Will Everyone Have To Re-Buy Sony eBooks?

August 13, 2009

I have questions about today’s Press Release (regarding conversion to EPUB)

What will happen to previous purchases from the eBook Store from Sony, or to additional purchases that occur before the conversion?

Books that have been purchased from Sony’s eBook store in Broad Band eBook format (BBeB) will continue to work on existing devices. When the store is converted, customers will be able to re-download their previously purchased books in EPUB format.

Current Reader owners can continue to purchase and read their BBeB eBooks in the meantime.

Emphasis added by me.

Sony For The Win!

Original post:


SAN DIEGO, August 13, 2009 — In an effort to take the confusion out of digital book formats, Sony today announced its plan to convert its eBook store to the industry-standard EPUB format by the end of the year. Adopting an industry-standard format and Adobe® Content Server 4 (ACS4), a popular, cross platform server software solution that copy protects downloadable eBooks, allows Sony to make its eBook store compatible with multiple devices and its Reader devices open to multiple sources for content.

“Our intention is to lead by example,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s Digital Reading Business Division. “Our Readers have long supported industry-standard formats such as EPUB and PDF. Now, what is quickly becoming the de facto standard for eBooks will be available in our store.”

Emphasis added by me.

Additional coverage at the New York Times in a story written by Brad Stone (he who outed Fake Steve Jobs two years ago): Sony Plans to Adopt Common Format for E-Books.

Teleread doesn’t let the Times get away with anything: Adobe-DRMed ePub isn’t ‘open’: Why the New York Times urgently needs to clarify its Sony eBook Store article

Sony’s store has been a mixture of BBeB and ePub format for over a year. Sony has never bothered to place any identifiers in listings so people would know exactly what they were buying.

All I have for Sony is one important question: Will people have to re-buy their failed BBeB books to get ePub format?

If it is indeed Steve Haber’s intention to “lead by example,” he can start there.