The Librarian in Black, Sarah Houghton-Jan, has posted a cry for basic user rights regarding the usage of eBooks. The statement (re-posted below) has been released to the public domain, and Sarah is encouraging the Internet to spread the word, adding their own thoughts as they go. Here is her bill;


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


I fully agree with this, although I think there could be difficulties in bringing the right of first-sale into the world of digital media, it being a right that was established in a world of physical mediums. Perhaps a new model could be developed, but saying that “we should have right of first sale because we had it with physical books” is little better than the publishers saying “libraries must delete eBooks after 26 lends, because physical books deteriorate.”

In any case, consumers are increasingly suffering at the hands of old media companies failing to move with the times, and this important!

The eBook Bill of Rights (via BoingBoing)