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Thinkpiece on Libraries, e-Lending and the Future of Public Access to Digital Content

Thinkpiece on Libraries, e-Lending and the Future of Public Access to Digital Content

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Published by LJ's infoDOCKET
Prepared by Civic Agenda for IFLA
Prepared by Civic Agenda for IFLA

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: LJ's infoDOCKET on Jan 30, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/11/2013

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 Libraries, e-Lending and the Future of Public Access toDigital Content
Prepared byCivic AgendaRealised with the support of The Open Society Foundations
 
 
Prepared by Civic Agenda2
Table of Contents
1 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... 31.1 A brief history of public access ............................................................................................... 31.2 The dawn of digital.................................................................................................................. 41.3 Values and principles of librarianship in a digital world ......................................................... 42 Exploration of desirable characteristics for public access models for library digital content ........ 62.1 Negotiable access to all digital content: ................................................................................. 72.2 Libraries determine their own acquisitions policy .................................................................. 72.3 Ownership and enduring rights at a fair price ........................................................................ 82.4 Licences and terms of access should not override exceptions and limitations to copyright . 92.5 Standardised, flexible, affordable and dependable licences .................................................. 92.6 E-Lending model upholds the privacy of library users .......................................................... 102.7 Interoperability across platforms, applications, devices and catalogues ............................. 113 Survey of range of current models and the resonances/conflicts with library principles andvalues............................................................................................................................................113.1 Traditional Big Six Publishers (Big Five as of 2013?) ............................................................. 123.2 Online retailers and publishers ............................................................................................. 133.3 Distributors/aggregators ....................................................................................................... 143.4 Self-publishing ....................................................................................................................... 143.5 Profit Share purchase model ................................................................................................ 163.6 Library Initiatives ................................................................................................................... 163.7 Aggregators of access to non-copyright restricted content ................................................. 173.8 Other e-lending programmes/models .................................................................................. 173.9 A note on the elephants in the room .................................................................................... 184 Talking points and further questions for consideration: .............................................................. 194.1 Negotiable access to all titles underpinned by legislation? .................................................. 194.2 Copyright exceptions and limitations reinforced by legislation? ......................................... 204.3 How important is ownership in the digital age? ................................................................... 214.4 The burden of ownership the blessing of licencing .............................................................. 214.5 Acceptable friction, acceptable pricing ................................................................................. 224.6 Forging a new deal ................................................................................................................ 234.7 Pricing principles and models: .............................................................................................. 234.8 The benefits and opportunities for libraries and publishers: ............................................... 244.9 In DRM we trust
 
Prepared by Civic Agenda3
Libraries, e-Lending and the Future of Public Access toDigital Content
“The only really necessary 
 people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands
between those two has both risk and opportunity.” 
1
 Amazon Executive, Russell Grandinetti in an interview with the New York Times, November 2011
1
 
Introduction
Owing to the maturity of the e-book market in Europe and North America, this paper necessarilydepends upon numerous examples which are drawn from those territories. In a document of thislength it was judged that a focus on the most topical and recent examples was more strategicallyviable than attempting to cover the full spectrum of all international activity. In addition, for thesame reasons, this paper concentrates on access to digital content within the context of tradepublishing as opposed to scholarly publishing where digital distribution through libraries is the norm.
1.1
 
A brief history of public access
For the majority of human history access to information, knowledge and the products of culture andlearning have been the unique preserve of a select few. This of course is partly explained by the factthat, until the expansion of public education programmes and the arrival of mass popular literacyover the last two centuries in Europe and America, only a small portion of society learned how toread and write. In addition, until the invention of the Gutenberg printing press in the last half of the15
th
century, manuscripts and books were individually handwritten and bound which made themboth expensive and rare commodities
 –
out of reach to all but the highest, wealthiest and mosteducated echelons of society.In the aftermath of moveable mechanised type printing book production in Europe increased to 20million copies by the end of the 15
th
century to nearly 1 billion copies at the close of the 18
th
 century.
2
In conjunction with the arrival of industrial steam powered printing and sharp increases inpublic literacy, these developments effectively ushered in a new era of mass communication anddissolved the monopoly of the literate elite in favour of a newly educated and empowered middleclass. This democratisation of knowledge and information also radically increased the profitability of authorship which eventually fostered the development of copyright regimes to protect thecommercial incentives of content creators.
1
2
Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten (2009), "Ch
arting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed
Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", The Journal of Economic History 69 (2): 409
 –
445

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