The future of e-books in 2017

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When writing systems were invented in ancient civilizations, nearly everything that could be written upon—stone, clay, tree bark, metal sheets—was used for writing. In China,silk was also a base for writing and writing was done with brushes. Many other materials were used as bases: bone, bronze, pottery, shell, etc. Any material which will hold and transmit text is a candidate for books.

Nowadays information technology and the Internet offer total new ways of publishing. For years, newspapers and magazines have been published online, and on 90s also traditional printed books reached digital form. Electronic books or e-books, can now be bought and downloaded from online e-bookstores and be read on computer screen or portable e-book device.


Right to read


timeline in scenario 1 is too fast- plausability issues  
which DRM solution, why ? will there not be more than one system, for different types of books, 
DRM should be discarded in one of the scenarios
what about DRM and privacy
what about new systems of direct publishing, end of the book - blogs are the king, or video blogs for that matter
will books remain to be text alone, or have other rich media, books that read to you for example, hyperlinked books,
not sure that we should have a big success, low success and failure scenarios, are there not other possiblities?
sounds more like the future of the e-book than the future of the book
think about usability
liked the cartoons
today 90% of music sales are CDs

Team Composition

Client Questions

Future of the Book questions: (All the answers can be read in the Client question analysis section)

  • as the materials that are now published in books are learned through computer screens, what about the form will stay the same and what will change? authorship, editing, presentation style, stored locally?

closely related question:

  • will there be parallel publishing of a book on screen and print, and if so, will they be mostly similar or will it be a largely different production (such as a novel and movie).

  • what will be the role, if any, of scanned books in the future ecology? sales tool? reference work for searching? only old books will be used this way? old books wont be used even on screens by the general public?

different question:

  • certain types of books are large part gone already: books of court opinions, phonebooks, readers guide to periodical literature... Given the types of books that are out there, what will they morph or disappear into a computer service?

-brewster kahle

Research Questions

In our research we have identified 5 different categories, namely:

  1. History (Xin Yu)
  2. Economic Perspective/Value (Raymond)
  3. General Information (Raymond/Sanna)
  4. Prospective usage of books (Bas)
  5. Law, Legislation and Stakeholders (Bauke)

See the research questions section for the actual questions and answers.

Driving Forces

Based on the PEST theory







Systems Diagram

Version 1

Version 1 of the System Diagram

Here is the final version of the System Diagram for the scenario on the future of the book. The diagram has been changed to give a better view of the system. Further more some relationships have been added between the different elements in the system.

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Version 0.1

Version 0.1 of the System Diagram

First version of the Systems Diagram, based on the brainstorm session by the group members.
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Scenario Presentations

References & Links

References page

Known Projects and sites