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The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

I found this over at Librarian in Black and I completely agree.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

Every eBook user should have the following rights:

  • the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
  • the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
  • the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
  • the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks

I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.

Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.

I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks. I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users’ rights.

These rights are yours. Now it is your turn to take a stand. To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others. Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.

To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work
For good measure I’ll throw in this video with Neil Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web.


I really dislike DRM

I haven’t bought myself an e-book-reader yeat. I’ve thought about it, and I want one, but then it’s those pesky DRM issues.  Very simply said; e-books bought from Amazon can only be read on Kindle, e-books bought from Barnes & Noble can only be read on Nook and you can’t easily borrow books to or from other people. I’m a librarian and find the last thing most annoying of all. Why can’t they decide on a common standard and let us decide which books we want to read on which e-book-reader?

Several libraries have started offering e-books to patrons, so there is hope. Maybe it’ll get better when some of the dinosaurs occupying managerial offices in big publishing houses decides to retire….

But, I do want an e-book-reader. I’d like to go on vacation with one book instead of the pile we usually bring and it would also be nice to reduce the heaps of books lying around the house. I guess I’ll buy one in the end, but not this week, first of all I have a bunch of unread paper books waiting for me.

Ragni has bought herself a Nook, but she’s also ranting about DRM.

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