Some restrictions on the use of eBooks are likely to remain a fact of life. But some publishers and consumer electronics makers are aiming to give eBook buyers more flexibility by rallying around a single technology standard for the books, reports The New York Times. That would also help them counter Amazon, which has taken an early lead in the nascent market.
On Thursday, Sony Electronics, which sells eBook devices under the Reader brand, plans to announce that by the end of the year it will sell digital books only in the ePub format, an open standard created by a group including publishers like Random House and HarperCollins. Sony will also scrap its proprietary anticopying software in favor of technology from the software maker Adobe that restricts how often eBooks can be shared or copied. After the change, books bought from Sony’s online store will be readable not just on its own device but on the growing constellation of other readers that support ePub. Those include the Plastic Logic eReader, a thin device that has been in development for nearly a decade and is expected to go on sale early next year…

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