New Ebook Expires After Ten Hours

Posted on August 8, 2001

Electronic publisher RosettaBooks announced it is offering Agatha Christie's classic mystery And Then There Were None in a special time-based permit edition. The ebook is available for download at RosettaBooks.com in a special month-long "$1 for 10 hours of reading" campaign.

Using technology from Adobe and Reciprocal, the ebook 'self-destructs' when its ten hour time permit expires, and the content is no longer available. Those who wish to read an ebook for longer than 10 hours can purchase the at RosettaBooks.com in permanent format for $4.99.

The new ebook comes during controversy over the definition of a book after Random House sued RosettaBooks for publishing ebooks that Random House claimed it owned the rights to because it previously published the titles in print years ago. RosettaBooks recently won a victory in the legal battle against Random House when U.S District Judge Sydney H. Stein denied Random Houses' request for a preliminary injunction. However, the case is still ongoing because Random House appealed the decision.

The permission-based ebooks have also come during controversy over the arrest of Russian programmer Dmitry Sklyarov. His company, ElcomSoft, was accused of developing software that can crack crack Adobe's ebook encryption software. Hacking is a big obstacle for all types of digital downloads, including ebooks.

Arthur Klebanoff, CEO of RosettaBooks, said, ``We are delighted to take our marketing relationship with Adobe and our distribution services relationship with Reciprocal to the next level. RosettaBooks prides itself on being epublishing leader for quality content, innovative marketing, and critically-acclaimed titles. This first of its kind offering of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is just the beginning of a brave new world of literature and technology.''

As part of the promotion, consumers will be able to read And Then There Were None, for 10 hours after paying $1 via a secure website. Reciprocal will process the financial transaction and issue a digital permit enabling the reader to access the title via the Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader. After ten hours, the permit expires and the reader has the option of renewing the time based permit or purchasing a "permanent" electronic edition. The permit prohibits the printing of an ebook.