…or as we call it today, DRM. ~ eP


The Last of the Great Chained Libraries by Jenny Weston

During the later middle ages, more and more people were interested in reading, and chained libraries provided an excellent resource for those who could not afford to purchase books themselves. The system of locking the books to the room, thus allowed the public free access to read, while at the same time safe-guarding the library’s valuable collection from potential thieves

Context First: Moving inexorably toward a “pre-book world”

This is a very good piece from Brian O’Leary at Magellan Media Partners on how we need to rethink digital content and “publishing in containers” that segregate and isolate the content from the web. With convergence to a single screen everything is funneled through the web, a platform that “includes everything and excludes nothing”. Since the beginning of publishing the book, magazine, film and television supply-chain relied on the ability to exclude but to fully take advantage of digital distribution and discovery on the web we instead need the content to be open and accessible -precisely the opposite of what DRM and ePub is designed to do. Precisely what publishers are striving to prevent. Here O’Leary suggests how publishers should shift how to think of their content:

We need to migrate from thinking about products to instead planning for and offering services and solutions. To get there, four principles apply:

  • Our content must become open, accessible and interoperable.  Adherence to standards will not be an option;
  • Because we compete on context, we’ll need to focus more clearly on using it to promote discovery;
  • Because we’re competing with providers that already use low- and no-cost tools, trying to beat them on the cost of content is a losing proposition.  We need to develop opportunities that encourage broader use of our content; and
  • We will distinguish ourselves if we can provide readers with tools that draw upon context to help them manage abundance.

A very dense and thoughtful piece that should be read in it’s entirety. 

~ eP