One thing I've been afraid of with the rise of eBooks is that those of us who depend heavily on interlibrary loan will be frozen out of the resources necessary to do research and keep up with our fields. I'm glad to see academic librarians are on this
But lending e-books may soon get easier. This spring a pilot project called Occam's Reader will test software custom-built to make it both easy and secure for
libraries to share e-book files while keeping publishers happy—or so the
software’s creators hope...
Scheduled to begin in March, the pilot will run for a year. If it works
well enough, the library alliance hopes to make Occam’s Reader available
to other academic libraries and perhaps to persuade other publishers to
Using the web-based Occam’s Reader software, a lending library takes a
stripped-down version of an e-book and loads it onto a secure web
server. (Publisher metadata is removed in the process, Mr. Litsey says,
to keep the feel of a print-book loan and—more important from a
marketing perspective—as a compromise to preserve the potential sales
appeal of publishers’ enhanced versions.)
Borrowed e-books can be read but not copied, printed out, or downloaded.
The idea is to give borrowers quick access while reassuring publishers
that copyrighted content will remain secure and can be shared without
eating into sales.
Labels: Academics, Miscellaneous