NSR has a great new interview posted with Andy Weissberg, VP of Identifier Services and Corporate Marketing at Bowker. One of Andy’s tasks at Bowker is the ISTC, the International Standard Text Code. This interview discusses the ISTC, ISBN, and other standards which relate to the publishing industry (for ordering/selling/tracking) and for libraries. It’s a long interview, but well worth the time. Caution, lots of Acroynms During the interview Andy mentions his ALA presentation, which you can see here. For more information on the ISTC see their website.
If you are heading to ALA this week here is another eBook session that may be of interest. (check out the NISO/BISG eBook standards program too)
To be or not to be….DRM free
Saturday, July 11, 2009
10:30 – 12:00
Sorry, but I don’t have a location for this program.
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC (June 29, 2009)—SAGE announced today that the new SAGE Reference Online Handbook Collection, a set of 80 of its highest rated handbooks, digitized and hosted on the award-winning SAGE Reference Online platform, is now available for libraries worldwide. The first demos of the Handbook Collection will be given to attendees of the American Libraries Association meeting in Chicago, July 11-13. Continue reading
For the first time in history, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Dartmouth Award, designating outstanding quality and significance to a reference source, was given to an electronic resource. Greenwood’s Pop Culture Universe, was the 2009 recipient. The Committee selected Pop Culture Universe because it compiles over 300 sources of pop culture information into a fun, user-oriented platform complete with a blog; in essence, Pop Culture Universe signifies the future of reference. And, as you would expect from a forward thinking reference publisher, they’ve already got a press release on the blog of PCU!
More on the Dartmouth Award from the ALA site:
Established in 1974, this medal honors the creation of a reference work of outstanding quality and significance, including, but not limited to: writing, compiling, editing, or publishing books or electronic information. The award is given to works that have been published or made available for the first time during the calendar year preceding the presentation of the award. Dartmouth Medal Honorable Mention certificates may also be presented.
Dartmouth College established sponsorship of the award in 1974 upon the suggestion of Dean Lathem, Dartmouth College librarian. Dartmouth College commissioned the internationally celebrated graphic artist Rudolph Ruzicka to design the bronze medal. Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, who presided not only over the arts and sciences, but over all intellectual aspects of human life, is featured against a filigree of olive branches.
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: