Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

Sony luvs libraries!?

In STT on August 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm

See Article links below.  They expand on the press conference coverage of Sony’s new e-readersThe BIG NEWS is the possibility that they will offer a service to borrow e-books from public libraries on your Sony reader! What comes of this will be very interesting, but gosh it’s nice for a HUGE multi-national corporation to at least give lip service to an e-book model for libraries.
Maybe I’ll buy a Playstation 3 I feel so warm and fuzzy!

A brave new world for readers! But where does the library fit in?

In STT on April 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm

The following Wall Street Journal is a must read about how ebooks and ebook readers (e.g. Kindle) are changing how we read.  I found this article via the new free iPhone app for the Wall Street Journal (get it here).

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write:  Author Steven Johnson outlines a future with more books, more distractions — and the end of reading alone.
[4/20/09 –]

This is a very well thought out summary of how ebooks work now and how digital content (e.g. ebooks, newspapers, blogs) might work in the very near future.  It’s  great news for readers and the curious mind.   But it’s expensive too, as this assumes you’ll buy everything you read digitally whether it be a novel or a micropayment for a newspaper article or blog post or book chapter.  Turns out these this will also be great for Visa & Mastercard …  But where dose the public library fit into this brave new ebook world?  I’m not sure, but here’s two scenarios …

Glass Half-Empty hypothetical outlook 😦
Publishers will work very hard to control the distribution and re-distribution of digital content effectively negating the First Sale Doctrine.  Meaning libraries will have to pay publishers a license fee to loan material, both digital and possibly physical books (why not if they can get away with it?).  This license fee would be in addition too, or included in, the purchase price of the content, and probably an annual fee will be involved.  Talk about your budget increases!  This would also be the effective end to that favorite library fund-raiser, the used book sale.  Not only because of the lack of physical books, but because the license for digital books won’t allow for this.  The not-too-distant-future librarian had better be adept at understanding licensing, and EULAs …  what they don’t teach you in library school … this glass half-full scenario is pretty empty.

Glass Half-Full hypothetical outlook 🙂
Publishers see libraries as way to promote reading, stoke interest and inquiry, and as another entree to customers purchasing their (digital) content.  Encouraging reading is good for the publishing industry (and a sound Democracy, etc., etc.).  Essentially libraries continue to play the role they currently do vis-a-vis publishers.  This new digital era also ushers in a world of new digital publishers who are in the business to promote authors and ideas, not just their bottom line(!).  And to top things off, the First Sale Doctrine is upheld in the courts and thru legislation for digital content (e.g. ebooks, music, etc.).  And digital used ebook sales continue to be a mainstay of fundraising for libraries across the land!  That’s a pretty full glass and I want to live in that future!

So, what’ll happen?
Probably what always happens, little bit of both scenarios.   So maybe it won’t be so bad and maybe it won’t be so perfect, otherwise there would be nothing to blog about right?  Having just finished my first ebook on the Kindle for iPhone (get it here), I’m very excited by all the possibilities described in the WSJ article above.  I’ve totally bought into the handheld-digital-ebook-hyperlink-instant-access world.  And yet, I do wonder and worry about what this all means for the future of my chosen profession, but I don’t want to go back and I’m more excited than pessimistic.

DRM is there to help you.

In STT on April 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm

On my way to work this morning I was catching up on my NPR Mix Your Own Podcast (it’s free and very neat, click here to create your own today!) …

Anyway, a story caught my ear that inspired me to STT.  Below are links to NPR stories on the the current state of DRM.  They report how the publishing and movie industries are taking an very interesting spin on the lessons learned from the music industry’s ordeal with DRM (see also: Appetite for Self Destruction … / Steve Knopper).

My favorite quote from the aforementioned podcast is from Fritz Attaway, vice president of the MPAA, “DRM really is aimed at helping consumers know the limits of the transaction they’ve agreed to.[*NPR, April 2009]

See, the DRM is just trying to help us to know our limits.  So to help you understand how to help yourself give these stories a read (links to transcripts & audio below):

The State Of DRM: Is The Customer Right? / Joel Rose, NPR [4 min 29 sec]

iTunes got rid of DRM!

In STT on April 8, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Exciting news for iPod owners and thus iTunes users.
DRM went away on
the biggest music store in America this week!

… and you get to pay more for it … yeah???  Well, this is all new for iTunes and may take a while to sort the pricing out, but DRM-free music and variable pricing will be a good thing in the long run for the consumer (and librarians and library patrons).  And should be a good thing for other online music stores too as consumers start to realize they can actually shop around for digital music before they buy.  There are already other digital music stores like eMusic and Amazon MP3 downloads that work with iPods (Windows or Mac) and it’s well worth a quick price comparison before you plunk down your 69¢ or $1.29.  And I just discovered a neat little add-on price-comparison called Advantageous mp3 for Mac OS X, FREE, but Mac only.  There are sure to be more nifty little price-comparison widgets and gadgets for all your digital music needs.

In the music world we’re seeing DRM fade away and some very interesting new models spring up from the artists themselves, three of the most famous examples are listed below:

So maybe this will lead to more vendor choices for libraries and in turn, easier access to digital media for patrons.  We’ve seen Overdrive offer MP3 versions of audiobooks which enables them to work on iPods and many other devices including cell phones.  So that’s a start!

Or maybe it’s not all such good news … see my next post.