[DRM-&-Google:30] Google Editions

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May 16, 2010, 1:46:26 PM5/16/10
to DRM, Copyright and Google
Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal reported [1] on Google's
plans to launch Google Editions; a service that will sell e-books on-
line. The positive aspect of their distribution model appears to be
that the content won't be tied to a specific device or format. I
assume this means there won't be any strong DRM controlling the
distributed content either.

This is good news compared to services such as Amazon's that lock
people into proprietary devices and software. However, this is another
opportunity where Google could employ 'soft' DRM, such as the Common
Rights system [2], that would give support and protection for author's
and consumer's rights without unnecessary technical restrictions to
access the content.

What are the author's rights? Well, the protection of Copyright for
their work so that they can be remunerated for the time and effort
they put into creating the work and the recognition that they are the
true author.

What are the consumer's rights? If they buy a copy of a work they
should have access to it whenever and wherever they want.

I believe that Google recognizes the social aspects of making
information broadly available and I also believe that a positive
attitude to managing rights to creative works can reinforce these
social benefits as discussed here on Ned: http://www.ned.com/user/u315903407/news/2/

[1] http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703866704575224232417931818.html?mg=com-wsj
[2] http://www.commonrights.com

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