Librarians are generally law-abiding. We can be great advocates of protecting copyright, reminding our users of their rights and responsibilities under the law. I think this is right and just, we need to protect both the right of the producer (author, artist, musician, publisher – whomever it is), whilst also giving our users the ability to use the content for their own development, interest, purposes – within the law.
Where I start to question the whole process is with Digital Rights Management. Our library has acquired content which is protected by DRM by whatever means. I know there are ways around it. However, much as I dislike DRM and how it can affect the flow of information and the development of new information, I can not bring myself to discover what those ways are. Why? Because I then can’t be tempted to share that information with our users, who might desperately want that information.
However, I know that there are librarians out there who do find and share that information, because their users want it.
This is a tension for me, as I want to help our users as much as I can, but I can’t go to that extent.
Where do you draw the line, in this issue or any other ‘legal’ issue in your library?