Ebooks and interlibrary loans

Two more articles discussing interlibrary loan restrictions and ebooks have been published.

Hilmar Schumundt’s article on SpigelOnline International: The Digital Paradox – How Copyright Laws Keep E-books Locked Up, considers how e-books are being locked up behind ‘digital bars’. Libraries are often not permitted to share e-books via interlibrary loan due to licensing restrictions. Schumundt notes ‘the book doesn’t go to the reader, the reader comes to the book – just like in the 19th century’. The article also discusses how digital protection measures are now sophisticated enough to enable ditigal material to be shared without copyright being infringed.

Timothy Geigner’s article on techdirt: Everything Old Is Unavailable Again: How Copyright Has Ebooks Operating In The 1800s, picks up on this ‘epitimone of inefficiency’. According to Geigner the problem is a combination of governments unwilling to consider change and publishers. Academic publishers are ‘most egregious’ as:

In many cases, it is the readers themselves who, through their taxes, pay the university authors whose studies they are then unable to access. It is also likely that many professors themselves cannot even afford a subscription to the journal in which their work is published.