Sarah Houghton-Jan is the Assistant Director for the San Rafael Public Library. She runs a blog titled Librarian in Black. And Sarah Houghton-Jan is angry:
I care about digital content in libraries. And I am about to lose my cool in a big way. No more patience, no more waiting for advocacy groups to do their work, and certainly no more trusting vendors to negotiate good deals for us with the publishers. I am angry, I am informed, and I am ready to fight.
Sarah Houghton-Jan, however, chose to not only complain but to channel her anger into an impressively productive form of protest, which recently spread all over the web: The eBook User’s Bill of Rights. The main points read as follows:
Every eBook user should have the following rights:
- the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
- the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
- the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
- the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks
By posting these points online, I also followed the imperative given in the last paragraph of “The eBook User’s Bill of Rights”:
These rights are yours. Now it is your turn to take a stand. To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others. Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.