Alycia The Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the ALA in 1948, clearly states that “librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents — and only parents — have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children — and only their children — to library resources.” As a general library policy concerning patrons’ right to the written word, the Library Bill of Rights emphasizes the power of information in a free society. Article 3 reads, “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” As the ALA’s Web site states, “Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment.”
Conference on Intellectual Property Slides
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
<ul><li>WHY ARE ELECTRONIC BOOKS APPEALING? (a short list) </li></ul><ul><li>Speedy delivery of materials (downloads vs. physical delivery) </li></ul><ul><li>No physical object that takes up space and is heavy to carry </li></ul><ul><li>Full text can easily be searched/analyzed/edited </li></ul><ul><li>Materials can be viewed by multiple people at one time </li></ul><ul><li>An item doesn’t need to be “checked out” or inaccessible; it won’t be misplaced, stolen or vandalized </li></ul><ul><li>An ebook reading device can contain an entire library of materials </li></ul><ul><li>Ebook devices make collections mobile </li></ul>
<ul><li>READERS’RIGHTS HELD HISTORICALLY WITH PRINT </li></ul><ul><li>What rights do we have as readers and publishers of printed matter? (In addition to freedom of the press to publish works without punishment) </li></ul>
<ul><li>HOW DOES THE TRANSITION FROM PRINT BOOKS TO ELECTRONIC ROB US OF OUR RIGHTS? </li></ul><ul><li>Current state of ebook publishing with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) requires the reader to give up rights historically held with print </li></ul><ul><li>EULA, DMCA , DRM and other treacherous acronyms </li></ul>
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!
<ul><li>If we are AGAINST DRM, what are we FOR? </li></ul><ul><li>S. R. Ranganathan’s 5 Laws of Library Science: </li></ul><ul><li>Books are for use. </li></ul><ul><li>Every reader his [or her] book. </li></ul><ul><li>Every book its reader. </li></ul><ul><li>Save the time of the reader. </li></ul><ul><li>The library is a growing organism. </li></ul>
<ul><li>READERS' BILL OF RIGHTS for DIGITAL BOOKS * </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to retain, archive and transfer purchased materials </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to create a paper copy of the item in its entirety </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Books should be in an open format (e.g. you could read on a computer, not just a device) </li></ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul><ul><li>Reader information will remain private (what, when and how we read will not be stored, sold or marketed) </li></ul><ul><li>*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. </li></ul>
<ul><li>AUTHORS’ BILL OF RIGHTS for DIGITAL BOOKS </li></ul><ul><li>Authors have the ability to grant readers of their work additional rights through licenses such as the Creative Commons or General Public License (GPL) </li></ul><ul><li>Authors should have the ability to share or sell copies of their work through any channel (not just walled gardens like iTunes or Amazon) </li></ul>
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