Future of Libraries Down Under


The ever helpful Bob Cox sent in this Story from The Sydney Morning Herald. The author takes a nice look at the future of libraries as the Australian Parliment brings the copywright laws into the 21st century.

\"The prospect raises profound questions about what used to be quaintly termed the book trade. For instance, is it possible to \"lend\" a digital book? How should authors be compensated for a limitless distribution system? Indeed, what is the future of libraries?\"The more the regulatory framework makes work available at no charge, the more it will limit publishers\' markets, she says. \"It will push us to find other solutions, to make work available at reasonable rates so people won\'t be bothered going to public library sites.

\"I don\'t think you\'ll necessarily have a public library in the form you now have. Books will be available electronically at much lower prices, which will make them more easily available. As far as disadvantaged people go, governments should fund computer terminals in libraries to provide Internet access. And [libraries] will cut deals [with publishers] so they ... don\'t pay full price,\" says Weiss.

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