The Publication Standards Project


What about DRM for libraries?

Because libraries need to be able to set a fixed term on circulating materials, sadly, DRM is the only solution that comes to mind. But we’d like any such system to have the following properties:

  • The ability to renew materials, like with regular books at a library;
  • The ability for libraries to negotiate the lending period;
  • The ability for libraries to store unencumbered DRM editions of all of their books for archival purposes, instead applying DRM only when a book is circulated to patrons;
  • No penalty on libraries if the DRM is broken by some enterprising patron;
  • A standard specification, belonging to a standards authority and not a private company;
  • And a fixed quantity on the number of copies that can be simultaneously lent at once.

We’d love to talk more with libraries about their lending needs regarding ebooks. For more on this, get in touch with Kaitlyn Tierney, our digital libraries director.