New ‘Preserving eBooks’ Technology Watch Report released to DPC members

Charles Beagrie Ltd and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) are delighted to announce the release of a preview version to DPC members of “Preserving eBooks”, the latest in the series of DPC Technology Watch Reports.

Written by Amy Kirchhoff and Sheila Morrissey of Portico and published by the DPC in association with Charles Beagrie Ltd, this report discusses current developments and issues with which libraries, publishers, aggregators, and preservation institutions must contend to ensure long-term access to eBook content. These issues include legal questions about the use, reuse, sharing and preservation of eBook objects; format issues, including the sometimes tight coupling of eBook content with particular hardware platforms; the embedding of digital rights management artefacts in eBook files to restrict access to them; and the diverse business ecosystem of eBook publication, with its associated complexities of communities of use and, ultimately, expectations for preservation.

‘There are some serious preservation risks associated with the formats in which eBooks are created, explained the authors.  ‘This is particularly true for proprietary formats, and those tied to a commercial vendor’s hardware platform or distribution system.’

Although the report stands up on its own, it has strong connections to other reports in the series especially Preserving eJournals and Web Archiving, which were published last year.  In that sense it’s the third volume of an informal ‘Preserving e-Publications’ trilogy.

The report is available to DPC members now on the DPC website (login required) and will be released to the wider public in late June.

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