DRM – What is it and why should libraries care?

What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, coding added to digital content to control access.  DRM prevents copying, editing, and sharing of digital files.   You may have come across DRM in your personal use of digital music or digital video recorders.  More importantly, if your library offers or plans to offer ebooks, audiobooks, DVDs, and other media, usage of this content will be controlled by DRM.

Why is DRM used?

To protect copyright. Media and publishing companies want to protect their content from piracy, illegal copying or editing, and sharing, ie. to control access.

DRM is controversial.

Many people feel that DRM prohibits the fair use of media by the majority of the general public.  For example, some DRM programs prevent the creation of backup copies of music and DVDs, printing of ebooks, recording of TV shows or movies for home viewing, and the selection of some hand held devices, since Sony and Apple use different DRM software.  Additionally, DRM is now supported by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a consumer advocacy group for the networked world says “the DMCA has become a serious threat that jeopardizes fair use, impedes competition and innovation, chills free expression and scientific research, and interferes with computer intrusion laws.”

Why should I care about DRM?

DRM is particularly relevant to libraries since many are providing digital media in the form of ebooks, audiobooks, digital music and videos, and software and games.  Chances are the media you are purchasing to deliver digitally is controlled with DRM software.  For libraries, the DRM software prevents copying and editing of digital content, controls printing of ebooks, and magically makes the digital content “disappear” after a due date, even if patrons have downloaded a copy to their personal computer, external storage device, or a hand held device.

If you purchase ebooks or audiobooks from aggregators and distributors such as:  EBL, ebrary, Follett Digital Resources, Gale Virtual Reference Library, NetLibrary, and OverDrive, you will have digital content with DRM, so it’s important to understand DRM and how it is used by each of the vendors.
More information on DRM can be found here:

American Library Association

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

How Stuff Works

Microsoft

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Gale and Greenwood eBook Partnership Expands

Gale and Greenwood eBook Partnership Expands
Current Greenwood Titles Now on Gale Virtual Reference Library

Farmington Hills, Mich., September 12, 2008 – Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, and Greenwood Publishing Group have enhanced their partnership to include more high-demand Greenwood titles, including more than 130 titles released in 2008 as eBooks on Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).  Previously, only titles published prior to 2005 were available on GVRL.
“This is a significant benefit to our GVRL customers as it greatly enhances our K-12 eBook collection,” said Erin Sullivan, product manager at Gale. “Greenwood has responded to the requests of their customers to have a larger number of current titles available on GVRL and allow users to cross-reference the most recent titles from Greenwood, Gale and others through GVRL, to provide the most current information available.”
“Customers need to have access to our titles in the platform and format that works best for them,” said Ron Maas, VP Business Development and Sales at Greenwood.  “We’ve been pleased with the response to our initial collection on GVRL, and look forward to expanding our offerings.”
GVRL allows librarians to adapt their reference collection to meet the changing needs of their patrons—offering researchers simultaneous, 24/7 remote access to titles with no special reader or hardware required.
Some of the Greenwood titles now available on GVRL include:
• African American Icons of Sport: Triumph, Courage and Excellence
• Barack Obama: A Biography
• Encyclopedia of Cybercrime
• Global Warming 101
• Going to School in the Middle East and North Africa
• How Your Government Really Works: A Topical Encyclopedia of the Federal Government
• Icons of Crime Fighting: Relentless Pursuers of Justice
• LeBron James: A Biography
• Race Relations in the United States, 1940-1960
• Sports Scandals
• Women Icons of Popular Music: The Rebels, Rockers and Renegades
• Young British Muslim Voices
• And many more
This new content expands the depth and breadth of the reference available through the GVRL, which in addition to several Gale imprints, includes over 2,000 titles from other leading publishers.  For more information, visit www.gale.com/gvrl.

About Greenwood Publishing GroupThe Greenwood Publishing Group is one of the world’s leading publishers of reference titles, academic and general interest books, texts, books for librarians and other professionals, and electronic resources. With over 18,000 titles in print, GPG publishes some 1,000 books each year, many of which are recognized with annual awards from Choice, Library Journal, the American Library Association, and other scholarly and professional organizations.  For more information contact Publicity Director, Laura Mullen, laura.mullen@greenwood.com

About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, libraries, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats – books and eBooks, databases and microfilm.  For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.

