After dozens of “real soon now” false alarms, may be e-paper is finally coming around. One of the consequences should be that book editors will join the MPAA and RIAA (and their siblings from other countries) in the Great Big Fight Against Piracy, as ebook readers become a common product.
Contrary to music and movies, where what broke the scarcity wall was the advent of Net connections and machines with the capacity to handle such large files, thus enabling people to distribute them easily, ebooks are waiting for a device to display them. Distributing them is a long-solved problem, given how small the files are, but people still rarely do it. What they need is something which is as practical to handle as a bunch of paper sheets, and with a reasonably good DPI resolution so it’s comfortable enough to read for long periods of time.
Of course, one could argue that the other main reason for people not being more interested in ebooks is that people read less than they listen to music, watch movies or play videogames. Who knows, may be ebooks will spur a return of reading as a leisure :-).