Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sony Announces Partnership with OverDrive, New Wireless Reader

Today, Sony and Library eBook vendor OverDrive are announcing a marketing partnership to bring licensed eBook content to library patrons on Sony's reader platform.

At the launch event, hosted at the New York Public Library (which announced its support of the feature as well), Sony described a new "Library Finder" function at its eBook store that will lead readers to the nearest library with OverDrive editions of the books they are searching for. Patrons will then authenticate through their local library and download the content.

Although some commentators are describing the library checkout features as a bit quaint in this digital age, most librarians familiar with publishers' licensing practices will find this easy to understand.

Sony also announced a new, high-end ($399) member of its Reader family that will have the Kindle-like ability to download content wirelessly over ATT's cell phone network.

Sony certa
inly seems to be moving to meet Amazon's challenge in the eBook market, and in a way that highlights the use of existing open standards and much of the existing "pBook" infrastructure, like libraries.
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