Prepared by the ALA’s Digital Content & Libraries Working Group (DCWG)
In the “Ebook” report, the DCWG recommends three basic attributes that should be found in any library business model for ebooks:
- Inclusion of all titles
All ebook titles available for sale to the public should also be available to libraries.
- Enduring rights
Libraries should have the option to effectively own the ebooks they purchase, including the right to transfer them to another delivery platform and to continue to lend them indefinitely.
Libraries need access to metadata and management tools provided by publishers to enhance the discovery of ebooks.
Amazon is well on its way towards dominating the ebook market, but its platform has several weaknesses that not only threaten Amazon but also threaten the ebook industry should Amazon dominate.
The line of argument is as follows:
- Amazon’s Kindle platform has inherent flaws that lead to serious imbalances.
- Those imbalances threaten Amazon first and foremost and grow with the platform.
- If Amazon grows to dominate a mature ebook market, those imbalances will be big enough to both damage Amazon and threaten the ebook market.
- Amazon could end up dominating an ebook market that more resembles the modern day comic book direct market than a mass medium: a shrinking niche industry that caters to a limited number of expert readers.
“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.”
Hed explained that Rovio sees it as “futile” to pursue pirates through the courts, except in cases where it feels the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand, or ripping off its fans.
When that’s not the case, Rovio sees it as a way to attract more fans, even if it is not making money from the products. “Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day.”