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Re: by Scot Colford

From: the zak
Subject: Re: by Scot Colford
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 00:51:23 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

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
>      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

Introducing DRM changes the line between what is your own, and
what belongs to the Englobulators.

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