Media Contact:
Lindsay Brown
Director, Corporate Communications
Cengage Learning
203-965-8634
lindsay.brown@cengage.com

OCLC and Recorded Books agree to new partnership through NetLibrary

OCLC and Recorded Books have signed an agreement under which Recorded Books eAudiobooks will continue to be available to libraries through NetLibrary.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Bob Murphy +1-614-761-5136
murphyb@oclc.org

Recorded Books will introduce new eAudiobook collections
to libraries through OCLC’s eContent platform

DUBLIN, Ohio, September 12, 2008—OCLC and Recorded Books have signed an agreement under which Recorded Books eAudiobooks will continue to be available to libraries through NetLibrary, OCLC’s platform for eContent.

Under the agreement, OCLC and Recorded Books will market Recorded Books eAudiobooks in North America and other regions around the world.  OCLC and Recorded Books will continue to offer eAudiobook subscriptions and will work together to deliver new products and packages to meet the needs of individual libraries and library groups.

OCLC and Recorded Books settled a contract dispute in November 2007 and agreed at that time that OCLC would market Recorded Books eAudiobooks through August 2008 and service contracts through August 2009.  The new agreement extends and expands the partnership.

“This new agreement will provide continuity to libraries that currently offer their patrons high-quality downloadable eAudiobooks from OCLC and Recorded Books,” said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development.  “OCLC and Recorded Books are committed to providing libraries with outstanding new eContent services, plans and packages in a new user-friendly environment.”

In October 2008, OCLC plans to release the NetLibrary Media Center, a downloadable application that patrons and libraries will use to manage and access their content.  The new Media Center will offer personalization features and advanced search and browse capabilities.

“We are excited about the broad range of patron-friendly content which we will be able to offer libraries,” said Matt Walker, Recorded Books Vice President, Sales and Marketing.  “Our customers will benefit greatly from the partnership created by Recorded Books’ commitment to quality audio books and OCLC’s commitment to excellence in its digital products.”

Together, OCLC and Recorded Books provide eAudiobooks to more than 500 libraries and 16 library groups.

For more information about Recorded Books eAudiobooks from OCLC, send e-mail to libservices@oclc.org or customerservice@recordedbooks.com.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 60,450 libraries in 112 countries and territories.  OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials.  For more information, visit www.oclc.org.

OCLC NetLibrary provides content and technical delivery solutions to institutional libraries, corporations and government agencies that facilitate the purchase, management and distribution of research, reference, digital learning and general interest content via Web-based technologies.  NetLibrary’s eContent solution is the most broadly adopted in the market, making more than 170,000 eBooks, 6,000 eJournals, 7,500 eAudiobooks, and 83 databases available through more than 16,000 libraries worldwide. For more information, visit www.oclc.org/netlibrary/.

About Recorded Books

Recorded Books, a Haights Cross Communications company, produces and distributes unabridged audiobooks and other audio products to public and university libraries and schools, in cassette, CD, and downloadable formats.  Over 7,000 titles are available for adults, children, and young adults in English and Spanish languages narrated by professional, award-winning actors.  Recorded Books also distributes music, educational lectures, independent films, and nonfiction films on DVD.  Packaging is designed for high circulation. One-year warranty, cataloging, processing, and free MARC records are available.  For more information, visit www.recordedbooks.com.

EBL’s new improved online reader

The new and improved EBL online reader is set to be launched on 23rd September 2008 and we’re inviting you to preview it…

The new reader features improved design and layout enhancements, and offers patrons these brand new features:

*  Fast-loading image view as well as PDF view -the image view gives readers the ability to scroll through pages rather than turn them one at a time.
* Maximised Reading Space on Screen – we’ve minimised headers and frames so that the patron can virtually open the ebook in the whole browser screen, providing a more immersive reading experience.
* Detailed Access Permission Information – more detailed access information, including total and remaining print and copy permissions.
* Intuitive Print Tools – enabling printing by page, page range or chapter.
* Enhanced read aloud controls – read aloud can now be launched for any title from the online reader toolbar.
EBL’s new online reader uses standard Adobe Reader software – there is still no custom plug-in required.

Your patrons will continue to enjoy EBL’s other popular functionalities, such as adding and exporting notes, linking by chapter, and full-text search within the book.

