Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, April 23, 2007

SAE may lift its notorious DRM

If you remember, the MIT libraries canceled their access to the Society of Automotive Engineers' digital library when the SAE refused to lift its onerous DRM.  Now Randy Reichardt reports that the SAE has heard from more angry customers and may back down.  Excerpt:

I am happy to report the following news. I was on the phone a few moments ago with a reliable contact here at the University of Alberta, who returned today from attending the SAE Congress in Detroit this week. According to my source (who remains anonymous until the "official" word gets out), the SAE Publications Board heard from many of its academic members regarding the SAE Digital Library (DL). A number of professors read SAE the Riot Act regarding both its airtight DRM restrictions as well as the DL licensing options, which are currently based on the estimated number of downloads per year. Having been made aware of how restrictive these policies are to its members and customers working in educational settings, SAE has apparently recognized the error of its ways.

As a result of the concerns brought forward by some of its membership, the word is that SAE has committed to rescinding its DRM policy, and change its licencing options to allow for an unrestricted number of downloaded papers and standards per educational site. Potentially this could happen within the next few weeks.