I fail to see how any of this is the library's fault? The patrons want these materials. Said materials are available through certain vendors and those vendors have that DRM-thingy-whatsit. Gotta get the materials through the vendor for the patrons...And therefore, you're stuck with the DRM stuff.
And sharing some audiobook that you took out from the library with all of your friends has copyright implications, which can really suck for the library.
Seems to me you should be protesting the vendors, not the library.
I agree -- the idea is to get the library to look harder for alternatives, and to help create a market for alternative vendors. All we're doing here is saying that there is a large demand for DRM-free materials, and we want the library to consider and act on that. It's not a matter of whether it's the BPL's fault, it's a matter of whether they can help change the situation -- and they can.
"...non-locals are encouraged to stage an action against their own library if it's using DRM."
The way you just spun it to me was that you want to help the library, but in your post "action against" does not seem like something that is very helpful...
I don't mean to ride your ass about this, but I work at a library and that's why I'm bridling at this "protest" business. Libraries, on the whole, are short on staff and money. They're doing what they can to provide what patrons want with limited resources. I think you'd be better served by writing to the appropriate staff members and requesting some sort of a meeting, rather than "staging action against" them.
I see what you mean. We are acting against a choice that was made by the library, and we do think that choice is inconsistent with their mandate. But in the end what we want is to solve the problem of DRM in the library. Also, events like this give supportive voices within the library (I bet there are people there opposed to DRM) something to point to to help their argument. I agree that that quoted bit is a little harsh.
We did, for what it's worth, send the library a public letter quite a while ago. We didn't get a reply.
If you want people to believe that the library chose DRM over non-DRM, you need to provide that information.
2008-02-09 02:58 pm (UTC)
Hey wait a minute.
If you're referring to Richard Stallman's letter from a couple years ago, I replied to him personally. That's never been acknowledged on the FSF site.
Boston Public Library
emusic has recently started selling audiobooks, with no DRM. You're right that DRM is the existing method and that alternatives are less well established, but you're not right that they don't exist.
emusic has recently started selling audiobooks, with no DRM.
It's not really a matter of buying these things off of a website, you know. Libraries have a different process.
Right, somebody has to get paid. The library has to pay them. Then we have to fund the library. My point is, there are companies and rightsholders willing to provide audiobooks without DRM, for the right price. This was in answer to the claim that such alternative solutions do not exist. They do, now the question is -- will they work for the BPL.
No, no, you're missing my point. Emusic is a consumer website. Libraries have to purchase intellectual property through different methods, so what's available to the CONSUMER might not be available to the LIBRARY.
I do understand your point. I'm saying that because people are coming around to selling their books without DRM to consumers, they could be willing to do the same to libraries. And potentially the same distributors could be used. I agree that this is new territory, but I'm pointing to this as a sign that there is a nascent alternative that we should be encouraging. Maybe the BPL can't shift to DRM-free all at once, but they could, for example, have a policy of providing DRM-free when it's available. They should contact the same distributors selling through emusic and see if they are willing and able to sell the some DRM-free materials to the library.
emusic was the forerunner to the DRM-free music business expansion. This business expanded in response to the outcry of people wanting it and in response to the success of people selling DRM free tracks and to the problems created by iTunes using DRM to hold on to a monopoly. We are encouraging people to do the same thing that already worked for music, for books. I don't see any reason why it won't also work in this context. It's not about the absolute size of the audiobook business, it's about the relative demand for DRMd audiobooks versus DRM-free audiobooks.