Monday, April 16, 2018

Ebooks as Ephemera

The Copyright Office is currently in the process of finalizing their rule defining which books are mandatory for a publisher to deposit one copy with the Library of Congress.  This rule, with a few minor exceptions, continues to exclude all electronic-only books from this requirement.

While applying any such requirement to e-books would place a regulatory burden on publishers, the exclusion of e-books is a lingering encoding of the opinion that they are, fundamentally, not "really" books.  The alternative being LOC developing a simple system for electronically submitting and digitally storing all ebooks newly published in the United States. 

The last posting of this rule received all of 15 comments, none of them from representatives of e-publishing, and the current Federal Register Notice has so far received zero comments.  Is electronic publishing asleep at the wheel when it comes to managing our history and our legacy?

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