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Apple's iPad Ebooks Won't Use Adobe DRM

An Adobe executive told Computerworld Thursday that Apple will not use Adobe Systems Inc.'s e-book DRM technology on the iPad. Instead, according to an unnamed source, Apple will offer its own FairPlay DRM technology to publishers instead. Currently Apple uses FairPlay to protect movies and TV shows offered on iTunes, however the company discontinued its use with music last year.

Nick Bogaty, senior business development manager at Adobe, told Computerworld that iPad consumers will be locked into Apple's ecosystem by incorporating FairPlay. This means that e-books purchased through the iBookstore will be locked to the iPad, leaving them nontransferable to other devices. Given Apple's track record with the iPhone and iPod models, this move shouldn't be surprising.

"With iBooks, there's no freedom of choice," Bogaty said. He also added that Adobe's DRM isn't quite so restrictive, allowing consumers to use any e-reader they want, and to purchase e-books from any online retailer that uses Content Server. That's obviously not the case with FairPlay.

Ebooks designed with Flash videos may still sell via Apple's iBooks app. Instead of the imbedded video, readers will see a static screenshot in its place. The text, however, will remain unaffected. It's also possible that Apple will reject e-books built around Flash objects, identifying them as less secure and requiring publishers to generate Apple-friendly versions.