Microsoft Erases E-Library And Digital Rights Management Server : NPR

“Starting in July, Microsoft will be closing its e-book library and erasing all content purchased through the Microsoft e-bookstore from devices. Consumers will receive a refund for every e-book bought.

The company is able to shutter its store – which it launched in 2017 to compete with industry leaders Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble – due to a tool called Digital Rights Management or DRM.

DRM allows companies to control content to protect copyright holders and prevent piracy….”

Microsoft’s Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM | WIRED

YOUR ITUNES MOVIES, your Kindle books—they’re not really yours. You don’t own them. You’ve just bought a license that allows you to access them, one that can be revoked at any time. And while a handful of incidents have brought that reality into sharp relief over the years, none has quite the punch of Microsoft disappearing every single ebook from every one of its customers.

Microsoft made the announcement in April that it would shutter the Microsoft Store’s books section for good. The company had made its foray into ebooks in 2017, as part of a Windows 10 Creators Update that sought to round out the software available to its Surface line. Relegated to Microsoft’s Edge browser, the digital bookstore never took off. As of April 2, it halted all ebook sales. And starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them….”

Microsoft is about to shut off its ebook DRM servers: “The books will stop working” / Boing Boing

” “The books will stop working”: That’s the substance of the reminder that Microsoft sent to customers for their ebook store, reminding them that, as announced in April, the company is getting out of the ebook business because it wasn’t profitable enough for them, and when they do, they’re going to shut off their DRM servers, which will make the books stop working.

Almost exactly fifteen years ago, I gave an influential, widely cited talk at Microsoft Research where I predicted this exact outcome. I don’t feel good about the fact that I got it right. This is a fucking travesty….”

Microsoft is about to shut off its ebook DRM servers: “The books will stop working” / Boing Boing

” “The books will stop working”: That’s the substance of the reminder that Microsoft sent to customers for their ebook store, reminding them that, as announced in April, the company is getting out of the ebook business because it wasn’t profitable enough for them, and when they do, they’re going to shut off their DRM servers, which will make the books stop working.

Almost exactly fifteen years ago, I gave an influential, widely cited talk at Microsoft Research where I predicted this exact outcome. I don’t feel good about the fact that I got it right. This is a fucking travesty….”

Blockchain technology may lead to true ebook ownership

“The vast majority of publishers use DRM to encrypt their ebooks and some retailers like Amazon have their own formats. Publishers have mandated that when you purchase an ebook, you are merely licensing it. There is no true sense of ownership. This has led to a crisis in confidence in the digital format because ebook stores can go out of business, shut down their systems and anyone who purchased an ebook is out of luck. Blockchain technology might change the game when it comes to ebooks, finally giving us true ownership….

There are two companies that are developing blockchain technologies for ebooks.  The e-book platforms from two startups — Scenarex, based in Montreal, and Publica, based in Gibraltar and Latvia….

The basic concept behind today’s e-book/blockchain startups is to emulate ownership — as a practical, technical matter — more closely than existing digital content distribution systems do. The idea is to use two properties of blockchains that help facilitate digital ownership. First, blockchains are ownerless, so that a record of file ownership on a blockchain is not controlled by a central distributor such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Second, blockchains are immutable, so that if a system puts an entry on a blockchain that you own an e-book, that entry is there to stay forever, even if the vendor whose technology you used to buy the e-book goes out of business. And if you sell the e-book to someone else, another entry goes onto the blockchain that also stays there, unaltered, in perpetuity.

In other words, blockchains enable transfers of ownership that are secure and not controllable by a third party after the fact. But there are other aspects to emulating ownership, such as not being able to send copies to your million best friends or keep your own copy after you’ve alienated it. For this, DRM is necessary. …”

Microsoft announces it will shut down ebook program and confiscate its customers’ libraries / Boing Boing

Microsoft has a DRM-locked ebook store that isn’t making enough money, so they’re shutting it down and taking away every book that every one of its customers acquired effective July 1.

Customers will receive refunds.

This puts the difference between DRM-locked media and unencumbered media into sharp contrast….”

Controlled Digital Lending Fact Sheet | Controlled Digital Lending by Libraries

“CDL is the digital equivalent of traditional library lending. A library can digitize a book it owns and lend out a secured digital version to one user at a time, in place of the physical item.

CDL has three core principles:

  1. A library must own a legal copy of the physical book, by purchase or gift.
  2. The library must maintain an “owned to loaned” ratio, simultaneously lending no more copies than it legally owns.
  3. The library must use technical measures to ensure that the digital file cannot be copied or redistributed.

Beyond these core principles, libraries may choose to implement CDL in different ways. …”

About the Charlotte Initiative

“Our starting premise is that permanent acquisitions of eBooks requires these licensing terms: 

Provision of irrevocable perpetual access and archival rights.

Allowance for unlimited simultaneous users.

Freedom from any Digital Rights Management (DRM), including (but not limited to) use of proprietary formats, restricted access to content, or time-limited access terms. …”