Epson, Sammy NetWorks Collaborate for Direct Printing of E-Books Downloaded on Mobile Phones

Nov 29, 2006
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics

Seiko Epson Corp., Epson Sales Japan Corp. and Sammy NetWorks Co., Ltd. have announced that they have agreed to cooperate to build an environment in which to download a literary work on a mobile phone, transmit it to Epson's home-use printer via infrared radio, and charge fees in line with the amount of printing. The companies said this environment will enable providers to sell magazines and books by page or article unit, distribute books out of print, and deliver contents expected only for small sales, which are not enough to publish them.

There are already other e-book services that use mobile phone handsets to download contents. However, printing them has not been permitted in principle because of concern for copyright infringement. The companies explain the use of Sammy NetWorks' "muPass" technology enables setting printing times and periods as well as charging.

muPass is a platform for data distribution developed by Sammy NetWorks. Specifically, the platform consists of the "IrDA" (infrared data association) specification added with Sammy's proprietary data transmission protocol and DRM (digital rights management) function as wellas the server system on networks. The platform previously required terminals to feature a dedicated LSI chip, but it has become available to make them compatible with muPass using software since June 2006. Meanwhile, mobile phones have always been able to support muPass once they feature "i-appli" and other firmware.