An Evolving List of Digital Readers’ Rights

Last week, author (and former agent) Nathan Bransford took on Joe Wikert’s call for a DRM-free world of eBooks.

Although I think Bransford missed a core aspect of what makes DRM objectionable (it restricts markets), he did outline several reader-friendly outcomes he’d like to see implemented:

  • The right to transfer libraries
  • The ability to access a book on multiple devices
  • The ability to give away an eBook

In Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto, Kassia Kroszer closes the second section with “A Reader’s Bill of Rights“, in which she extends Bransford’s list to include the right to:

  • Valued (and error-free) content
  • The whole book (including cover art)
  • A reasonable price
  • Excellent customer service
  • Innovation, privacy and security

Search on “A reader’s bill of rights” and you’ll uncover a growing list of concerns with how publishers engage with the individuals and institutions (i.e., libraries) who see digital reading as an opportunity. That tension is the kind of situation that can foster piracy.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.