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Google Inc. is making half a million books, unprotected by copyright, available for free on Sony Corp.'s electronic book-reading device, the companies were set to announce Thursday.
It's the first time Google has made its vast trove of scanned public-domain books available to an e-book device, and vaults the Sony Reader past Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle as the device with the largest available library, at about 600,000 books.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Delaware, marks another blow for a closely watched gadget that has drawn fire from publishers that say Amazon is trying to avoid paying royalties.
The lawsuit claims that Amazon, in two versions of its Kindle, has infringed one or more of the claims on a patent that Discovery founder John Hendricks received in November 2007.
The patent deals with encryption technology for the distribution of digital books.
Amazon asked an online forum to remove links to software that lets people load ebooks they buy from sources other than Amazon onto their Kindles.
The MobileRead forum removed references to the software but doesn't believe the program violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as Amazon charges.
There are of course huge difference between ebook readers and the iPhone which can be used to read ebooks. What is interesting is some of the issues carry over regardless of whether or not you use a single purpose device or a multi-purpose device.
Let’s start by by side-by-side comparison on the Sony Reader and Kindle
Would you read like this?
This is the question asked by Flickr user Ken-ichi.
He posts this comment below his photo: I've been trying not to print papers this semester and read PDFs in Skim instead, which lets you go full screen, rotate, etc. I've found holding my laptop like this actually isn't quite as bad as I thought, though it's better turned 180 degrees if you don't need the power. Also, access to keys is tough for things like annotation, but paging with the space bar is easy.
Here is a link to Skim. (Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file.)
Here is a link to Ken-ichi's picture on Flickr.
What kind of role Barnes & Noble will play in the digital future became a little clearer this morning with the retailer’s announcement that it has acquired Fictionwise, one of the largest independent e-book retailers, for $15.7 million plus incentives over the next two years for achieving certain performance targets.
Shaking up the nascent market for electronic books for the second time in two months, Amazon.com will begin selling e-books for reading on Apple’s popular iPhone and iPod Touch.
Starting Wednesday, owners of these Apple devices can download a free application, Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch, from Apple’s App Store. The software will give them full access to the 240,000 e-books for sale on Amazon.com, which include a majority of best sellers.
The move comes a week after Amazon started shipping the updated version of its Kindle reading device. It signals that the company may be more interested in becoming the pre-eminent retailer of e-books than in being the top manufacturer of reading devices.
At least as measured in terms of number of unique applications, Books have grown the fastest over the last 12 weeks.