Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Staff Picks: Information Doesn't Want to Be Free

A physical book is a very special thing. The library can buy a bestseller, lend it out, and when thirty copies are no longer needed on the shelves the library can donate the surplus to the FCPL Friends and Advocates. 

The Friends, in turn, can sell that book and use the proceeds to support the library's Summer Reading Fun or other programs. The reader who bought the book can donate it back when they are finished with it, get a tax deduction, and the whole process continues with many happy readers along the way.

So why can’t patrons donate eBooks to the library when they are finished reading them?  

Why aren’t all titles available as eBooks at the library?  

Because digital rights management goes beyond what is protected by copyright.  In Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, Cory Doctorow explains how artists and producers get paid for their work, and how controlling access to information can have far-reaching consequences.

He also explains Doctorow's Laws for the Internet Age: 
  1. Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you and won’t give you the key, that lock isn’t there for your benefit.
  2. Fame won’t make you rich, but you can’t get paid without it.
  3. Information doesn’t want to be free, people do.
If you're curious about the future of the arts, literature, and other material in digital format, Mary, one of our Information Specialists, recommends that you read Information Doesn't Want to Be Free.