The Digital Shift writes about a presentation made by the Internet Archive's Peter Brantley at the American Library Association Conference. Here's a summary:
* As self-published titles comprise more and more of the total number of
titles published each year, there's more pressure on public libraries to
make at least some of them available. However, there's no way for
libraries to get eBooks for lending from some of the biggest
self-publishing vendors, including Kindle Direct Publishing.
* The Canadian Urban Libraries Council and eBOUND Canada are working to
build "a national public library infrastructure for the storage and
distribution of digital content that would also manage lending
agreements with publishers as well as transactions between libraries and
* The IDPF's search for a "lightweight" DRM for EPUB, in Brantley's
view, could result in a replacement for Adobe's Content Server for
libraries. Brantley said “Adobe Content Server is a very poorly
supported software that has seen better days. It is not well loved by
anyone who uses it, and it also imposes a lot of technical and
organizational burdens on libraries.”
* On the basis of discussions that he had at BEA, Brantley believes that
some publishers are willing to consider exploring alternative DRM
schemes with libraries.
* Brantley pointed to the Unglue.it project and the Library License
being proposed by the Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory as
interesting ways to make more eBooks available to libraries. Unglue.it
uses a crowdfunding model to underwrite reprinting and free distribution
of out-of-print titles, and the Library License would grant libraries
full digital rights to titles on the basis of time since publication or
sales of the title over time.
* Brantley said that the West Coast technology companies such as Amazon,
Apple, Google and Microsoft have become major players in the publishing
industry--the first three, through their eBook sales, and Microsoft
through its partnership with Barnes & Noble.