Learn & Play @ CML Thing #22 MOLDI

Yes, that says MOLDI - as the Learn & Play blog says "yeah, I know, horrible acronym, but great service."

It is a great service, but I have to admit to having at least some reservations.

Finding material is easy enough - search features are very simple with several ways to search for different types of material.

Checking out, as it were is also very easy. Simply following instructions and looking for some intuitive cue words like "add to cart" I found it to be very much like online shopping.

The rest of the process is also easy enough - You "checkout" your ematerial. It's downloaded to your computer or portable media player, as is the “reader software,” if needed, and cha - ching you are on your way.

Cool, I thought - now how does it get returned? Or more accurately, if I'm an author and I want to keep my copyrighted material mine - how can I do that?

I know it's the digital age and everything is available to everybody, but as a creative type I wonder about such things.

I did some quick digging on MOLDI and then took this question to my Twitter community. "After 14 days, do items delete themselves or is it " a trust thing?" I can't find an answer." I know, I probably would have found an answer eventually, but I find the layout of most FAQ pages to be cludgy. I also think FAQ's with perspective are much more fun.

The answer seems to be as follows "They delete themselves from your computer, but if you burned them to disc nothing happens," as in they can be played "...forever and ever."

So, I asked my friend CychoLibrarian who knows about such things if that bothered anybody?

His reply - Well, it was perfect.

"It doesn't bother me, but only because the publishing industry is clueless about how to handle the digital age."

See - call me old fashioned, but when I create something I want to keep it. I like to share it, but it is still ultimately "mine." Take my writing for example - If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that this is very personal for me. I would like to think that if I had something worth distributing to the masses I would feel the same. It's very personal.

Still I can't find fault with my friend's viewpoint. The publishing industry really is clueless in this instance - so what do we do?

Well, the only thing left really is a term I learned about not long ago - radical trust - I may be bending it a little to fit my purposes here, but to me putting creative work out in this medium requires quite a bit of "letting go of control..."

So, for our purposes today - what do I think of MOLDI? I think it's a great way to take the library to the community and provide a virtual presence. I found many titles I would check out - AND return.

Let's hope more folks do the same.

*edit - I want to also give credit to my friend KKBookmom for pointing me to the actual MOLDI FAQ's.


Anonymous said...

I think you're on the right track when you talk about the fact that the blog is yours. For centuries the publishers have controlled the means of production and distribution, and the only way for an author to be read was to have a publisher print and distribute your work. Royalties, copyright, and all the rest were built around that model.

But now we all have the means of production and distribution available for a relatively small initial investment ($1000-$2000 depending on your computer) and a relatively small monthly access fee. If your blog garnered enough attention, you could put ads up in your sidebar and start to get some income from it. And it could exceed the amount you'd get for an article of the same length published in a journal.

In other words, all this worry about DRM and copyright and royalties is like a couple rats fighting over the last bit of cheese on a sinking ship. The world has already changed, the laws and the industry just haven't figured it out yet.

I keep coming back in my own mind to Radiohead's self-release of "In Rainbows" over the web. The average price their fans paid was under $5. The vast majority downloaded it for free. And yet, Radiohead made more from that release than they had from any of their previous releases because the money went directly to them.

Publishing is dead. Long live the artists!