In April 2004, I reported about Sony’s Librié, an e-book reader only capable of displaying e-books in Sony’s proprietary BBeB file format— BBeB e-books are sold at Timebook Town and have terrible DRM inside, which limits their lifespan to only 60 days. After that, the e-books (and sometimes even your own annotations) expire and have to be purchased again.
Probably only to Sony’s surprise, nor the Librié nor Timebook Town have been a success so far. There may be several reasons for this, but it seems the Librié’s way too restrictive DRM may have something to do with it. Apparently Sony understands this, too—since November 1st, the Librié download section offers a set of conversion tools that allow users to convert their own Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF, (X)HTML documents or even RSS news items to the Librié’s BBeB format. Note: as the conversion process apparently turns your documents into a graphic BBeB file, text-zoom or text-selection won’t work. The (X)HTML2BBeB filter in the Librié IE toolbar doesn’t have this problem, meaning that you can download books for free from Project Gutenberg or its Japanese counterpart, Aozora Bunko, and read them on your Librié!