One of the key characteristics of digital content is that it is licensed under contract law as opposed to being purchased with first sale rights from copyright law. While being the cause of great pain for libraries and ebooks so far, this double-edged sword can swing the other way and cut through annoying license restrictions to create a fresh, simple approach.
Confusing as it may sound, this is what is playing out in the larger publishing world right now. Publishers are upset because Amazon is becoming a successful publisher. So Hachette, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster thought they would try becoming booksellers, like Amazon.
In a lawsuit filed in New York last week, three independent bookstores are seeking relief from what they refer to as monopolistic practices by Amazon and the Big Six publishers regarding ebooks. At issue is the digital rights management (DRM) that locks ebooks purchased through Amazon to the Kindle platform.
Book publishing has the big six; console gaming has the big three. As the only major survivors from the more robust console ecosystem of the ’90s, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have dominated the console system market for over a decade with big name consoles and bigger game franchises.
The latest report on public library services from the Pew Internet and American Life Project takes a hard look at the future of library services. Most importantly, the survey explores roles for the public library beyond being a place to borrow books.