The following post is from Sarah Houghton-Jan, who blogs over at Librarian in Black. I whole-heartedly endorse the following.
Meanwhile, there's spirited debate concerning a boycott of HarperCollins. Because librarians and libraries are about customer service, it’s not something I can completely sanction, but I understand. HarperCollins’ decision is what started this, but at least they make e-books available for a loan, or 26. Simon & Schuster, on the other hand, does not. If a boycott is what gets libraries to the table when decisions like these are made, then ultimately I’m for it. But to me the real enemy is DRM, and what’s below in the bill of rights is much more about DRM than it is about individual publishers.
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.