iBooks Match Could be Apple’s Secret Weapon Against Amazon

A few weeks ago Apple announced iCloud, its new music hosting service. If you pay $25 a year you’ll be able to upload your music and download it to any iOS device. Even better, with “Music Match” feature you can let Apple scan your collection and save yourself the trouble of uploading the files. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do the same with iBooks?

Chunka Mui is looking forward to the day that a company offers a similar service for eBooks. But he’d like to go one step better. He wants Apple (or Google or Amazon) to credit him for all the paper books he’s bought over the years.  He wants to be able to read them as eBooks, too.

Unfortunately, this idea won’t work any better when a Forbes writer suggests it than when Mike Cane suggested it last month.

Parts of the music industry went along with Music Match because the alternative gained them nothing. They took Apple’s money because it was free money,  not because they liked the idea.  They knew that people would upload their DRM free music collections anyway, so they might as well make a buck off it.

The difference with book publishing is that the industry is still dominated by DRM, and it’s split into multiple non-compatible formats. The DRM doesn’t actually control anything, but it does present the appearance of control. Publishers might not feel they have anything to lose by blocking an “iBooks Match”.

What do you think?