March 23, 2007

MIT Libraries cancel SAE subscription due to DRM restrictions

Excerpted from the MIT Libraries' announcement of March 16, 2007:

... SAE’s DRM technology severely limits use of SAE papers and imposes unnecessary burdens on readers. With this technology, users must download a DRM plugin, FileOpen Systems’ third-party plug-in for Adobe Reader called “FileOpen,? in order to read SAE papers. This plugin limits use to on-screen viewing and making a single printed copy, and does not work on Linux or Unix platforms.

MIT faculty respond

“It’s a step backwards,? says Professor Wai Cheng, SAE fellow and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, who feels strongly enough about the implications of DRM that he has asked to be added to the agenda of the upcoming SAE Publication Board meeting in April, when he will address this topic.

In addition to Professor Cheng, the MIT Libraries consulted with other faculty members who publish or use SAE content. The responses were uniformly against accepting DRM, even if it meant losing ready access to SAE papers. When informed that the SAE feels the need to impose DRM to protect their intellectual property, Professor John Heywood, the Director of MIT’s Sloan Automotive Lab, who publishes his own work with the SAE, responded with a question: “Their intellectual property?? He commented that increasingly strict and limiting restrictions on use of papers that are offered to publishers for free is causing faculty to become less willing to “give it all away? when they publish...

Posted by stemp003 at 2:19 PM | Comments (3)