ALA Issues DRM Primer
“Not long ago, digital technologies were regarded as being entirely beneficial to the work of librarians, because such technologies were already enabling greater access to collected materials, greater ease and searching or organizing such materials, and greater ability to reproduce and archive creative works, historical documents, scholarly
research, and other important resources. At its heart, this early perception of the usefulness of digital tools remains essentially correct. Nevertheless, the digital revolution has also inspired the development of a range of technological tools and strategies aimed at restricting the ease with which the resources collected and maintained by libraries can be used, circulated, excerpted, and reproduced.
“The primary purpose of this paper is to familiarize librarians, archivists, and others with [digital rights management] and how it works. Secondarily, this paper will outline certain legal and policy issues that are raised by DRM — issues that will continue to have an increasing impact on the ways in which librarians and libraries perform their functions. To put the matter bluntly — understanding the basics of DRM is becoming a necessary part of the work of librarians.”
Michael Godwin. OITP Technology Policy Brief — Digital Rights Management: A Guide for Librarians. (.pdf, 362 KB) January 2006.
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