What is DRM and how does it affect my Cruz?

DRM is essentially a technology designed to enforce the copyright for digital files, allowing use of the file within certain circumstances. There are different kinds of DRM for digital Audio and Video, as well as for eBook files.


Multimedia

Apple sells audio and video files through their iTunes store for use on their iPod line of hardware. Many of these files are DRM protected, but many are not. You may transfer unprotected iTunes content to your Cruz.


eBooks

Many online eBooks are tagged with DRM that prevents them from being read on other computers or devices. Adobe ADEPT is the most common form of eBook DRM and is used by Borders Books and many other eBook resellers.


EBOOK PLATFORM ANDROID APP DRM TYPE
Kindle by Amazon Kindle for Android Mobi
Apple No Apple
nook by Barnes & Noble nook for Android Adobe ADEPT
Borders eBooks now Kobo for Android Adobe ADEPT
Kobo eBooks Kobo for Android Adobe ADEPT
Sony No Adobe ADEPT

At the date of the writing of this article, Adobe does not yet have a version of their Adobe Digital Editions application for use on Android. The Adobe Digital Publishing blog lists only three Android apps that support Adobe ADEPT protected ePub files, Aldiko, Bluefire, and 'txtr. And only 'txtr supports Adobe ADEPT protected PDF files. At this time, it appears Aldiko's currently released software does not support Adobe ADEPT and that a future release will.


Public Library Digital Content

Many Public Libraries use a popular software to manage their eContent lending called OverDrive Media Console. OverDrive has software for many mobile platforms, including Android. At this time, the OverDrive Media Console app for Android supports MP3 content, and now supports ePub books as of 12/6/2010. Other popular Library eLending platforms like NetLibrary and Mobi-pocket do not yet have an Android app.


It is important to understand that Adobe ADEPT allows for permanent licensing (IE: a purchased ePub or PDF) as well as temporary licensing (like those ePubs from the Public Library that automatically expire after a number of days). At this time, 'txtr does not support temporary licensed DRM files, though may in the future. This means, unless your Public Library uses Overdrive Media Console, you cannot read your Public Library loaned eBooks on your Cruz Reader at this time.


If your Public Library loans DRM-free eBooks, then you of course may use the appropriate Android app to view the eBook on your Cruz.