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Old 01-18-2005, 07:53 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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German library allowed to crack copy protection

The EU Directive 2001/29/EU (also known as the European Copyright Directive) has made it "a criminal offence to break or attempt to break the copy protection or access control systems on digital content such as music, videos, eBooks, and software".

Since today, at least in Germany there is one notable exception: The Deutsche Bibliothek, Germany's national library and bibliographic information center, has received a "license to copy", i.e. the official authorization to crack and duplicate DRM-protected e-books and other digital media such as CD-Audio and CD-Roms.

The Deutsche Bibliothek achieved an agreement with the German Federation of the Phonographic Industry and the German Booksellers and Publishers Association after it became obvious that copy protections would not only annoy teenage school boys, but also prohibit the library from fulling its legal mandate to collect, process and bibliographic index important German and German-language based works.
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:19 PM   #2
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So how do we get American libraries onto a legal mandate to collect and process and index works also?! Then get us e-library cards and we're in ebook heaven!

Sound far-fetched? Assuming the library buys the books, how different is that from our current paper libraries? Not much!
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Old 01-18-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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What I wonder: How can two organizations (Phonographic + Bookseller) decide when and how and for whom to make exceptions to existing copyright laws?
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:38 PM   #4
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BobR, I can think of two issues with e-libraries off the bat...

1) Conventional libraries only have one copy at a time, meaning that it is only one person with access to it at a time (or as many people as there are copies of one book). E-libraries would be hard pressed to do that.

2) How can they ensure someone would delete the e-book when their borrowing time was over? They probably couldn't, at least not to the degree that a conventional library can...
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:43 PM   #5
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I can see the US copyright protectors having cows about this.....

Craig.
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Old 01-18-2005, 10:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos
BobR, I can think of two issues with e-libraries off the bat...

1) Conventional libraries only have one copy at a time, meaning that it is only one person with access to it at a time (or as many people as there are copies of one book). E-libraries would be hard pressed to do that.

2) How can they ensure someone would delete the e-book when their borrowing time was over? They probably couldn't, at least not to the degree that a conventional library can...
Actually this is already being handled by some libraries. Even my local library does this, but unfortunately my library only allows you to read acrobat files with an online web reader they supply. They can control how many copies are being checked out so they don't exceed what they've been licensed to. Surely the technology is not the main hurdle.
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Old 01-19-2005, 01:46 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, I doubt many people want to be limited to a library-provided (Windows only?) web browser. I'd much rather read on my PDA, or something else...

And if it's a PDF file, as you implied... Well, DRM can be cracked.

I do suppose your point is taken, but there'd still be issues with piracy. It's not easy to copy an entire paperback novel, as opposed to a file on a computer (and yes, even using a "special" web browser, the file would have to be SOMEHOW transferred to your computer...).

Last edited by Chaos; 01-19-2005 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 01-19-2005, 04:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos
BobR, I can think of two issues with e-libraries off the bat...

1) Conventional libraries only have one copy at a time, meaning that it is only one person with access to it at a time (or as many people as there are copies of one book). E-libraries would be hard pressed to do that.

2) How can they ensure someone would delete the e-book when their borrowing time was over? They probably couldn't, at least not to the degree that a conventional library can...
Yup, I view the whole e-book lending issue as an issue with the number of copies being shared at any one time, rather than one of whether lending should be allowed or not.

With regards to point 2, Fictionwise is already experimenting with an ebook library. It works like this: say they have 5 copies of a novel, and each time a member checks out 1 copy, the counter decrements. Similarly for the member's borrowing quota: suppose she starts with 3, now it drops to 2.

These ebooks are set to expire in 2 weeks; so whether she read it in 1 day or 2 weeks, her borrowing quota remains at 2. Only when the 2 weeks is up will her quota be reset to 3. And obviously, when the novel counter reaches zero, no one will be able to borrow that novel.

Personally, I think it's kind of neat!
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:41 AM   #9
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The official press release states that, "Das Urheberrechtsgesetz sieht so genannte Schrankenregelungen vor, nach denen der Zugang zu urheberrechtlich geschützten Werken zu bestimmten Zwecken, wie zum Beispiel für wissenschaftliche und kulturelle Nutzungen, zulässig ist. Die letzte Novelle des Gesetzes, deren einschlägige Regelungen im September 2004 in Kraft getreten sind, sieht hierfür ausdrücklich die Möglichkeit von Vereinbarungen zwischen Verbänden vor, um diese Nutzungen auch von kopiergeschützten Medien zu ermöglichen."

I think they are referring to this particular revision in the German copyright law, which apparantly states that associations such as the Phonographic Industry have the right to allow particular institutions, such as the National Library, to duplicate copyright-protected media (for the sake of science and culture).
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Old 05-21-2005, 12:53 PM   #10
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http://www.ormee.net/index.php/en/do...ive_2001_29_ec
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