Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Cautionary e-Book Tale

By Edward Nawotka -- Publishers Weekly, 1/13/2009 7:44:00 AM

On December 23 ScrollMotion released the first batch of its widely anticipated e-book apps for the iPhone, starting with titles such as Twilight and Eragon. Within 24 hours the company had pulled them from the iTunes store due to security issues.

“A flaw in the encryption came to our attention almost immediately,” said Calvin Baker, director of ScrollMotion’s e-book program. “Since security and DRM are among our highest priorities, we thought it important to take immediate action.”

Unfortunately, that means ScrollMotion and its partner companies, Hachette Book Group and Random House among them, lost out on the post-Christmas rush of iPhone and iTunes owners fillling their new gizmos with data. The apps reappeared this past weekend. As of Monday afternoon, the 14 titles are again for sale.
Matt Shatz, v-p of digital at Random House, told PW that the delay had no bearing on the publisher's plans to release some 20 books that will soon be available through iTunes via ScrollMotion (search under “Iceberg Reader”). Maja Thomas, v-p, Hachette Digital Media, confirmed that Hachette had a similar number of titles forthcoming on ScrollMotion.

“It’s very, very unlikely that anything would have happened,” said Baker about the experience, “but we thought it better to be overly cautious.” Better, as they say, to be safe than sorry.

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