[tip o' the hat to Dave Farber's IP list.] DigitalTextbooks.net has announced a program involving five publishers and apparently several collages beginning this Fall to distribute college textbooks in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Supported interactive features include document searching, highlighting, underlining, note taking, and in some cases, read-out-loud capability.
I suspect that it will take a while to figure out a set of DRM restrictions
that balances market demand and convenience with publishers' rights
and revenue. According to one source, the the program is being launched with the following restrictions:
- Textbook is locked to the computer where you downloaded it from;
- Copying and burning to CD is prohibited;
- Printing is limited to small passages;
- Unless otherwise stated, textbook activation expires after 5 months (*gasp*);
- Activated textbooks are not returnable;
- Buyback is not possible.