They have crafted an eBook User’s Bill of Rights, and it’s good. Honestly, the only thing I’m not sure about here (and I might talk more about it later) is the right of first sale thing – that’s a hold-over from actually owning a physical object … and in the digital content world … well, you don’t actually own anything physical.
Otherwise, Sarah and Andy did a great job. in my mind, this Bill of Rights works for librarians AND authors – the idea of sharing and distribution is inherent in this document.
Does it work for publishers? I think it does. And it’s certainly a good place to start the conversation. What do you think?
The eBook Userâ€™s Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.
The eBook Userâ€™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 usersâ€™ 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.
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