Home » Digital Divide » Why We Miss the First Sale Doctrine in Digital Libraries

Why We Miss the First Sale Doctrine in Digital Libraries

By on March 8, 2013 Leave a Comment

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This is the fourth in an occasional series of articles that will explore issues surrounding the efforts to launch and expand the Digital Public Library of America.

 


 

John PalfreyPublishers, ebook vendors, and libraries are engaged in a “tug of war” over the lending of electronic books, according to Library Journal’s recent ebook survey. This clash inhibits most libraries from fulfilling their important institutional missions to provide access to knowledge and preserve our cultural heritage. In the best case, this tug of war will be a temporary struggle. The best outcome is not a winner who holds all the rope and another lying on the ground with rope-burned hands. If there must be a winner of any kind, it ought to be the reading public.

 

In this article, the fourth installment in a series on the initiative to build a Digital Public Library of America, I examine the underlying role of law in the ebook lending debate, explore potential solutions to the problems, and consider how the DPLA can contribute to solutions for those we serve. At the core of this issue is the way the copyright law works–or doesn’t–when it comes to books, libraries, and readers in the United States today and into the future. Read more…

 

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