kindle … choose your app and attendant ebookstore and get a new flavor of DRM.

    I am hoping that all ebook app’s will let me download and read non-DRM’d, legal ebooks too preferably in epub format.

  3. The real villain here is proprietary DRM. Adobe is basically whining and saying, ‘But we want to monopolize ebook DRM, and Apple is competing with us!’

    After the ‘industry standard’ epub, it seems we now need an ‘industry standard’ DRM scheme, one that is open and free of licensing, and adopted by all devices.

    Or maybe the publishing industry could just decide to catch up to the music industry now, rather than 3 years hence, and drop its insistence on DRM altogether? *sigh*

    Apple of course is saying (in the LA Times piece, I think, that first announced that Apple would use FairPlay) that publishers don’t have to use DRM on their books at the iBookstore.

    – asotir

  4. The only road to DRM-free content is if DRM becomes more trouble than it is worth for everybody. (Especially publishers.) As long as DRM only inconveniences users we’ll be stuck with it.
    A DRM monoculture would minimize the inconvenience, so what we need is *more* e-babel, not less.
    Kudos to Apple for not rolling over and playing dead for Adobe like B&N did.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.