Category Services

W3C Approves Encrypted Media Extensions as Web Standard

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced on Monday that it has approved Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) as a Recommendation, meaning that it’s now an official standard. This announcement marks the end of a very contentious debate about the role, if any, that DRM should have in web browser environments and open web standards. EME […]

Libraries: Be Careful What You Wish For

Last week we discussed the new “cost-per-circulation” (CPC) model for public libraries — in which they can make e-books available to patrons and pay the publisher per “loan” instead of paying fixed fees to “acquire” titles as if they were print books (the “pretend it’s print” or PIP model). HarperCollins has just become the first […]

Hoopla Digital and HarperCollins Disrupt Library E-Lending

An announcement this week by hoopla digital and HarperCollins augurs big changes in the ways that public libraries make e-books available. It sets the stage for realignment of the relationships between publishers and libraries, and it could have longer-term ripple effects on the entire e-book market. For more than a decade, public libraries have been […]

Spotify Acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain

Spotify announced yesterday that it has acquired the blockchain startup Mediachain Labs for an undisclosed sum. For those watching the music/blockchain space, this is big news indeed. Here’s a passage from the whitepaper I recently published on blockchain technology for music: DSPs [digital music service providers] have become the “big boys” of the music industry, […]

In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away

The RIAA’s annual revenue figures for recorded music are a goldmine of information about the state, health, and direction of the music industry. The 2016 figures that the RIAA published at the end of March generated a few common headlines in the trade and business press: Recorded music revenue in the United States is finally […]

Kobo Gives the Shelfie Story a Happy Ending

The story of Shelfie, the Vancouver-based print and e-book bundling startup that ceased operations back in January, has a coda, and quite possibly a happy ending after all. Shelfie’s fellow Canadians at Kobo had agreed to maintain the Shelfie service so that users could access their DRM-protected e-books and transfer their e-book libraries to the Kobo […]

Readium LCP Set to Launch

The 2017 EPUB Summit in Brussels this past week was the venue for the beta launch and first live demos of the Readium LCP DRM technology for EPUB-formatted e-books.  I’ve discussed aspects of the genesis and design of Readium LCP elsewhere: here is a summary that I presented at last year’s EPUB Summit in Bordeaux. […]