電子書籍について、Apple社がソニーのiOS用Readerアプリを、App Storeに登録すすることを拒否したらしい。
I heard that Apple rejected the registration of Sony’s Reader to App Store.
「アップルが iPhone版 ソニー Reader アプリを却下、独自ストアを締め出し?」(『エンガジェット・ジャパン』2011/02/01 07:45)
“Apple rejects Sony Reader app, really doesn’t want you buying content from others (update: Apple says it needs official in-app purchases)” (ENGADGET Feb 1st, 2011 12:39PM)
個人的な推測だが、AppleはAmazonなど、他社の独自ストアまで締めだすつもりはなく、ソニーが自社レーベルの楽曲をiTunes Storeに提供していないことを、根に持っているだけじゃないかと思うのだが。
I personally suppose Apple has no intention to reject other stores such as Amazon’s digital book store for Kindle. Apple simply doesn’t like Sony because Sony doesn’t sell their music on iTunes.
Anywhere, that’s none of my business…
When I was thinking why Sharp learns too slowly to stop spending shareholders’ money on advertising and improving their proprietary digital book reader ‘GALAPAGOS’, an idea came to me.
digital book libraries might be involved in a lawsuit because of copyright infringement.
There might be no used book stores for digital books.
After I finish reading digital books, I might not be able to donate them.
In an extreme case, if all books in the world go electronic which can be bought only with credit card, the poor who can’t hold credit card will no be able to read any books.
Even not in an extreme case, what will the future of library look like?
Children and poor people who don’t have their own way of online payment can borrow even expensive books from libraries in the real world.
If people donate the books they finish reading, the libraries can reduce purchase cost a little.
If libraries want to continue lending out books for free even after many books go digital, they also have to lend e-book readers for free.
However, lending digital devices for free is too risky for the libraries from the viewpoint of operational cost, unless such devices get cheaper enough.
For example, low-spec laptop PCs already cost only 100 dollars or so, but we can’t find libraries which lend laptop PCs for free, at least in Japan.
In addition, there was a surprising subrime court decision in Japan. It says a company called Maneki TV infringes the copyright of television stations because this copany helps customers to watch Japanese domestic television programs in another country by using Sony’s device called ‘Location Free’.
We will need global standard for managing copyrights in order to distinguish ‘good’ libraries from ‘bad’ libraries because the online libraries is borderless.
As long as selling digital books is a pure business, the competition among different technologies for managing copyrights will go on. Why can we expect the one and the only standard technology for managing copyrights?
Another problem is the vanishment of used book market. This also deprives poor people of opportunities of reading expensive books.
Even poor people can buy expensive books for the time being because there are used book markets.
However, digital books will never deteriorate. There can’t be any “used digital books”. There is no reason for discounting digital books even if read thousands of times. Every digital book is “new”.
As you can see, digital books might deprive the poor people of educational opportunity and produce the widening disparity of education caused by economic inequality.
The more strictly the copyright holders manage their copyrights, the less opportunities the poor people will have.
Of course, the Internet provides more and more knowledge and information for free on the asumption that the users can access the Internet anytime.
If the prerequisites for using digital books continue increasing, e.g. copyright management systems, credit card payment and registration to the vendor’s website, why did the human-being invent movable types?
Movable type has made it possible that more and more people can access to the knowledge and information which only elites was able to access before.
If the digital books encourage the monopoly of digital knowledge, why did we facilitate information exchange by inventing the movable type?
Do the poor and IT illiterate people have to wait with envy until cheap digital books and e-book readers drop into their hands?