You Bought It, But Do You Own It?

William Rosenblatt (GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies)
Location: Duffy/Columbia Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.71, 7 ratings)

Purchasing an eBook is like purchasing software: you don’t actually buy it,
you license it. Instead of getting rights to the eBook that are guaranteed
in copyright law, you get whatever rights the publisher or retailer decides
to give you. Often these don’t include things like the right to lend or
resell eBooks. The sale vs. license dichotomy is a growing time bomb for
consumers and libraries, as well as for publishers, as reading goes digital.
Come to this session and learn about this increasingly controversial issue,
what is being done about it, and what it will mean in the age of content in
the cloud.

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William Rosenblatt

GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies

Bill Rosenblatt is president of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies (, a consulting firm whose clients include content providers and digital media technology companies. Bill bridges the gaps between business and technology in the digital media world. He brings content providers expertise in areas such as digital rights management, content management and distribution, cross-media strategy, and digital product strategy, and he provides technology vendors with market strategy, business development, and product management services. His publishing clients have included McGraw-Hill, Readers Digest, Pearson, Associated Press, Wolters Kluwer, Rodale, Houghton Mifflin, and Taylor & Francis.

Bill edits the blog Copyright and Technology and is program chair of the Copyright and Technology conferences in New York and London. He is author of the book Digital Rights Management: Business and Technology (Wiley, 2001) and several Nutshell Guides for O’Reilly & Associates.

Before founding GiantSteps in 2000, Bill was chief technology officer of Fathom, an Internet content and education company backed by Columbia University and other scholarly institutions. He has been a technology and new media executive at McGraw-Hill and Times Mirror Company, and he served as manager of strategic marketing for media and publishing at Sun Microsystems. He was also one of the architects of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), a standard for online intellectual property identification.

Bill has been quoted in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, Wired, BookTech, Editor & Publisher, and other periodicals around the world, and he has spoken at conferences on five continents. He has lectured on DRM, digital copyright, and media technology at several universities and law schools.

Bill has a B.S.E. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, and executive education from Harvard and University of Southern California business schools.

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William Rosenblatt
12/17/2012 12:37pm EST

I recently wrote a guest piece on this topic for, at This should provide more detailed background on this contentious issue and why it’s important to everyone involved with digital publishing.


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