Charleston 2014 – DRM: A Publisher-Imposed Impediment to Progress, or a Legitimate Defense of Publisher/Author Intellectual Property Rights?

Speaker: Jim Dooley, University of California

<insert very slow and deliberate description of all of the headaches of DRM in the library world>

Speaker: Zac Rolnik, Now Publishers

His company does not use DRM on their content, but they are not open access, either.

They want to control the distribution of their content but also maximize the access to it. Not putting DRM on the content is their solution to that push/pull. They also want the user to have a good experience getting to the content.

Implementing and managing DRM does not come without its own costs, and the benefits in his estimation are not great enough to justify those costs. Some seepage of the content is okay, and occasionally good. It can raise awareness of the content itself.

The major STEM publishers don’t have DRM on their ebooks (if purchased directly). Most large institutions and consortia have big deal packages with all of the content, so who would be excluded by DRM? DRM does not benefit the goals of Open Access or Fair Use. So, why have it at all?

Speaker: Adam Chessler, Business Experts Press / Momentum Press

A publisher might want to implement DRM to have control over the distribution of their content, as well as protecting their assets.

If you decide to go the route of DRM, it’s not simply pushing a button. If you have a strict DRM regime, you couldn’t use something like SERU, so you’ll spend a lot of time on licensing and legal discussions. Developing and administering platforms is time-consuming, as well as resource-consuming. Monitoring the use and making sure that there are no violations of the DRM is also time-consuming and resource-consuming. More time on the sales team will be spent explaining to the customers what they can and cannot do with the content.

Speaker: David Parker, Alexander Street Press

DRM reader platforms restrict knowledge sharing. It perpetuates a pricing model driven by print, and eliminates the conversation and creativity that could come. Piracy of scholarly and learning-oriented ebooks is not pervasive, and is quite overstated. These are the downsides of DRM for authors.

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