Copyright slumlords.

Hugh Rundle has produced another thought provoking article, suggesting the current copyright system is doomed.

Librarians should not play along with this. Eli Neiberger told us earlier this year that our mission should be to ‘fight for the user’. Fighting for the user doesn’t mean signing petitions pleading with publishers to sell us their ebooks. It means looking for alternatives and spending your money with companies that do serve your communities needs properly. Show your community how to publish their own ebooks and bypass the publishers. Show your community how to curate their own newsfeeds using Twitter or Flipboard and cancel your subscriptions to crappy news aggregation databases. Refuse to subscribe to any service that requires your members to create a new account with the provider or an associated DRM software product. Question whether ALIA should really enshrine support for Copyright in its policy documents. Demand to know why IFLA opposes one of the few systems that could support the creation of cultural works without locking them down.

Winter is coming for the copyright slumlords. Make sure you rug up, and remember whose side you are on.

As Hugh knows, I’m closely involved with our library subscribing to a service that requires our members to create an account with a DRM product. That’s how we’re getting at least some popular ebooks into the library. I’ve read other arguments that we should boycott such providers so the publishers are forced to do it our way. I wouldn’t be surprised if the publishers preferred this – then they could just stop selling ebooks to libraries. The fact is, if we want some new release popular ebooks in the library (we can’t get them all), we’re currently forced to make some big compromises.

I’m going to try to guess what is in Hugh’s head and predict his response: that’s fine, let people buy ebooks at the cheap prices that will result when the copyright revolution hits. Libraries will need to reposition themselves as something other than popular fiction lending institutions if they are to survive.

The Book Show

The Book Show is a collection of artworks created by a group of artists inspired by one of their favorite book.

Lyman Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz by Jérémie Fleury

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by Guillermo Gonzales

Because it’s smutty or poorly written?

Fifty shades of Grey has been pulled from another US library:

“It’s quite simple — it doesn’t meet our selection criteria,” said Cathy Schweinsberg, library services director.

“Nobody asked us to take it off the shelves. But we bought some copies before we realized what it was. We looked at it, because it’s been called ‘mommy porn’ and ‘soft porn.’ We don’t collect porn.”


Copies of “The Complete Kama Sutra” are available through the Cocoa Beach, Mims/Scottsmoor, Palm Bay and Titusville branches. Also up for grabs countywide: “Fanny Hill,” “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” “Fear of Flying,” “Tropic of Cancer” and “Lolita.”

So what makes “Fifty Shades of Grey” different?

“I think because those other books were written years ago and became classics because of the quality of the writing,” Schweinsberg said. “This is not a classic.”

So it’s been pulled because it’s porn? Or because it’s considered too poorly written to one day qualify as a “classic”?

Chook lit. Really?

the rural romance genre is growing at a phenomenal rate, with publishers estimating sales have tripled in the past four years. A uniquely Australian take on romance fiction, ”chook lit”, as it’s affectionately known, routinely outsells local popular fiction and crime.

Chook lit. Is that always going to be the thing now? We have to come up with some silly little catchy phrase to tag each sub-genre with?

(via Romance and rodeos rule as rural readers turn to ‘Chook lit’.)

Craig Mod on pointing

Craig Mod on the value of being able to point at things.

This lack of platforminess is what makes many iPad magazine apps impotent. They end up in no better a position than a printed magazine. There are no routes by which you can directly get to their content. You can’t point in. You’re forced to go through the “front door” to get anywhere. And it’s a door usually weighing several hundred megabytes and infuriatingly difficult to unlock.

Craig Mod’s work has only recently come to my attention. I plan now to go back and read more of what he has written in the past.