Good news! Adobe announced late this afternoon that they won’t be breaking a lot of ebook readers in July.
According to the Datalogics blog, Adobe has decided to revise the adoption timeline for their new DRM, and they will no longer be requiring all ebook retailers, app developers, and device makers to upgrade their DRM support by July 2014:
After receiving feedback from customers and webinar attendees, Adobe has revised the migration timetable for customers. “Adobe does not plan to stop support for ACS 4 or RMSDK 9. ACS 5 books will be delivered to the older RMSDK 9 based readers”, according to Shameer Ayyappan, Senior Product Manager at Adobe. “We will let our resellers and publishers decide when they wish to set the DRM flag on ACS 5, thus enforcing the need for RMSDK 10 based readers.”
If you’re just tuning in, news broke yesterday that Adobe was going to require ebook retailers and developers to upgrade to the recently release Adobe Content Server 5 by July 2014. ACS 5 supports a new type of DRM which is not compatible with existing ebook apps and ereaders, thus forcing everyone to upgrade or replace their hardware, or they will lose access to their legally purchased content.
This would have hurt readers, indie ebook retailers, and probably helped Amazon, Google, and Kobo. Yesterday I was the first to report about the many problems this would cause, both to me and to other readers, so I am especially pleased that Adobe changed their mind.