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I saw a few interesting stories at Teleread:
Digital books are the fastest growing area of publishing. Libraries are seeing a surge in demand for e-book titles as well, but there's a downside. Most major publishers won't allow libraries to lend their titles, while others impose restrictions or charge double or triple the print price.
From The Verge,
"As the publication world is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the digital world, a lot of complex issues come up. One of the most important, especially for librarians and archivists (not to mention students of history looking to the future), is the question of preservation...The problem, says Barbara Galletly reporting for Digital Book World, is that the foundation for such a transition has not been properly laid, digital preservation is a largely chaotic, random affair right now, and the metadata itself is unstable."
Unglue.it is a service provided by Gluejar, Inc. It's a place for individuals and institutions to join together to liberate specific ebooks and other types of digital content by paying rights holders to relicense their works under Creative Commons licenses.
What does this mean?
Book-lovers and libraries everywhere can join together to set books free.
Authors and publishers get the compensation they deserve.
Books that are out of print, not available as ebooks, or otherwise hard to enjoy will be available for everyone to read, share, learn from, and love -- freely and legally.
An Inconvenient Truth About E-books
As we rush headlong into e-books, we’re not considering how our libraries will migrate forward in time, protecting personal and institutional investments. Paper books are readable by anyone who’s literate, but e-books require a reader, and DRM ensures that there will be difficulties in the future. Worse, there are several different file formats and different DRMs used by Apple, Adobe and Amazon.
The net effect is that our collections have to be considered temporary and expendable at the whim of the retailers, and our ability to pass books on to heirs or colleagues becomes limited in a fashion that hinders human knowledge.”
Waterstones m.d. James Daunt has warned that e-lending in libraries will put further pressure on bricks-and-mortar booksellers when the model takes off.
Speaking at a round-table discussion at the Financial Times’ London headquarters held on Wednesday (9th May) to launch the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, Daunt said library e–lending would provide tough competition to booksellers over e-book sales.
Some authors, like the novelist James Patterson, are producing 12 or more books a year to satisfy readers who are increasingly used to on-demand entertainment.
Don't believe all that hype about government interference that is designed to foster an Amazon monopoly of the ebook business. What the six major publishers were alleged to have done was collude in fixing prices that, if true, was a desperate act that they must have known would fall afoul of anti-trust laws.
The new ploy by book publishers is to characterize Amazon as a monopoly poised to take over and dictate terms and run rampant over those who create ebook content. That is like saying Starbucks is a monopoly because it currently dominates the coffee retail business.
Full article -- Huff Post
As an author of multiple technical books, and a prolific online writer, I care a lot about intellectual property issues as they pertain to my content. On one level, you might think I would be extremely concerned about people stealing and re-using my content. And don't get me wrong... I am concerned. I choose distribution licenses carefully and I have pursued those who have scraped my content to simply wrap it in ads. But I do NOT see "DRM" as the answer.
As a reader and as an author, I truly hate Digital Rights Management (DRM) for ebooks and look forward to the day when it ceases to exist. My latest book, "Migrating Applications to IPv6" was published DRM-FREE by O'Reilly and I plan to publish all future books DRM-free as well.
York goes on to list six reasons why he hopes to see the end of DRM in the near future.
Google Argues for Dismissal of Authors’ Book-Scan Lawsuit
Google asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an organization representing authors over the search engine company’s project to digitally scan millions of books, saying the group can’t represent the copyright holders.