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[libreplanet-discuss] e-book Readers

From: postmaster
Subject: [libreplanet-discuss] e-book Readers
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 12:57:18 -0400
User-agent: Roundcube Webmail/0.4.2


I'm new to LibrePlanet but am better known on the FSF Community Team list.

Recently I've been asked to advise people on prospective purchases of e-book readers. Fathers day is fast approaching and in the UK Tesco (our largest supermarket chain) are heavily promoting the Amazon Kindle...a dire choice for any who would wish to avoid DRM and vendor lock in in general. There are so many reasons why we ought not to support these devices I won't bore you with a long list here.

I've countered Kindle advertising by suggesting the Barnes & Noble Colour Nook either with a custom ROM or rooted so as to add the GPL licensed FB Reader:

 Another option would be the Aldiko Reader:

See an Ars-Technica article for a comparative review of these products...though I don't share its conclusion.

Aldiko Reader is free but not under a copyleft license and it includes advertising so it is a much less desirable option compared to FB Reader...the only thing, of note, that I see in its favour is that it can read .pdf format ebboks yet this capability is planned to be added to FB Reader in the future. I would thus not accept Ars recommendation and would wish to promote the GPL licensed FB Reader.

So...I hope the above is of use to anyone who has the ear of potential ebook reader purchasers and wonder if anyone else has suggestions for ebook reader options that preserve the rights and freedoms of their purchasers and end users?

David Nash

P.S. It is not in our remit to aid adoption of the epub format as it is specifically engineered to help support the adoption of DRM in ebooks. In my suggestions above I'm at pains to offer a solution that allows one to gift unlimited copies of each ebook to others without restricting the freedoms of lenders or lendees. It seems that ebooks and their associated readers are now a fact of our lives so I hope we may find a way to nullify their worst, restrictive and freedom eliminating traits.

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