Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Digital Rights Management: The Librarian's Guide

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Digital Rights Management: The Librarian's Guide

Article excerpt

Digital Rights Management: The Librarian's Guide. Edited by Catherine A. Lemmer and Carla P. Wale. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. 224 p. Paper $55 (ISBN 9781-4422-6375-8).

As libraries continue to increase their digital offerings, librarians find themselves "at the intersection where the rights and demands of users and content owners often collide" (vii). With this in mind, the purpose of this book is to provide librarians with the knowledge to "influence ever-evolving DRM (digital rights management) in ways that enable them to best serve their users" (vii). Although several books have dealt with the concept of DRM, most address either the broad aspects or the side of the producer (for example, Digital Rights Management: Technological, Economic, Legal and Political Aspects, by Eberhard Becker et al. [Springer 2008] and Digital Rights Management: Protecting and Monetizing Content, by Joan Van Tassel [Focal 2001]). Even an earlier work focused on the librarian perspective, Digital Rights Management: A Librarian's Guide to Technology and Practise by Grace Agnew (Chandos 2008), looked at DRM primarily through the lens of copyright protection.

However, as this book's final chapter demonstrates, DRM has become less about copyright and more about protecting owners' profits, which ultimately creates an information divide. Therefore, a deeper understanding of this technology and ways to advocate for our patrons is essential. Although some of the earlier chapters are densely technical, they provide a foundation for understanding the later applications. …

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