Wow, great news for those of us with Apple devices. OverDrive announced today the availability of their free app – OverDrive Media Console for iPhone – in the iTunes store. Users can now download audiobooks (from their local library or a retail site) via wireless network directly to their Apple device. I am very excited about this since I was unsuccessful at downloading library audiobooks from OverDrive for my recent vacation, something to do with using a MAC instead of a PC. The For more information and to download the app, visit – http://bit.ly/OverDriveiPhone or see the press release. Android users, hold on to your hats, your app can’t be that far behind.
Ingram announced that it will provide publisher content to Apple’s new iBookstore. Using their CoreSource® program, Ingram’s solution for the storage, management, and distribution of digital content, publishers will be able to submit eBooks to iBookstore for availability on Apple’s new iPad. Ingram will help manage the relationship between publishers and Apple. This will enable a publisher’s catalog to be ingested, converted into ePub, Apple’s required format, and submitted to the iBookstore. To learn more about Ingram’s Apple Referral Program and CoreSource, visit: www.ingramcontent.com/apple.
I’m way behind on posting links to articles I’ve bookmarked in delicious. There’s been so much activity in the industry these last few weeks that I can’t keep up. So, here is a long list of things I’ve found from the past month.
Focusing on WorldCat, OCLC Sells NetLibrary to EBSCO, Thins FirstSearch – 3/17/2010 – Library Journal
Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time. Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing. While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries. I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading 10 Takeaways from the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Librarians
Tools of Change – Lessons Learned from the Failure of Ebooks in 2000, and What They Mean to the Future of Electronic Publishing – Feb. 23
Michael Mace, Rubicon Consulting – firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t fall in love with the way you do business today because that will change.
- Barriers to eBook adoption
- Printed books may be the last things to get converted
- Economic structure of traditional publishing is unstable
- Be prepared Continue reading TOC – Lessons Learned from the Failure of Ebooks in 2000
Selling in Mobile Markets – Rana Sobhany, VP Marketing at Medialits in NYC (email@example.com)
TOC Conference – Monday Feb. 22nd, 9 – 12:30
I came to this session after the morning break, so I missed the first 90 minutes. Rana was a great speaker – lots of stories, examples, and practical information – no death by powerpoint! The notes below are from the last hour of the presentation, which focused on building applications. While this presentation was directed to publishers, the information is pertinent for libraries too. We surely won’t spend $50K to develop an app, nor charge anyone to download, but the marketing, measuring, and testing are all relevant. The very last bullet point is critical for libraries wanting to develop mobile apps. Continue reading Tools of Change – Selling in Mobile Markets (tips for apps)
Wow, e-book talk has exploded. There are so many good stories from the past week. Have a look at some.
Hurtling Toward the Finish Line: Should the Google Books Settlement Be Approved?: California Digital Library
Been watching the twits about the iPad – “extraordinary,” “a dream to type on,” “much more intimate than a laptop,” “the best browsing experience you’ve ever had.” Sounds like they are describing a dream date (sans the laptop and browsing). Oh wait, now they are talking about pinching folders, ouch.
Seriously – it appears to be a bigger and better iPod Touch. Multimedia viewing, full keyboard, pictures, email, ebooks, music, google maps, existing apps, yadda yadda. I’m sure I’ll own one soon, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve introduced anything we haven’t seen in other devices – it will just be better of course because it’s Apple.
Not too much on ebooks thus far and nothing on textbooks. Anxious to find out more about that.
added later – just read a nice post on teleread about the ebook options on the new ipad. iBooks – EPUB…this really is a dream date!
The strange case of academic libraries and e-books nobody reads -a very good read (sp)
Attended a virtual conference today, “The Handheld Librarian.” There were two presentations on ebooks, one related to Kindles in libraries and the other on ebook devices. The latter, presented by Charlotte Johnson of Southern Illinois University, highlighted the resourceful LibGuide she has developed on ebook reading devices. It is available from the SIU Edwardsville site. She has a section for each major device including Sony Reader, Kindle, Apple iTouch/iPhone, Plastic Logic, iRex, and Augmented Reality.
These articles are all linked on the NSR home page in the delicious links.
From Teleread, author not listed:
Posted: 26 Mar 2009 09:39 AM PDT
I have had a day to think about what I saw at the FTC’s town hall meeting on Digital Rights Management yesterday, and what it might mean for the future of DRM. The conference fell into the classic “good news, bad news” scenario.
The good news is that the FTC is now more aware than ever of the difficulties to consumers implicit in Digital Rights Management (especially since they received over 800 public comments, which they admitted during the meeting they had not managed to work all the way through yet). The bad news is that it is not the FTC’s brief to adjudicate matters relating to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and fair use, or even anti-trust concerns relating to non-interoperable DRM.
