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Re: eBook-List Discussion List

Gerry:  who "owns" or sponsors this list?  Who are the principal
discussant that comprise its postings?  Is this a group of trade book
people, or academic scholarly publishers, or society people or reference
people, or all of the above?

Thanks, Ann Okerson


>                    _eBook-List Discussion List_
>   In reponse to my recent posting regarding the identification,
> acquisition and management of WebBooks, it was suggested that perhaps a
> separate discussion list be established to address these and related
> issues for libraries. In investigating if a current list existed, I
> (re)discovered the _eBook-List_ mailing list. As stated in its Welcome
> message,
>    _eBooks-List_ "is open to all individuals and organizations interested
> in developing, researching, producing, authoring, publishing,
> distributing, reading, and even dreaming about electronic books.  That
> should include just about everybody!"
>                               [snip]
> "The primary long-term goal of EBook-List is to create a unified community
> of individuals and organizations (both commercial and non-profit) which
> will promote the continued research, development and marketing of
> electronic books, composing and viewing software for computers, and
> portable electronic book readers."
> "A sample list of topics to discuss on EBook-List include, among *many*
> others:
> 1) The electronic publishing formats currently available that could be
> used for producing electronic book titles.  What are their comparative
> advantages and disadvantages?  Does there now exist the "ideal"  format?
> 2) Should a "standardized" electronic book format be developed for the
> long-term future?  Is it even possible?
> 3) The advantages and disadvantages of electronic books over their paper
> cousins -- present and future.  What are the social ramifications when (or
> "if", for the skeptics out there) electronic books become dominant in our
> society?
> 4) What will the electronic book reader of the future look like?  What
> technology development is required to make such readers attractive to the
> point that electronic books will become dominant over paper books?  How
> many years from now will this happen?  Do we have the technology today to
> make a marketable portable electronic book reader, or do we have to wait
> for substantially cheaper and much higher resolution flat screens to be
> developed?
> 5) Network vs. local access of electronic books.  Do consumers prefer to
> actually possess their own copy to store on their own computer/reader
> rather than pay to access it elsewhere over a network?
> 6) Publishing issues:  Will electronic book publishing allow authors to
> gain more control over their works?  Will it allow authors to bypass
> publishers and self-publish?  How will electronic book titles of the
> future be marketed -- over the Internet or via portable media like CD-ROM
> and its successors?  How will the electronic book consumer be able to sort
> through the expected huge number of electronic book titles produced
> outside of the "big" publishers?
> 7) Copyright/security/encryption issues:  Is it possible to develop
> electronic books and readers that provide copyright security to authors
> and publishers, such as the use of machine-specific passwords (e.g.,
> SoftLock), data encryption, etc.?"
> To subscribe, send e-mail to ebook-list@mabooks.com.  In the Subject: line
> add the word "subscribe" (but without the quotes).  Leave the message blank.
> In the average day, there are probably a dozen or so postings, typically
> list. [This weeks top topic is the recently announced Rocket e-Book from
> NuvoMedia][BTW: There was a review of the Rocket e-Book in the "Circuits"
> section of the _New York Times_ on Thursday, October 29, 1998]
>     It response to my posting about WebBooks on the list earlier this week
> I received a response that acknowledged and recognized the potential role
> that libraries and librarians should play in the evolution of the
> E-Book/WebBook and which encouraged wider cooperation among developers,
> publishers, and librarians.
>     Joy! 
> /Gerry McKiernan
> Theoretical Librarian 
> Iowa State University 
> Ames IA 50011
> gerrymck@iastate.edu