“Sony is also committed to working with local libraries throughout the country as they make the move to digital books,” the company said in a statement. “Sony Readers are compatible with the industry-standard formats that libraries use for their digital collections, so consumers can easily download perennial favorites and new releases from their local libraries and enjoy them for free.”
I’m sorry, I’ve looked, the only library packages widely available are from Overdrive and Netlibrary. The latter uses its own proprietary interface; Overdrive has .pdf, .lit, Mobipocket, and perhaps 10,000 epub books. Maybe even 12k. All the Overdrive offerings are secured by some sort of Digital Rights Management, the .epub and .pdf security settings coming from Adobe.
The epub specification mentions Adobe, twice, but not their specific security settings. In fact, it’s only two members, who may or may not still be employed with that company, and of course the former IDPF head, now with Adobe.
I’m actually a member of the IDPF, the lightly-staffed standards-settting body for ebooks. Far as I know, there has never been a membership-wide vote on industry-standard DRM for ebooks, and further if there was, choices would include something like the Kindle, since there at least we have non-neglible ebook sales. Plus, you know, Kindle can justify text, handle Asian fonts, stuff that Adobe’s still “working on.”
Unless all the library books vended by Overdrive can work with Bookglutton or FBReader or something, they’re not, in fact, any sort of industry standard. They’re just a proprietary implementation, with serious compatibility issues and the weakest publisher support of any ebook format in history.
Sony’s need to fib on this issue does not inspire confidence.