Comment scraped into Arcturus
Another very useful contribution from Stephanie Taylor. This is, perhaps, the main issue – that libraries and librarians are far too risk averse. I think the BL has been too risk-averse (though I have yet to find out whether they got legal advice) and libraries round the country have been too quiet. And now we are saddled with something awful that nobody wants and needs getting rid of.
One major concern is that by adding DRM the BL is giving a signal that it approves of technological control of content. This is very dangerous. It also gives the signal that its suppliers call the tune and not it. That also is very serious. Anyway…
Stephanie Taylor says:
In response to Owen, in my experience there is a risk in using e-signatures, and many libraries are not prepared to take a risk. In my personal opinion, the risk is minimal, but it presents a real barrier as many librarians/libraries are very, very risk averse on the copyright aspects of interlending. The EThOS stance gave me some hope, as I thought such a high-profile project with heavy-weight partners would maybe inspire by example. This doesn’t, however, seem to be filtering down to general practice in quite the way I wished.
Also, I may be unduly cynical here, but I think that the potential ease of inappropriate re-distribution of electronic material has been balanced out with a clearer audit trail for rights holders to follow – and they have tightened the requirements accordingly on digital content, holding a much tighter grip than was possible with paper copies.