We have here what is sometimes known as a wicked problem.
On the one side, communities would like to be able to pool the resources of their members to acquire digital content that may then be shared and consumed by everyone in that community.
On the other, content creators and publishers would like to maximize their revenue from the content they produce and distribute.
Libraries want to pay the least amount possible but still have the maximum rights to share it among their communities.
Publishers want to make sure every possible reading transaction is monetized, so as a result want to minimize the sharing rights of the people and organizations they sell their content to.
I don't know the answer to this question but I was hoping that the accumulated wisdom of the masses of my readers might have some good ideas and share them in the
What is the most fair library/publisher ebook business model or set of business models for mass market, non-academic books?
Some further reading, both posts by others that have inspired this post and some of my own previous ramblings:
- Publishers hate you. You should hate them back. (My main inspiration for this post.)
- We will measure our loss
- Libraries and the Commodification of Culture
- An ebook plan by Iris Jastram and Steve Lawson
- Penguin ebooks & The Research Works Act: Publishers gain, communities lose
- Around the Web: HarperCollins library ebook linkdump apocalypse (#hcod 'r us) (Updated!)
- Towards a library ebook business model that makes sense
- The eBook Users' Bill of Rights