Last year, the Council of the American Library Association (ALA) passed a resolution calling for the creation of a Presidential Task Force to study the issues of digital rights management and equitability of access to electronic content.
The Task Force (of which I am a member) has been working via email and conference calls, and recently had a two-day working meeting in person. The Task Force’s charge includes studying challenges and potential solutions in libraries for improved electronic content access and options for compromise agreements between the library and publishing communities regarding access to digital content, among others. The group is to produce a report by the ALA Conference this summer and will have a public program, as well.
I would like to add that we need to educate ourselves and act within the arena that exists right now while we plan for, and try to influence the future. That doesn’t mean that we can’t work to revise copyright law, or try to negotiate new models, or change anything else, but it’s fruitless to argue that all works should be available to the public for free regardless of their copyright status.
It also means recognizing that, no matter what we’d like the facts to be, in most cases we don’t own electronic works, but license them. We also need to consider the reality that authors and publishers and wholesalers need to be paid or they will go out of business.
New On OverDrive's Digital Library Blog: "The American Library Association and Digital Content"
Filed by April 13, 2011on