Google are to launch a new ebook service where users will be able to purchase books via Google or independent bookstores. From the information I have seen so far it appears that they are protecting IPR/DRM by insisting that the user has to log in with their Google username and password to be able to read the book. It also appears that you will be able to read the ebooks via any device that has a web browser.
This article in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/dec/02/google-editions-ebook-market seems to indicate that the ebooks will only be available via a web browser, which has the limitations of not being able to read off-line, which I think will be a major stumbling block when many people still don’t have access to constant Wifi access or paid services – and even if you do they don’t always work perfectly.
From looking at the Google site, it looks as if the service may only be available in the US to start with: http://books.google.com/support/partner/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=167975
Post by: Lisa Anderson