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Re: by Scot Colford
Re: by Scot Colford
Sun, 10 Feb 2008 10:13:17 -0800 (PST)
> > by Scot Colford
> > > Digital Rights Management
> > > February 7th, 2008 by Scot Colford
> > > We often get questions about why people can't
> > > download OverDrive audio books or video to their
> > > iPods. Or sometimes, users are unhappy that they
> > > cannot preserve that downloaded material on their
> > > computers forever. Well, the Boston Public Library
> > > does not necessarily own the material you download --
> > > we license it. Part of the agreement that allows us
> > > to license the material is the use of Digital Rights
> > > Managment (DRM). DRM is a software add-on that
> > > prevents digital files from being copied and
> > > redistributed, just like the software that prevents
> > > you from copying a DVD or a commercial VHS tape.
> > > Listen, we all know that DRM is annoying at best. But
> > > we're able to offer content that would not be
> > > available to anyone in digital format otherwise
> > > because publishers feel comfortable with DRM. I hope
> > > that changes, but until then, we'll keep trying to
> > > offer the best content to the most people.
> > > Here's the official BPL response. Rest assured that
> > > it was written by a real human being who knows what
> > > he's talking about, namely me:
> > > One of the most popular new services provided by
> > > the Boston Public Library is OverDrive, a
> > > vendor-supplied lending system for electronic
> > > books, audio books, music, and videos. Digital
> > > Library Reserve, the vendor from whom we license
> > > this content has secured thousands of popular,
> > > high-quality titles from many major publishers
> > > under the condition that digital rights management
> > > (DRM) measures are taken to ensure that the
> > > material cannot be redistributed. Furthermore, the
> > > specific DRM schema used on OverDrive titles allow
> > > material to circulate for distinct periods of
> > > time, permitting the library to honor its
> > > licensing contract and to provide a service
> > > paralleling the loan of physical material. No
> > > personal patron information is shared with
> > > OverDrive or other third-parties in the download
> > > for more information
> > > http://www.bpl.org/general/policies/privacy.htm
> > > While we are well aware of the frustration DRM
> > > schema can cause end users, we feel that the high
> > > numbers of use (nearly 100,000 downloads since
> > > September, 2005) send a strong signal that our
> > > customers want access to the material OverDrive
> > > provides. For many years, the BPL has offered
> > > material in a variety of formats that require
> > > specific hardware and/or contain copy-protection
> > > technologies (DVDs, Macrovision-protected VHS
> > > tapes), but we've never been asked to discontinue
> > > circulation of this material because not every
> > > customer has the ability to use them.
> > > Almost all of the titles available through
> > > OverDrive are also available in other formats.
> > > Customers who are unable to use DRM-protected
> > > content can certainly access the same content via
> > > CDs, DVDs, print books, and magnetic media. We
> > > also provide links to several other sources for
> > > digital eBooks, audio, and video that are in the
> > > public domain, and therefore do not require DRM.
> > > Boston Public Library is committed to providing
> > > free access to community-owned resources and will
> > > continue to search for partners who can provide
> > > material to the most number of users possible.
> > > Scot Colford
> > > Applications Manager
> > > Boston Public Library
> > > scolford at bpl.org
> > > Posted in General
> > Introducing DRM changes the line between what is your own, and
> > what belongs to the Englobulators.
> | Introducing DRM changes the line between what is your own, and
> | what belongs to the Englobulators.
> | The issue is: the Library, by using "DRM", supports the general
> | principle that we should be under surveillance and that our
> | computers should be under the control of the Englobulators at all
> | times. No, we should not be under constant surveillance and no,
> | we should keep our computers our own. That means no DRM. None
> | whatsoever.
> | Don, you may quote this, with attribution, and a warning that I
> | cannot, this month, enter the public conversation.
> | oo--JS.
Reply by Scot Colford 16 minutes ago
Okay, Don. But no one patron exclusively owns library material. That's
the problem. You don't get to keep it forever. You gotta give it back.
And regarding surveillance of your computer, I am well aware that some
DRM schemes do maintain connections with rights management servers and
I would agree that these schema constitute spyware. But the scheme
used with OverDrive does not function this way. A user downloads a
license willingly and once downloaded, it's good for 14 days. The
license server does not "check in" on your workstation ever again --
So, the claim on the Defective By Design flier that using OverDrive at
the BPL involves installing corporate spyware on your computer is
simply not true.