ScrollMotion: Horrid e-reader on the way for iPhone with Apple DRM and backwards app-oriented approach
December 22, 2008 | 9:00 pm
I don’t care if ScrollMotion is the easiest e-reader on earth to use on the iPhone and iPod Touch, which it may or may not be.
All I know is that ScrollMotion will treat iPhone/Touch books like apps—despite the existence of a 148-app limit.
Is a fix from Apple on the way? If not, major publishers such as Simon & Schuster and Random House might be in for a rude disappointment after signing SM-related deals—which, alas, they have.
Some consumers may want hundreds of books on their iPhones. Should publishers put such a crimp on their purchases? And will apps be the easiest things to organize into libraries? I’m open minded about the O’Reilly iPhone guide as an app, given its connection with the machine. But please don’t make an app of every book!
On top of everything else, ScrollMotion uses Apple FairPlay DRM. I thought Steve Jobs was backing off from that silliness. Now the word is that he’ll get a percentage of each sale. And this on top of censorship at the app store!
An author’s viewpoint: ScrollMotion makes books into vendor-tied objects. I’d urge you to stick to ePub books, ideally DRMless, that you can enjoy on a number of devices. I doubt that ScrollMotion uses ePub. If not, it’s a big step backwards and will needlessly add to publishers’ expenses.
The media’s role: Will the New York Times and other major media sound alarms? Or just snooze through this threat to consumer rights and the durability of books?
Related: ScrollMotion site. Also see a statement from the Consumer Electronic Association: "Gone are the days when consumers purchased a single type of content, to play on a single type of device, exclusive for dedicated audio listening. Successful manufacturers are using formats that allow them to stay in front of consumers who are navigating across an array of content devices." If ScrollMotion will be only for iPhones—very possible—then watch out!