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Re: [ebook-community] eLibraries - Good Things or Bad Things?

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  • Steve Thomas
    ... I don t know about Questia, and my info on Netlibrary is probably dated, but a question worth asking is what proportion of their inventory is actually
    Message 1 of 119 , May 1, 2003
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      Jon Jermey wrote:

      >What does the group think: is this a good deal?...
      >
      >Is it reasonable for netLibrary to charge a library more for an eBook
      >than an individual would pay? And - since there are lots of public
      >libraries using the netLibrary system - is this an ethical use of
      >taxpayers' and ratepayers' money? I can't make up my mind on this at
      >all. Any comments?
      >

      I don't know about Questia, and my info on Netlibrary is probably dated,
      but a question worth asking is what proportion of their inventory is
      actually works already freely available online. Last time I looked,
      NetLibrary were offering "free" access to lots of classic works as an
      incentive to Libraries to sign up, and these turned out to be Project
      Gutenberg texts.

      Now, it may be that NetLibrary put a lot of effort into repackaging
      those PG texts, and it may be that they did that initially to add bulk
      to their inventory while they were still sourcing copyright works. But,
      it seemed to me (at the time I last investigated this) a great pity if
      Libraries were paying substantial bucks for stuff they could get for free.

      I have expressed in the past (on other forums) that it would be a
      wonderful thing for public libraries if someone could create a MARC
      catalogue of all the free/public domain etexts out there, which the
      libraries could then simply load into their catalogues.

      Granted that would take some effort, and to be fair to NetLibrary,
      that's part of their package -- they'll provide (and maintain) a MARC
      file of their ebooks for the library catalogue.

      But given that IPL and Online Books both have databases already which
      could readily be converted into MARC (I think!) and also given the
      outstanding success of distributed open source projects (e.g the
      distributed proofreaders project), this is something which I think the
      ebook community could do, for free. Or am I hopelessly idealistic?


      Sorry, a little off topic, but ...

      Steve

      --

      Stephen Thomas,
      Senior Systems Analyst,
      University of Adelaide Library
      UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE SA 5005
      AUSTRALIA
      Tel: +61 8 8303 5190 Fax: +61 8 8303 4369
      Email: stephen.thomas@...
      URL: http://www.library.adelaide.edu.au/~sthomas/
    • Scott
      ... that experiment ... Around Noon today, Random House will be releasing it s first unencrypted eBook at Fictionwise. The science fiction title is Tainted
      Message 119 of 119 , May 12, 2003
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        --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, "Scott" <scott@f...> wrote:
        > --- In ebook-community@yahoogroups.com, NetWorker <networker@d...>
        > wrote:
        >
        > > Lee Fyock wrote (referring to trade publishers selling in
        > unencrypted formats):
        >
        > > None of the big publishers are going to attempt
        that "experiment"
        > > in the near future, IMHO.
        >
        > > > John Noring wrote:
        > >> I regret to say that I agree with you here;
        >
        Around Noon today, Random House will be releasing it's first
        unencrypted eBook at Fictionwise. The science fiction title
        is "Tainted Garden" by Jeff Stanley. This is an experiment by Random
        House, which promises a few more unencrptyed titles this summer.

        We're very encouraged here at Fictionwise by this development. It's
        a small, but potentially important step forward.
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