The British Library Adopts FileOpen DRM as a User-friendly Solution

Posted by Diana Holm on Apr 8, 2010 11:54:00 AM

We are not big on generating a lot of press releases here at FileOpen, preferring toBritish Library logo stick to our knitting so to speak, but every so often a customer will take it upon themselves to evangelize FileOpen software, and we'd be ungrateful not to share their enthusiasm (if a little belatedly).

The British Library, one of the world's largest document repositories, issued a press release in November 2009 entitled "The British Library Improves Electronic Access with New DRM Platform from leading provider, FileOpen Systems." Their announcement emphasized the greater flexibility FileOpen DRM would provide to end-users, with the library's head of sales and marketing quoted as saying, "The decision to add FileOpen to our Document Supply delivery options was driven by customer demand, they wanted a choice of electronic delivery options....Customer feedback from the testing phase was very positive, and we are pleased to announce that we are now recommending FileOpen as our preferred electronic delivery option to all customers."

We were also pleased to see the British Library's official response to "An open letter to the British Library" posted by Richard Mitchell of the University of York on the British Library's Facebook page. Mr. Mitchell had written to the library to express his "disappointment at the British Library's decision to use proprietary, DRM-encumbered software to distribute journal articles, whilst other institutions and publishers happily distribute their articles in the much more accessible PDF format." He also bemoans the lack of support for Linux.

It turns out, Mr. Mitchell was referring to the British Library's prior use of Adobe's Digital Editions DRM platform, which necessitates the download of a separate viewer and does not support the standard Adobe Reader. Nor does the Digital Editions viewer run on Linux. The British Library's Barry Smith thanks Mr. Mitchell for his comments and informs him the British Library will be launching "an additional DRM facility in early 2009 that will be compatible with Linux (and most other open source platforms) called FileOpen." Mr. Smith goes on to say that "From April, we will be encouraging our academic users to switch to FileOpen, as it will offer more flexibility for many of our customers."

FileOpen's relationship with The British Library goes back to 2000, and after many damp and chilly train trips from London to Boston Spa to meet with their information services management and understand their complex requirements, it is especially gratifying to have the support of both the Library and their end-users.

Topics: FileOpen british library drm pdf security pdf encryption digital editions