Those pesky ebooks

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the relationship between ebook publishers and the terms of use that they are trying to enforce on purchasers of their materials, including libraries. Jacinda Woodhead, over at Mean Land, has pulled together a number of  threads in the ongoing discussion that is well worth a read.

I particularly liked her suggestion that publishers need not be looking for a technological solution to impose their terms and conditions on consumers, such as the automatic deletion of the copy of the ebook that has been purchased after it has been loaned by a library 26 times. Instead Woodhead suggests something akin to the scheme that currently exists in the performing arts world, and in the education field, whereby copyright holders are reimbursed an agreed amount or percentage for the use of their material. Arguably, for the majority of libraries, there isn’t a lot of spare money to go around these days, but a small per use or subscription fee for access to electronic material is certainly nothing new.

Expect to hear more, not less, about where to next for ebooks.

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