The official launch of the new reader will be next Tuesday, September 23rd.
You can preview EBL’s new online reader here:

http://www.eblnewreader.eblib.com/EBLWeb/patron/

User name: ebltest1
Password:  EBLtest1

User name: ebltest2
Password:  EBLtest2

User name: ebltest3
Password:  EBLtest3

User name: ebltest4
Password:  EBLtest4

User name: ebltest5
Password:  EBLtest5

User name: ebltest6
Password:  EBLtest6

We encourage you to test the reader thoroughly before it goes live next week.  If you are happy with the general performance of the new reader, we suggest that you make the switch before the official launch next week to ensure that all features are working within your library’s local authentication and network set-up.

There is no work required on your end to change to the new reader, simply contact support@eblib.com to request the upgrade.  The existing reader will stay in place for the short-term so if your library does experience and teething problems with the new reader, we will be able to instantaneously revert to the old reader.

Until then, please feel free to preview EBL’s new online reader and provide us with any feedback. We’d love to hear what you think!

Regards,

Drew Watson
EBL Technical Account Manager
drew.watson@eblib.com

contact us  || www.eblib.com | www.ebooks.com | www.ebookscorporation.com

Charleston Program to feature plenty on eBooks

Anyone interested in eBooks should take a look at the Charleston Conference program, November 5 – 8th.  There are a plethora of sessions including:

Ebook use among a group of large academic libraries
To Supersede or Supplement? Profiling E-book aggregator collections
eBook Intelligence: The 8th Annual Health Sciences Lively Lunch
E-Books – How are they different/how are they the same as online journals?
Expanding the Ebooks Buying Experience: Approval Plans
Patron-driven Purchasing in Ebooks
Top Ten Things to unlearn about eBooks
Integrating Print and Digital Reference Resources
Student’s Perception of E-books: Survey Results and Discussion
electronic books into a UK University Library collection
The E-book Challenge: From Start to Finish, and Beyond
Bouncing, Viewing and Power Browsing: Understanding How Students REALLY Use Your E-books
Identifying and describing e-books: challenges facing publishers, librarians and their partners

I’m very excited to attend many of these sessions, particularly the one on patron driven purchasing – a great new business model offered by some aggregators.  EBL and NetLibrary are the two that come to mind.

Please excuse my personal plug here, but if you have an opinion on patron driven purchasing, stop by the Lively Lunch session Friday at Charleston.  Alice Crosetto (Univ. of Toledo) and I will debate traditional collection development with patron driven purchasing.  We may even have Michelle Harper from NetLibrary with us to describe this biz model better.  Friday – 12:50 – 2:00 “Tossing Traditional Collection Development Practices for Patron Initiated Purchasing:  A Debate.” Embassy Suites


Ohio Textbook Portal

The University System of Ohio introduced a textbook portal last week.  This portal, developed by programmers at OhioLINK, searches many sources for textbooks including:  OhioLINK catalog, OhioLINK Electronic Book Center, Safari Tech Books Online, and CourseSmart, an electronic textbook provider.   Textbooks located on CourseSmart can be leased for about 50% of the print cost.  OhioLINK students also receive an additional 10% off the cost.

CourseSmart represents 6 higher education textbook publishers.  They use one common platform for hundreds of digital textbooks.  Searching, bookmarking, and notetaking are just some of the features available.  Students may also print parts of the book.

Locating a book in the portal is easiest with the ISBN.  If that is not available, title and author will do.  As with any metasearch tool, search capabilities are limited, so the portal should not be considered a replacement for any of the individual resources.

The University System of Ohio includes 14 universities with 24 regional branch campuses, 23 community colleges, and an adult workforce education and training network – operating in more than 200 locations – working  in a collaborative, cooperative environment across the state. With a mission to provide affordable, high quality higher education opportunities for all Ohioans, programs and curricula are designed to meet Ohioans’ individual and collective needs for the 21st century. (USO website)

Independent Publishers – Meet Constellation, your answer to eBooks

I think you all know that I love ebooks, particularly in my reference collection.  My main gripe, the small independent publishers don’t have the resources to publish their titles electronically.  Now, there is a solution.  Yesterday, the Perseus Books Group launched Constellation – an eBook solution for independent publishers.

Constellation will convert print ready PDFs into .epub and other formats in order to distribute them to various eBook content providers.  Ebrary and Overdrive are both on the list, in addition to Amazon and Sony.

Librarians, spread the word to your favorite independent publisher.   Check out the press release from Perseus.

A blog discussing the news and issues surrounding eBooks, for librarians and publishers.