Adobe Reader under fire for data breach

Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) is a reading app used by many libraries and readers around the world to access and read ebooks.

Adobe has come under recent scrutiny for tracking users in the app and uploading their data to servers. The plain text transmission of data was first reported Oct. 7 presumably stretches back as far as the release of ADE 4.0 in early September.

The American Libraries Association President Courtney Young stated in a press release

People expect and deserve that their reading activities remain private, and libraries closely guard the confidentiality of library users’ records… The unencrypted online transmission of library reader data is not only egregious, it sidesteps state laws around the country that protect the privacy of library reading records. Further, this affects more than library users; it is a gross privacy violation for ALL users of Adobe Digital Editions 4.”

This was followed by a statement from the Canadian Library Association.

The Digital Reader has critisiced Adobe’s responses as being in adequate. Adobe claims that sending a user’s reading logs in this form meets the standards of Adobe’s privacy policy. The dispute highlights some of the difficulties in setting standards for DRM and readers privacy.

Canadian eBook lending RFP ends without pilot

The Request for Proposals to develop a made-in-Canada e-book lending solution for Canadian public libraries, called by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and eBOUND, has ended without progressing to a pilot.

A statement released by CULC said that the Working Group found that developing a solution was not going to be sustainable under current conditions. In particular, major issues included the terms of sale for content to be used for the pilot, and the cost of developing the system.

The Working Group will review how to further their goals through alternative means. CULC and the Association of Canadian Publishers will continue to collaborate in finding ways to improve the access, promotion and discoverability of Canadian content.

“Challenges Borrowing an e-Book from the Public Library”

Thanks again to infoDOCKET for drawing our attention via Challenges Borrowing an e-Book from the Public Library to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio programme Spark‘s 24 minute segment E-Libary Letdown. The full panel discussion E-book Lending in Libraries is available on Spark‘s website, both podcasts are also available  from iTunes.

Back in February, Peter wrote about how he kept fellow Prince Edward Islanders from borrowing an electronic edition of Learn Norwegian – Level 1: Introduction to Norwegian from the public library, in part because the Mac version of Overdrive’s software didn’t allow him to return it. “This is crazy, and we must demand better, more rational systems from our library, if only because we’re making up systems and processes here that will be with us for generations.”

Intrigued by Peter’s experience, Spark assembled a panel to discuss e-books, public libraries, and artificial scarcity.

E-Book Lending in Libraries

Public library ebook lending initiative – Canada

Canada’s public libraries (represented by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council) and Canada’s English-language publishing community (represented by eBound Canada) are planning to develop a made-in-Canada solution that will provide eBook lending capabilities to all Canadian public libraries from Canadian publishers, with the opportunity for international publishers to join in. The solution will also potentially facilitate sales of both eBook and print materials from the same publishers to library patrons. The solution should allow all patron transactions to take place in a library’s existing discovery interface.

The initial request for information was released in June 2012.

Following this, the request for proposals was released in February 2013, and will close on March 11, 2013. It is intended that this will lead to a year-long pilot of a solution, with Hamilton Public Library, Ottawa Public Library, Toronto Public Library and Vancouver Public Library participating as pilot sites. The RFP includes detailed technical and functional requirements for the solution.

CULC/CBUC work on eBooks and Public Libraries

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council has undertaken a range of work relating to ebooks in public libraries, including:

  • Meeting and consulting with a range of publishers, authors groups, libraries and vendors
  • presenting a number of public industry events
  • developing positions statements and white papers on ebooks and public libraries
  • Planning to develop a platform to enable greater accessibility and use of ebooks in Canadian public libraries

E-Books in Research Libraries: Issues of Access and Use

E-Books in Research Libraries: Issues of Access and Use – Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Copyright Committee, Task Group on E-Books. April 2008.

The report includes a literature review, a review of ebook licenses and comparisons with print, an examination of differences between access and use of print books and e-books and impact on scholarship, and an outline of the issues of access and use of e- books in Research Libraries including recommendations for the CARL Copyright Committee and for a statement of principles on the licensing of ebooks.

Expanding eBooks: Purchasing and lending at Canadian public libraries

Expanding eBooks: Purchasing and lending at Canadian public libraries – by Christina de Castell, Vancouver Public Library, for the eContent Task Force, Canadian Urban Libraries Council. August 2011

The paper provides background to the conversation between publishers and libraries, explaining the current issues with providing eBooks in Canadian libraries and identifying areas where libraries’ experience with electronic resources can assist in developing new models. The paper addresses pricing and licensing models have used for electronic products in the past, the current state of providing ebooks in Canadian libraries, and the size of the public library market based on the spending of members of CULC/CBUC.