Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sue the Libraries?

An interesting article ran in the Guardian recently with the headline Sue the libraries - they're letting people get content on the cheap. Now, because libraries are loaning the original items there are no further copyright fees to be paid on physical items. Databases may have limits to the number of users that may be logged in at the same time or may be billed based on the number of users the library serves. Yet I love the idea that the library may be a legal source of copyrighted electronic content and want to work to make this a reality. I'm afraid current projects are not showing the public's true level of interest in the project because the downloadable audio and video content available through libraries is PC only and not iPod compadable due to digital rights management (DRM) technology. I do think librarians are very aware of copyright issues such as in the wonderful book Complete Copyright for Librarians. Yet this is exactly the kind of reference information that, while published with a Creative Commons license, is not available for free on the web. I wonder if they will ever make this book available in an electronic form for free while the information is still relevant?

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