Using Ebook DRM to distribute library ebooks securely
The digital publishing challenge for Libraries
Libraries are expected to act as repositories of a nation’s heritage and to provide and administer large collections including easily damaged works that cannot be replaced. It does not seem unreasonable to allow a library to recover the costs of conservation from the users of the documents as well as from the nation state. Historically it has been considered reasonable for authors to recover income from lending, although now that electronic document copying is trivial, the nature, function and role of lending libraries seem increasingly under question by some.
Libraries also have to be able to account for the number of individual copyright books read a year and to make sure that lending items are recovered or replaced. There is no ‘free-for-all’ or giveaway to all comers. It is not the Internet model of use anywhere copy everywhere.
Libraries have a strong tradition for being impartial and making knowledge available without fear or favour. They still have larger collections of published work than the Internet currently has available. That information could be made generally available if the economic case can be made. Libraries using ebook DRM technologies such as those provided by Locklizard to administer their rights may be able to increase their readership and their income as well as recovering necessary costs for storage and conservation.