Sony announced on July 24 that its Reader Digital Book will be able to read electronic books published using the .epub format that many of the largest book publishers are using, CNET reports. Until now, Sony’s eBook reader could only read books available from the Sony eBook store, PDF documents, and DRM-free text. Starting next month, the new PRS-505 Sony Reader model will be able to access secure DRM- and non-DRM-protected content in the .epub format, formerly called the Open eBook format. The Sony Reader Digital Book is the first eBook reading device to support the .epub format, which is the XML-based standard format proposed by the International Digital Publishing Forum. It allows publishers to convert books to different formats, protecting the copy using DRM (digital rights management), and has the ability to resize PDF eBooks and other text to better fit the reader’s screen size. Publishers including Harper Collins, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin are offering texts in the .epub format. "This upgrade opens the door to a whole host of paid and free content from third-party eBook stores, web sites, and even public libraries," Steve Haber, senior vice president of consumer product marketing for Sony Electronics, said in a statement…

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