Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Society publisher abandons DRM after library boycott

Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Following Removal of DRM, MIT Resubscribes to SAE Database, MIT Libraries News, March 4, 2008.

MIT faculty, students, and staff have access to the Society of Automotive Engineer’s technical papers over the web again, because the SAE listened to MIT and other universities when they spoke out against the imposition of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.

Last spring, the MIT Libraries cancelled their web access to the (SAE) technical papers, because the society was imposing a DRM plug-in called FileOpen that seriously impeded normal scholarly use.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and SAE fellow Wai Cheng presented MIT’s concerns at the SAE’s Publication Board meeting in April 2007, which resulted in an immediate stay of DRM implementation on university campuses, and ultimately (November 2007) in a changed policy: FileOpen would not be required for university access to the SAE Digital Library.

While the MIT Libraries have not been able to get all the assurances we would like regarding SAE’s plans for implementing other DRM tools in the future, after consulting with faculty we have decided, as Professor Cheng put it, to “work with SAE in good faith,” reentering what we hope will be a productive partnership. ...

See also the comments at Boing Boing, and past OAN posts on this topic.

Update. See also the story from Library Journal Academic Newswire.