|“||The e-book has the potential to fundamentally change the way that books and other publications are consumed, as well as the businesses and legal structures that surround them.||”|
An e-book is a
|“||book-length publication, consisting of text (and, sometimes, images) in digital form, formatted to be read on the electronic screens of user devices such as e-readers, computers and mobile phones.||”|
E-books offer several advantages over their printed predecessors and there are many reasons why policy makers should consider policy issues that could hold back their adoption from an economic and social standpoint.
E-books can be purchased, downloaded, and read immediately without having to travel to a bookshop or library. Thousands of e-books can occupy a single e-reader that is smaller and lighter than a traditional hardback title. Works not restricted by copyright can be downloaded for free. The production of e-books requires no paper or ink, and their distribution requires minimal fuel. E-books can often be backed up on a computer or the cloud, making them essentially immune to loss, theft, or damage. Many newer readers can display motion, enlarge text, change fonts, or utilize text-to-speech for the benefit of visually impaired, elderly or dyslectic people.
E-books can appear in a variety of formats. These include file types familiar to most computer users such as plain text, hypertext mark-up language (HTML), and Portable Document Format (PDF); as well as formats developed specifically for use on e-reading devices such as EPUB and AZW.
Independent publishing of e-books offers audiences to writers who have not attracted the attention of a literary agent or publishing house. This can significantly lower the barrier for new writers to promote and sell their work globally.
- "Overview" section: E-books: Developments and Policy Considerations, at 4, 14.