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image The Sony eBookStore shown here has been around for a few years for Sony Reader owners.

But now comes word from BusinessWeek that Sony will also sell e-books elsewhere—in the new Sony Online Store, the current name.

This one will sell music, movies and downloadable apps, too. The feeling among Sony watchers is that the new Sony store will use an iTune-ish approach.No startup date has been announced. 

I’m curious if or how the new Sony store may works with the existing eBook Library software. What’s more, might the current eBookStore vanish? I don’t think so, but who knows?

Is Sony in time going to do the e-book-capable multimedia table that Apple is supposed to offer us? That certainly would jibe well with Sony’s history as a hardware company and the store’s multimedia approach. I’m just extrapolating and guessing. But if you work for a publisher and need to anticipate future possibilities, add this one to the brew.

Also, what e-book format will the new Sony store use? ePub? And what about the DRM situation? Will Adobe-DRMed ePub be the norm? And what if publishers don’t want DRM? Will Sony in fact offer publishers a choice, as I believe it’s indicated?

Apple has backed off from DRM in the real iTunes Store, at least when it comes to music (it is selling “protected” books in the ScrollMotion format). Sony should do the same with e-books.

Perhaps social DRM could be a compromise. I’ll query Sony to see if it has any word on the DRM and format issues and other book-specific details.

Related: Techmeme roundup and Google News roundup.

 
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