Publishers at The E-Book Starting Gate
--e-book content distributor SoftLock
--digital resources management service providers Infinite Ink and PublishOne
--digital rights management solutions providers Xerox and Intertrust
--Software supplier Adobe, provider of PDF Merchant lock-and-key software for publishers and the companion consumer product Web Buy. Web Buy has recently been incorporated into Adobe Acrobat, so its impact is likely to be widespread.
--Software supplier Glassbook, distributor of technical, B-to-B content on subscription basis
Books 24x7.com stores publishers' content in an XML-tagged format that allows sophisticated searching.
Content is maintained on a Books24x7 server. Though printing pages as copy is being read is permitted, downloading content files is not. Copy is password-protected; only one person can use a log-on password at any one time. Log-on from multiple computers or locations is permitted, but still only one user of a password can log on at a time. Books24x7 watches for abnormal patterns that might suggest users are copying material or giving away a password--such as log-ons from too many IP sites too quickly, or too many pages per minute being accessed or printed. If severe enough, further access is denied.
Even when printing is allowed, it is possible to ensure that, essentially, the people using the content are the ones who paid for it.
Internet content distributor ebrary.com profile
Ebrary.com allows prospective buyers to read and search full documents for free. Files are sold in PDF form; some books can be printed on demand and delivered. Ebrary plans to allow sale of parts of books; the publisher can dictate how much of a document can be sold as parts. Buyers can set up a debit account called an electronic wallet or, for purchases over $5 only, make a direct credit card purchase.
If a download is purchased, the document is locked to the purchaser's hardware device and cannot be used anywhere else. If a printout of a document or a portion of document is purchased, Ebrary can control the number of printouts allowed. The buyer can also buy permission to copy and paste the content into his own materials.