20 January 2009

What the iTunes DRM decision means for libraries

Quick answer: not much.

Here's a summary --

“Apple has yet to take the DRM-free plunge where audiobooks (and movies, and games) are concerned, and most of the audiobook providers with whom we spoke foresaw no changes to the current library-lending model of licensing to multiple users. Still, several were optimistic about the development and still others suggested more DRM-free offerings were in the pipeline for libraries. Below are their thoughts on the DRM-free user experience, on DRM’s efficacy as an anti-piracy measure, and on the prudence of its application in both the consumer and library markets:

Troy Juliar, publisher, Recorded Books:
“We’re much more cautious about going DRM-free in libraries than we are in retail and direct-to-consumer markets. Library/patron use is predicated on lending the title/file, not buying it. As such, we must show caution to make sure authors are fairly compensated. We cannot give patrons a title for free via libraries—we just want to enable access for a time. That said, we will experiment with a few hundred DRM-free titles in our library download program mainly to make sure offerings are iPod-compatible—not because we’re anxious to be completely DRM-free.”

Steve Potash, CEO, OverDrive:
“OverDrive is the leader in bringing downloadable MP3 audiobooks to libraries. [It] is leading the library market in bringing all formats of digital media to readers—including much more content without DRM during 2009.”

Check the full Library Journal summary here (http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6628712.html?nid=2671&source=title&rid=&).

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