Sony Working on New eBook DRM, Could Enable Sale of Used eBooks


Despite closing down their own ebook store and sending customers to Kobo, and deciding to discontinue their line of dedicated ebook readers, Sony still continues to remain attached to the ebook industry.

According to reports on the German ebook website,, Sony has developed new copy protection for ebooks that will compete with the widely-used Adobe DRM.

Sony’s new ebook DRM is reportedly stronger and more flexible than current Adobe DRM, and it opens up the possibility for more revenue streams with the option to sell “used” ebooks and offer rental ebooks.

Sony has been working on creating new copy protection for ebooks for the past three years, and apparently the final product is about finished and ready to go. In fact a spokeswoman for Sony stated that they’ve already signed contracts with some publishers.

Sony’s copy protection schemes are already in use for videos, software, and games, so adding ebooks to the mix makes sense. And Sony couldn’t have picked a better time to release a new ebook DRM with Adobe’s name being dragged through the mud ever since the release of Adobe Digital Editions 3.0 with their new non-backward compatible DRM scheme that makes older ereaders obsolete, and things have only gotten worse since the release of ADE 4.0.

Sony’s new DRM brings up the same kind of incompatibility issues, however. Sony is said to offer apps and an SDK for dedicated ebook readers, but current and older ereaders will unlikely support the new DRM.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding Sony’s new copy protection for ebooks. But from the sound of it, we’ll likely start seeing it crop up in 2015. It will be interesting to see how successful Sony is in getting publishers onboard with the idea of selling “used” ebooks, as many other companies would like to break that market too, including Amazon.

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