Thursday, 31 March 2011

DRM part two

On Wednesday night I met Niall Griffiths and was pleased to discover that he's a very down-to-Earth bloke with lots of traveller's tales (and a massive collection of books). We were both part of a small group having drinks and a meal to say bon voyage to a mutual and vibrant Finnish friend who impressed me with a happy hardcore penguin dance: sadly, not captured on video. Niall's new book Ten Pound Pom is out soon via Parthian, keep an eye out for it in any good bookshop, I am sure it will be really popular.

One thing that was discussed during the evening was electronic books versus physical artifacts and some of the issues involved, including DRM. It reminded me to provide an update to my last blog post DRM will kill us all, so here it is. Big news: we're not dead yet, but this topic is definitely part of the zeitgeist at present, and an enduring interest of mine. I had even touched on it in an article I had published in Sconul Focus 49: E-book readers: what are librarians to make of them? (As an aside, the article must have been so good it was reprinted in the next issue too which is a first for that journal, as far as I know.)*

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Sunday, 13 March 2011

DRM will kill us all


image by rebopper

Harper Collins have been in the news a lot recently due to their plans to apply limits to e-books, preventing access after those limits are reached. This has led to boycott calls, lots of discussion, and even attempts to try and set some kind of standard on what is actually being sold.

The problem is that DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) is a hassle for librarians, e-book users, even publishers. DRM creates a barrier, and many publishers and distributors seem to underestimate the importance of goodwill in their customers. DRM doesn't stop people copying things (whether e-books, films, music or games): it encourages it.

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Sunday, 6 March 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Brooker's wordsmithery

Not all wordsmiths are rampant novelists; some work in other media, and we should learn from them. Charlie Brooker is an idol of mine. If you are into words and books and humour then he is the man to watch/listen to/read. His current caustic series How TV Ruined Your Life (latest episode on iPlayer here) packs more inventive wordplay and humour into half an hour than I have experienced in a long time. There are similarities to the great master of irreverant darkness Chris Morris.

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