Typed with a slightly dodgy keyboard into Arcturus
In my rather unsystematic research into the use of Digital Rights Management DRM by the British Library BL I have discovered a flurry of activity in 2005/6 and almost nothing until 2009. (I shall be quoting these in my FOI request) The later versions have messages such as:
The British Library Improves Electronic Access with New DRM Platform (http://www.bl.uk/news/2009/pressrelease20091126.html )
which suggests that the BL has given in to DRM and now wishes to promote it as a public good.
It was not ever thus: in 2006 they challenged DRM (APIG = All Party Parliamentary Internet Group ):
The British Library submits evidence to APIG on DRMs (http://www.bl.uk/news/2006/pressrelease20060206.html )
With excerpts such as:
It is essential that we ensure that DRMs cannot interfere with the responsibilities of the legal deposit libraries to acquire, store, preserve and give access to digital items in perpetuity. The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 already provides for the delivery by the publisher of “a copy of any computer program and any information necessary in order to access the work”. It would be preferable if publications came without any DRM wrapping. The Act does not explicitly provide for the circumvention of a DRM in the event of harvest from the Internet by a library .
DRMs are still in their relative infancy. Any particular DRM is likely to be short-lived. Thus DRMs are not easily susceptible to legislative regulation except at a very generic level. However, there does need to be an accepted and constantly revised code of practice for the design and operation of DRMs to ensure that they cannot constrain statutory rights in the form of exceptions and limitations of copyright.
And perhaps most tellingly of all:
Finally, the British Library is a member of Share the Vision and attaches particular importance to addressing the needs of visually impaired users in the DRM world.
It looks as if the BL has lost sight of its 2006 vision and no-one in the UK (or probably global) library community cares.