Just refuse books that expire


You just don’t want them, for you or anybody else.

“Buying” movie or books from platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple, it’s not buying. It’s just renting. They can legally take away whatever you “bought” in any moment. As it happened to Linn, in 2012.

Just refuse books that expire /img/amazon-drm-sucks.jpg

This summer, four of the world’s largest publishers sued the Internet Archive, because they want to do the same thing as Netflix. They sued over a temporary program of the Internet Archive’s Open Library, intended to make books available to the millions of students in quarantine during the pandemic.

It seems that the real goal of those publishers is an end to the private ownership of books - not only for the Internet Archive but for everyone.

A publishing cooperative called Brick House is fighting to stop that manoeuvre, because “the point of a library is to preserve, and in order to preserve, a library must own”.

They are doing it by selling, as in “really selling, not licensing” digital copies of their books, for the same price of the paper version.

The Open Library, they say, will always be free to loan those book to their patrons through the magic of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), whereby one (digital) copy can be loaned to one patron at a time - just like with paper books.

CDL is the legal means by which digital books and paper books are made equal, says Brick House, and every publisher should support its global adoption. This will allow libraries to keep paying only once for each copy of an ebook… so that they can lend it to their patrons forever, and nobody - no government, business, or regulatory body - will ever be able to stop them.

Will it work as intended? Maybe not, but it IS the right thing to do

Assertions like “[only] one (digital) copy can be loaned to one patron at a time - just like with paper books” make me smile, really. CDL is surely crackable like any other DRM system before it.

But Brick House is doing the Right Thing, because, as they say, “books that can expire are books that can disappear PERMANENTLY - books that can be taken away”, and this would be much more dangerous than any publisher going bankrupt.

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