Another Day, Another Future of the Book Post

I just got this in my e-mail from the Japanese Writers’ House

This September, Chûkei Publishing is beginning a new venture called “Internet Book Service,” in which readers who purchase new printed editions will also have access to electronic versions. Chûkei is also starting a new service called “Internet Editions,” electronic republications of books which have been converted to electronic form, or books with pending reprintings. Sanseidô set the precedent last year by making electronic versions available to customers who bought printed works such as the Daijirin Dictionary. For Chûkei, these current ventures are part of efforts to “strengthen the value of book stores dealing in new editions” and “counteract new-used bookstores, the Internet and cell phones,” while at the same time encouraging the growth of the company.

Not sure what this has to do with cell phones, or counteracting them, but it’s an interesting model that makes the most sense if applied to textbooks, business books, books you may want to access specific parts of from different locations. It’s not the solution, but it’s a step in a direction, just maybe not the right one.

Forget DRM—this is way better:

In concrete terms, this means those who have made a purchase will be directed to a special link on the Chûkei Publishing Homepage, where they will input the last five digits of the ISBN code found on the last page of their book, and a registration number for each volume. Next, they will answer a question which only a person in possession of the book would know, such as, “what is the first letter on the second line of page four?”

Hey, the 1987 version of Leisure Suit Larry called and wants its encryption system back.

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