All Devices Should Access Everything. Period.

I won’t be sympathetic to Amazon’s wailing over Apple shafting them. As far as I’m concerned Amazon started this crap by not going with ePub for eBooks and for locking everyone into its store. This is greed blowback. This is what happens with greed: It creates it own revenge effect.

It’s ironic that Sony got dinged by Apple and wound up blowing the in-app purchasing whistle on them. When Sony in America decided to give eBooks a go, they went with ePub and made repeated efforts to please their customers with upgrades and even generous trade-ins of the original model 500. If Sony can be faulted for anything, it’s for not waking up to wireless commerce sooner but that has nothing to do with the matter at hand.

Barnes & Noble can’t squawk, either. It mutated the Adobe DRM everyone was using, breaking the universality of ePub and further gave everyone the Finger of Greed by rebranding its eBooks as Nookbooks. I have zero sympathy for them getting stabbed by Apple.

Kobo/Borders both did the right thing going with universal ePub and standard Adobe DRM. It’s too bad Borders didn’t wake up sooner and now has a doubtful future. It deserves to survive more than Barnes & Noble.

I’m frankly shocked at the position Apple is taking. Like some of Reagan’s questionable decisions that were later explained as symptoms of encroaching Alzheimer’s disease, I wonder if what Jobs is letting happen is a sign of a metastatic brain tumor affecting his judgment? You can yell all you want about my bringing up his health in what seems to be a very tasteless manner, but this greed grab by Apple needs to be explained and, as with Reagan, illness seems to be a possible explanation.

Steve Jobs once stated his goal was to make a ding in the universe. Right now, he’s the laughingstock of it.

7 Comments

Filed under Amazon Kindle, Apple: The Company, Barnes & Noble Nook, Bookstores, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, eInk Devices, Kobo Reader, Sony Reader

7 responses to “All Devices Should Access Everything. Period.

  1. Sony did not start with ePub. They were using BBeB at first. Also no one remembers the Librie, that pre-dates the 500 (Japan only) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Librie it had a keyboard like the Kindle.

    I had the 500, It was nice to see them make the change. Very customer friendly, and very non-Sony proprietary like.

    • mikecane

      Yes. As we discussed on Twitter, I don’t think ePub and its DRM were ready when Sony introduced the 500. I went and reviewed my original 4-part posts about the 500:
      http://mikecane.wordpress.com/2006/10/25/sony-reader-part-1-of-4/
      — and nowhere is ePub even mentioned. No one else had it at that time, either. Sony added it later and popularized it. I think when the 500 came out, the ePub brand hadn’t even been invented; it might have still been called OpenBook.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention All Devices Should Access Everything. Period. « Mike Cane's xBlog -- Topsy.com

  3. The dust is still in the air so I’m not sure anyone knows what’s really happening yet – Maybe there will be some enlightenment at the Murdock Daily intro (betting it has something to do with that). So, Mike, you’re way to excitable and should absolutely be flogged for the Job brain tumor comment – Absolutely no excuse for it – Period!

    • mikecane

      And yet, if it turns out Jobs does have a brain tumor, will you be back to agree it was impaired judgment that drove all this?

  4. Alan Wallcraft

    Amazon can look after itself, but purchasers of iThings are potentially shafted. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of iPads were bought partially based on wide availability of ebook apps. Now Apple wants to ban them unless they pay a tax. Will Apple accept device returns if the Kindle app goes away?

    Another potential victim is Bluefire Reader, which is a free app for DRMed (Adobe or B&N) ePubs. They currently pay for development via their “get books” referrals. This kind of policy change is why being an independent iPad developer is risky. I suppose they could charge for the app instead.

  5. Pingback: R0B0TZ » IOS Developers: You’re Next In Apple’s Sights

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