From the Sydney Morning Herald
YUSUKE Ohki’s 2000 books were filling his Tokyo apartment, so he scanned them into an Apple iPad. Six months later, the 28-year-old is running a 120-person start-up company doing the same thing for customers.
Japan’s cramped living conditions and the arrival of the iPad in May have spawned as many as 60 companies offering to turn paper books into e-books as publishers have been slow to provide content for electronic readers. Japan has lagged the US in introducing e-books because of a rigid pricing system, copyright uncertainty and early problems reproducing Japanese characters on screens, said Toshihiro Takagi, an analyst at market research company Impress R&D in Tokyo.
”People are taking matters in[to] their own hands because the publishers are not meeting the market’s needs,” said Takag
Bookscan converts books into PDF files that can be read on the iPad, iPhone, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. The company charges 100 yen ($1.20) a book for a service called ”jisui” or ”cooking for oneself”.
”The homemade e-book market will continue to exist as long as the copyright situation isn’t dealt with and people cannot find books they want in electronic format,” said Masashi Ueno, a researcher at Yano Research Institute.