Conference on Intellectual Property SlidesPresentation Transcript
April 30, 2010 The Rights of Readers and the Threat of the Kindle ------------ Matthew Goins Openflows, Inc. Alycia Sellie Brooklyn College Library
WHAT THIS TALK IS ABOUT: The rights we have in print that we currently give up with the purchase of (closed) digital books. WHAT THIS TALK IS NOT ABOUT: Preferences between ink on paper vs. reading from a screen Aesthetic and functional issues between different book media Not a condemnation of ebooks as a medium/format, but a summary of some of the rights we as librarians need to be aware of when purchasing ebooks for our collections
WHY ARE ELECTRONIC BOOKS APPEALING? (a short list)
Speedy delivery of materials (downloads vs. physical delivery)
No physical object that takes up space and is heavy to carry
Full text can easily be searched/analyzed/edited
Materials can be viewed by multiple people at one time
An item doesn’t need to be “checked out” or inaccessible; it won’t be misplaced, stolen or vandalized
An ebook reading device can contain an entire library of materials
Ebook devices make collections mobile
READERS’RIGHTS HELD HISTORICALLY WITH PRINT
What rights do we have as readers and publishers of printed matter? (In addition to freedom of the press to publish works without punishment)
HOW DOES THE TRANSITION FROM PRINT BOOKS TO ELECTRONIC ROB US OF OUR RIGHTS?
Current state of ebook publishing with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) requires the reader to give up rights historically held with print
EULA, DMCA , DRM and other treacherous acronyms
RENTING vs. BUYING and ONLINE ACCOUNTS Items can be instantly purchased, but also instantly repossessed
THE 1984 INCIDENT, AND WHY THIS DISAPPEARANCE WAS NOT SURPRISING TO CRITICS OF DRM
IT’S NOT JUST THE KINDLE that THREATENS READERS’ RIGHTS…
DIGITAL BOOKS ARE STILL APPEALING WITHOUT DRM All the features that make ebooks and ebook devices amazing would still continue to amaze without DRM!
If we are AGAINST DRM, what are we FOR?
S. R. Ranganathan’s 5 Laws of Library Science:
Books are for use.
Every reader his [or her] book.
Every book its reader.
Save the time of the reader.
The library is a growing organism.
READERS' BILL OF RIGHTS for DIGITAL BOOKS *
Ability to retain, archive and transfer purchased materials
Ability to create a paper copy of the item in its entirety
Digital Books should be in an open format (e.g. you could read on a computer, not just a device)
Choice of hardware to access books (e.g. in 3 years when your device has broken, you can still read your book on other hardware)
Reader information will remain private (what, when and how we read will not be stored, sold or marketed)
*As readers of traditional print materials, we are already guaranteed all of these rights--and we should not be denied them due to the medium in which we are reading.
AUTHORS’ BILL OF RIGHTS for DIGITAL BOOKS
Authors have the ability to grant readers of their work additional rights through licenses such as the Creative Commons or General Public License (GPL)
Authors should have the ability to share or sell copies of their work through any channel (not just walled gardens like iTunes or Amazon)
Implications for Libraries, and reactions of librarians to the Readers’ Bill of Rights for Digital Books.
Alycia Sellie [email_address] Matthew Goins [email_address] http://readersbillofrights.info