September 27th, 2007 by Kaitlin Thaney
The latest addition to the series is a piece by Anna Gold, head librarian of the Engineering and Science Libraries at the university. In the podcast, entitled “Making a Difference: Pushing Back on DRM at MIT”, Gold speaks of the university’s recent subscription cancellation of a scholarly journal after learning it was employing digital rights management (DRM) technology its digital collection of research reports. The journal was that of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
The DRM technology Gold speaks of, in terms of SAE, worked in the following way. One would have to first download a DRM plug in (note, which does not work on machines using Linux or Unix), allowing the researcher to only view the article on the computer screen and make a single printed copy. The user is not able to save a copy to their hard-drive or utilize the material in any other way.
Gold argues that this is not how people use information in a university setting, stating that SAE’s DRM was, in fact, not only complicating but preventing information dissemination crucial to engineering research.