Sony's Librie e-book reader: great display, awful DRM

librieYuri Kageyama writes a glowing review of Sony's new ebook reader, which uses a new kind of display technology that rivals paper. I agree with Kageyama's assessment about the display technology. I played with a Librie when I was in Tokyo last month. The screen is remarkable. The display uses little balls that are painted black and white, containing the same pigments found in laser printer toner cartridges for black, and used in sunblock and paint for white. Once you turn on the display and a page of text or graphics appear, it doesn't need refreshing. The only time the batteries get used is when you load a new page. (The technology was developed by a U.S. company, E-Ink.) I did notice that sometimes you could see the ghost of the previous page, especially on model I tried that had a comic book loaded on it. I wonder if that's a general problem, or if the one I played with was a dud?

I didn't think Kageyama wasn't harsh enough about the hideous proprietary locked format the Librie uses for books. He wrote, "I'm not wild about buying books that self-destruct after 60 days." This self-destruct feature is sickening. Who would buy a Librie with this deadly defect built in? (Sony is making a similar mistake with its music players.) I hope somebody with a sensible DRM policy starts using these great display screens. Link