The FTC is chiefly concerned with unfair and deceptive business practices. (For example, in the other big FTC story of the day, the FTC announced yesterday it was suing Dish Network for making telemarketing calls to people listed on the national Do Not Call Registry.)
If companies make deceptive statements in advertising about the limitations of their DRM, the FTC will look into it. If companies release DRM that harms the consumer (as in the infamous Sony rootkit debacle), they will investigate and possibly sanction. But they can’t do anything to let you copy DVDs to your video iPod when the DMCA forbids it. Talk to Congress about that.
That being said, the meeting was of great interest just for the open discussion of DRM among big guns from both consumer-advocacy and commercial trade groups. Anyone who did not realize DRM was a contentious issue before would certainly have gotten an earful.
Though some speakers were not terribly exciting (one read a ten-minute prepared statement in a sleep-inducing monotone; another rambled on at length about a “thought experiment” involving taking a bus full of developing-country representatives to a shopping mall that made no sense either during or after the speech), most of them had good points to make, pro or con.
Several potential DRM remedies were discussed, including
- a logo-based disclosure system like ESRB or MPAA ratings so consumers would be able to see at a glance what DRM was on a product
- making DRM systems more interoperable, or adding “exception handling” so DRM would permit more fair uses
- DRM-using companies depositing keys and source code in escrow so that if they went bankrupt consumers would be able to crack the DRM and have access to the media they paid for afterward.
These took on a character of “pie in the sky,” however, given that imposing such solutions is generally outside the FTC’s brief. For example, making DRM more interoperable would be difficult given that companies generally have a vested interest in making sure their DRM works for them alone. (Apple’s stranglehold on the digital music industry due to its Fairplay DRM was brought up more than once.)
The FTC Takes Questions
One of the more interesting panels to me was the very last, in which representatives of the FTC got in the hot seat to field questions and comments as to what they might actually do about DRM. The answer: as stated above, not a whole lot.
Nonetheless, the first question fielded was one that I emailed, and I was even mentioned by both real name and moniker. (I had asked that TeleRead be mentioned as the source, but they forgot.) I pointed out that Amazon owned the Mobipocket e-book format, currently used by many of its e-book competitors, and asked what the FTC would be willing to do if they decided to stop licensing that format.
The FTC panel replied that they could not address specific what-if scenarios, but they could talk about similar investigations they had done in the past. They talked about their investigation into Microsoft when Microsoft wanted to get out of the music business and shut down its DRM serversmeaning that consumers would no longer be able to play the music they had bought from Microsoft. They closed the investigation after Microsoft agreed to keep its servers turned on.
All in all, the FTC town hall meeting was an interesting event, and worthwhile in that it fostered public discussion and debate about DRM that might end up educating more people about its disadvantages. But those who expected any solid commitments will be left disappointed.
Here is a roundup of other articles I have found covering the town hall meeting.
Oren’s Weblog has excellent panel-by-panel summaries of the event (though Oren did not chronicle the sixth panel, in which the FTC answered questions about what measures it might take):
- intro & first panel: Overview
- second panel: The Legal Landscape
- third panel: DRM in Action
- fourth panel: Informing Consumers
- fifth panel: The Future of DRM
- Oren’s final thoughts
Content Agenda looks at the meeting here; the Copyright and Technology blog has coverage here. Brad’s Reader looks at some implications for e-books here. Here is a PDF article laying out a system of logo-based disclosure of DRM on download products of the sort that was proposed at the meeting.
Ars Technica also has an article summing up the first few panels that came before the lunch break.
The Once and Future e-book: On Reading in the Digital Age
A veteran of a former turning of the e-book wheel looks at the past, present, and future of reading books on things that are not books. -by John Siracusa, Apple Technology Specialist at Ars Technica.
John writes about the history of ebook devices, corporate mis-steps, outmoded business models, DRM, and the market vibe. Technologically minded librarians will empathize with his frustrations. Those who aren’t can get a quick background of the way tech, business, and customer interests interact and conflict. Publishers will recognize the plea for new business models. The post suggests that an immediate change in attutude and practice is needed or publisher’s will lose the moment’s opportunities.
From the TeleRead blog:
OverDrive: â€˜Much more content without DRM’ promised for libraries in â€˜09
By David Rothman
“OverDrive is the leader in bringing downloadable MP3 audiobooks to libraries. [It] is leading the library market in bringing all formats of digital media to readersincluding much more content without DRM during 2009.”
I hope that includes copyrighted e-books, too, not just MP3. Like Steve, I’m keen on writers and publishers getting paid, and there are ways for this to happen without DRM. For now, I’ll regard the above statement as indicating at least some flexibility.
Meanwhile check out other comments in the LJ piece, headlined Apple’s DRM News said to have little effect on libraries for now.
(Thanks to Ed Klopek.)