“To many, controlled digital lending might sound obscure and disconnected from their own lives, and to be honest, I can see why. After all, controlled digital lending is based on the finer points of well-established U.S. copyright law — loaning books to people — it’s not something a lot of library patrons pay attention to. Moreover, when it’s working seamlessly, it’s a bit like one of those apps that runs unobtrusively in the background of your computer’s operating system. Patrons only notice it when it slows or stops working.
If a pending lawsuit by major American book publishers challenging its legal limits succeeds, controlled digital lending’s absence might be a lot more noticeable to a lot more people. It will be harder to borrow digital books and other materials from the growing number of libraries that practice controlled digital lending or some form of it.
Combine that with other efforts by book publishers to curb access to digital content and there are troubling consequences for how an information-based society like ours continues to drive economic, social and political progress….”