A few weeks back I posted about the Adobe tax, a cut of each ebook sale that Adobe extracts from the pocket of the buyer. As the days passed I saw a groundswell of support from developers who also disliked the Adobe tax. Apparently there's a sizable minority of digital publishing that resent having to pay off Adobe.
I think this new ebook DRM spec could possibly have been inspired by the cost of doing business with Adobe. And if that's true then there's a good chance that it will be adopted, in at least a limited way.
Yes, Adobe may dominate the Epub ebook market, but this is still going to nibble away at them. It's entirely possible for an ebookstore to use the Marlin DRM internally and only offer Adobe Epub as an external option. Don't believe me?
That's how Kobo got started. Their ereader and apps didn't support Adobe DRM at launch. Instead they used some funky weird DRM (I'm still not sure where they got it). I'm told that Kobo did this as a way of avoiding the $50 thousand dollar per device fee that Adobe charge.
Just imagine what would happen if other ebook services followed suit. Okay, I don't see it happening, but one can hope.
It all comes down to money, in the end. And that's what's going to bring down Adobe.
P.S. Marlin Developer Community have also done a lot more than just this one ebook DRM. They have worked on a number of tech specs for a number of types of digital content. I can see from the past press releases that streaming and downloaded movies have both used Marlin DRM. Sony use (used?) it for their online content store.
image by Robert Couse-Baker