German publisher Springer Verlag decided not to infect the 40,000 ebook titles it sells to libraries with DRM -- though the booksellers that carry Springer titles still insist on DRM for their proprietary stores. As a result, "once libraries have paid for the content, the e-books are available without charge to everyone at these institutions, so there's no need to repost or redistribute it online. Once the e-book is downloaded from the library, no return is necessary."
Launched in 2006, Springer's e-book program offers 40,000 titles in the PDF format in the science, technical, and medical category (including some textbooks). The company consulted with its institutional customers when it designed the program back in 2005. "We showed them our original plans and they said, 'Start over,' with no DRM," said Scottie (although national consumer retailers require DRM on Springer e-books). The result, he said, has been "a better user experience leading to increased usage and a better ROI for the libraries." Scottie said that Springer e-book downloads (for books and journals) in 2008 were up 33%, and downloads from 2007 to 2009 more than doubled.
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