A Simple Digital License
One of the key characteristics of digital content is that it is licensed under contract law as opposed to being purchased with first sale rights from copyright law. While being the cause of great pain for libraries and ebooks so far, this double-edged sword can swing the other way and cut through annoying license restrictions to create a fresh, simple approach.
Enter the new license terms for Fifty Shades of Brains by pen-name BF Dealeo, a sexy zombie parody of the eminently parody-worthy Fifty Shades of Grey. The authors, Gene Ambaum of Unshelved fame and his anonymous coauthor, are offering ebook versions of their title to libraries with very reasonable terms:
If your library or library system buys at least three copies of Fifty Shades of Brains for your shelves, your library or library system can share an unlimited number of digital copies of Fifty Shades of Brains with its registered users.
Libraries must deliver the digital copies to users on an authenticated library website (valid library card) and can distribute it with or without DRM. Or, it can be hosted with an external provider like OverDrive as long as library card authentication is enforced. In other words, no public posting, just library lending. Perhaps this is a good time for your library to explore some of the open source options being used by Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries. The only other restrictions are that while you can change the format (I recommend Calibre for this), you can’t change the content as the authors retain full copyright. Oh, and the authors would love if you could let them know how many times the digital book is lent out.
Sounds reasonable. Sounds like how a library works …