eBooks in the Library collection are accessed via many different platforms. Consequently, there may be differences between individual ebooks in terms of how you use them:
- reading online vs downloading
- printing, copying and saving
- Digital Rights management
General information is provided in each of the boxes below, in addition to some common myths about ebooks. However, if you need more detailed information, see the details included under each platform icon on the eBook Platforms page of this guide. If you need to identify which platform an ebook belongs to, look at the upper right or left of the page to locate the platform logo.
Please contact the Library if you require any assistance using ebooks.
|Reading online vs downloading||Printing, copying and saving|
Most eBooks have some form of printing/copying restrictions:
Common library eBook myths
Digital rights management and copyright
1. All academic books are available as eBooks.
This is not the case. Like journals, some titles are only released in print format. Even titles that are available as eBooks from places such as Amazon may not be able to be purchased by the library.
2. Staff and students can download Library eBooks – at any time.
This varies based on the eBook platform that the book is located on and additional restrictions that are put in place by the publisher. Some titles only allow one user at a time to have a downloaded copy of the title.
3. Staff and students can read Library eBooks online at any time.
This varies based on the eBook platform that the book is located on and additional restrictions that are put in place by the publisher. Some titles will only allow one user at a time to read the title online, others will allow unlimited users.
4. Staff and students can print sections from Library eBooks.
This varies based on the eBook platform that the book is located on and additional restrictions that are put in place by the publisher. Some titles have no printing options while others will allow a user to print off the full 10% allowed by Copyright law.
5. The Library purchases eBooks.
What the Library purchases when acquiring an eBook title is a license for access to the eBook, rather than the title itself. Restrictions on access to a title can be changed after the license is originally paid for.
6. All Library eBooks can be accessed in the same way.
Unfortunately different titles are only available on certain platforms. Each platform has its own system in place for reading, downloading, printing and copying titles.
7. eBooks are less expensive for the Library to buy than print
Generally eBooks are more expensive than their print counterparts. Many titles that the Library holds are part of subscriptions that need be renewed annually. Other titles cost a significant amount more than their print counterparts due to the fact that multiple users can read them at once.
It is important to understand that the Library does not ‘own’ the eBook; rather the Library purchases a licence to ‘use’ the eBook.
The copyright laws that apply to the use of eBooks vary depending on the country of origin. Most collections are based in the United States of America and refer to the United States Code, 17 USC Sections 106-110.
Digital Rights Management (DRM), also referred to as 'Technological protection measures', is a broad term that covers many different types of technologies used to control access to copyright content, or to prevent users from copying protected content such as electronic media (including eBooks, digital music and movies).
Publishers use DRM technologies to limit copying, printing, and sharing of eBooks. Most eBook formats allow DRM to be applied to the files. The level of restriction varies from title to title and is determined by the publisher.
More information about DRM and eBooks is available.
The Australian Technical Protection Measures and the Copyright Amendment Act 2006 provides details of permissible copying within Australian educational institutions.