Piracy is a legitimate concern in the digital age, as more media becomes available at just the click of a mouse button. According to Softpedia.com via The LA Times, Apple is already taking steps to head-off piracy on its new iPad, introduced last month.
While the product has yet to actually be available for purchase, one of the biggest buzz-worthy features will be the availability of iPad textbooks. College students will be able to access a number of textbooks from a number of publishers with ease. And while there will be an upfront investment of at least $500, the base purchase price of the iPad, textbook costs will be significantly lower for the download when compared to paying face value at the campus bookstore.
Even with a cheaper price tag, iPad textbooks could still fall victim to piracy, which is why Apple is employing the FairPlay digital rights management system (DRM) to ensure media in its new iBookstore are safe.
“Veteran iTunes customers will recognize the locks as FairPlay, a digital rights management piece of software that once limited how many times digital songs could be copied onto different computers (Apple phased out FairPlay a year ago, and now sells unfettered tunes.) Next month, Apple will be dusting off those digital cuffs for books, according to sources in the publishing industry,” as printed in The LA Times.
This will no doubt make the jump from print to iPad even more appealing to still-yet uncommitted book publishers, who want to ensure their works aren’t being accessed for free illegally. Additionally, publishers will have to agree to the DRM in order to publish in the iBookstore, many of whom have already accepted those terms.
McGraw-Hill will publish about 95 percent of its textbooks for the iPad, per an interview with CNBC. McGraw-Hill’s CEO Terry McGraw calls the new iPad a “runaway hit in the higher education market.”
No doubt students will be the ones to make the final decision on that upon the iPad’s and iBookstore’s releases this spring.