Category Services

The Internet Archive’s Copyright Emergency

Sometime last year, I was chatting about digital first sale and e-lending with a highly respected copyright lawyer, someone who is deeply knowledgeable about those issues. We were talking about the library community’s longstanding attempts to get a lending right for digital files in law. We noted that those folks have apparently given up on […]

STM Publishing’s Identity Management Problem

Most of the talk about copyright and technology issues in the world of scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishing these days focuses on two issues: Open Access and Sci-Hub. For STM publishers, these represent the Scylla and Charybdis of losing control over copyrights. Open Access is about replacing paywalls and traditional copyright licensing with Creative […]

Libraries Take E-Book Lending Fight into Antitrust Territory

The U.S. library community has gotten involved in the investigation that Congress recently opened into possible anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech. The American Library Association, the advocacy group for public and academic libraries, sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee last week complaining of unfair behavior from Amazon as well as Big Five trade […]

UC Davis’s Plan to Disrupt Textbook Publishing

We are entering a period of real disruption in the textbook publishing industry, as the major textbook publishers are finding out that their strategy of continuously raising prices isn’t working anymore. As we saw a couple of weeks ago, Pearson’s new strategy includes taking over relationships with professors and students instead of ceding them to […]

Podcasting Leaves the Copyright Garden of Eden

For fifteen years — until last week — podcasting was a relatively untouched and unspoiled environment regarding copyright issues. Apart from clearing rights for music used within podcasts, no one in podcasting thought much about copyright. If you produced a podcast, you paid a distributor like Libsyn or Blubrry to host it and get it […]

Cengage Learning Brings Subscriptions to Higher Ed Publishing

Cengage Learning, one of the major textbook publishers, announced last month that it has accumulated a million subscribers to the subscription college text content service, Cengage Unlimited, that it launched for the Fall 2018 semester. Students can subscribe for $120 per semester or $180 per year, with print textbook rentals available for a flat $7.99 […]

Smart Speakers Are Table Radios for the Digital Age

One of the big holiday gift choices this year is likely to be smart speakers, such as Amazon Echos and Google Homes. Here’s the funny thing about smart speakers: while everyone was getting excited — or worried — about them as home shopping devices or yet another way for tech companies to spy on users, […]