Archive for October, 2009

Digital Libraries

In today’s post we are going to discover what digital libraries are. We can define them as libraries in which collections are stored in digital formats and accesible by computers. We can affirm that digital libraries are a type of information retrieval system.

Digital library concept

Digital library concept

Moreover, one of the main ideas of this post is to present some of the most important digital libraries that nowadays exist such as Project Perseus, Project Gutenberg, Google Book Search, etc. However, as I am studying a degree in English I thought that it would be appropriate to focus on one important digital library with contents in English. That is the reason why we are going to talk today about the Darlington Digital Library (University of Pittsburgh).

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eBooks vs Traditional books

The quick development of  new technologies is transforming our lives dramatically in many aspects. One of them is literature. Nowadays, traditional books are living a little crisis due to the appearance of eBooks. An eBook (or electronic book) is, in plain words, a digital version of a traditional book.

An example of eBook: the new Sony Reader (model PRS-505)

An example of eBook: the new Sony Reader (model PRS-505)

So now you may be wondering why you should start using this new type of devices, right? The answer is quite simple: because they have a never ending list of advantages over traditional books. Let me illustrate this afirmation with a few examples:

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Copyright: editors vs Internet users

Nowadays, we are living a quite strong conflict of interests between the Internet users and traditional editors due to the increasing digitalization of  books since the Net was born years ago. This topic has caused  and is still today causing a big controversy among the population and that is the reason why we wanted to mention here.

Logo de CEDRO


As Delia Lipszyc perfectly describes in her book Nuevos temas de derecho de autor y derechos conexos, works can now be digitalized (transformed into binary code) and be uploaded to an Internet server. As soon as these works are available online, the general public can immediatly make an unlimited number of copies without the legal permission of the copyrights holder. Moreover, once downloaded, these copies can be manipulated, processed, amplified, reproduced and transferred via electronic mail and/or public website.

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October 2009
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