[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

by Scot Colford

From: the zak
Subject: by Scot Colford
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 00:17:00 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0
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
     or DRM process. Please see the BPL privacy policy
     for more information

     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

   Posted in General

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]