LockLizard

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A Library on a USB Token

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Imagine having an entire library on a USB token or a flash drive. LockLizard Ltd. has developed a secure PDF viewer on a USB token, which could lend a hand in solving some of the challenges inherent in today's ebook lending process.

One of the driving forces behind this innovation had nothing to do with ebooks or libraries. LockLizard actually credits litigators for the basis of the technology; the lawyers wanted to see documents that displayed content as well as context and format, and PDFs were a natural fit. Litigators also insisted on security and flexibility, so when the secure PDF token was created, ebooks were on the top of the list of possibilities for the technology, says Steve Mathews, sales manager at U.K. -based LockLizard. The tokens let libraries lend digital rights management (DRM)-protected ebooks the same way they lend print books but with more amenities.

With LockLizard software, a library can rent or sell USB tokens to patrons or patrons can supply their own tokens. After LockLizard software is installed on the USB token, it becomes a customizable library, giving patrons access to selected library collections. "The library can decide in advance what stuff you can read on the USB; for other stuff, the librarian can say, *No, you have to get permission to read that,'" says Mathews. So libraries can control what ebooks are borrowed. When a patron's loan time expires, access to the content simply disappears. …