[personal profile] maribou
You can find it here and while the whole thing is brilliant, here's the one-sentence version for those of you wot like such things:

"We believe that the publisher should publish, and the library should own, lend, and preserve."

Go read it! Like, right now. Honestly, the rest of this won't make much sense without it. I work best as a derivative thinker...

OK, good, you're back. Now:

I've seen a lot of theories and plans for the future of ebooks lately. Well, no, I've seen a lot of theories and plans about the future of ebooks for the last ten or fifteen years. And this is the first one that makes me think both "THIS MAKES ME HAPPY" and "THIS COULD ACTUALLY WORK."

I am now going to flex my temerity muscle and rewrite (!!!!) a single paragraph of their Incredible Wonderful Why Wasn't This Obvious Until Now Plan:

None of us love the current state of copyright in the United States. We believe that copyright lasts too long, protects the rights of the creator way out of proportion to the rights of the user, and leads people to limit their uses of copyrighted material far more than necessary. There are alternative, more open forms of publishing evolving everywhere, including open access repositories, Creative Commons licenses, and a thriving project to recover the public domain. However, a realistic view of ebooks in libraries needs to recognize that none of these alternatives will replace traditional (copyrighted) monograph publishing any time soon. Libraries must address the disparity between their own aims (openness, preservation, sharing), and those of most publishers, on their own terms. The right solution for libraries seeking to further those aims cannot be ever more restrictive licenses. We envision a system, like the one under which paper books are bought and sold today, that does not depend on licenses. Instead, publishers would have recourse to the same protection they have had for years: copyright.

(wanna know exactly which parts I messed with? Go read the original! I've bolded the sentences I just stuck in there all of my own accord, but I tweaked their own sentences a bit too. Messing with things is how I think.)

So: How do you see the library's role as a Content Guardian (to snag a term from Sarah Glassmeyer's excellent post We All Live Downstream) evolving in the future? How about its role as a purveyor of access?

As readers, library patrons, librarians, developers, and programmers (almost all of you reading this are at least one of those), what do you all think about this plan I'm so in love with? What kind of plans do you have for libraries, for ebooks, for both? What do you want to do, what do you want done, what is your pipe dream, what is your worst scenario? I'd really like to know.

(PS This post, as if you couldn't have guessed, is CC-BY. )



July 2011


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