Ebooks are books

BRIET, from The Brick House, Is Heading to IndieLib 2024

in The Brick House Cooperative
on April 1, 2024

Brick House will be attending the IndieLib conference on April 2 in Columbus, Ohio, a summit to convene independent publishers and library decision makers sponsored by Ingram Content Group, Independent Publishers Caucus, Palace Project, Library Reads, and Publishers Weekly. We’ll be connecting with independent publishers, librarians, technologists and others interested in protecting the digital future of libraries, and spreading the word about BRIET, our new platform for the permanent sale of e-books to libraries. 

With access to ebooks under threat, the Brick House Cooperative has spent the last year working with library and publishing partners on BRIET, a project to strengthen the traditional rights of libraries to permanently own and preserve books. 

Our efforts on behalf of digital ownership rights for libraries are intended to counter a number of troubling trends. As Library Futures director Jennie Rose Halperin wrote last week in Flaming Hydra, hundreds of bills have been introduced this year in states across the country that would restrict free speech by targeting librarians and educators. 

The continuing lawsuit against the nonprofit Internet Archive is also threatening the future of libraries. Four publishing giants are attacking the Archive–viewed by many as the world’s greatest library–alleging that the practice of Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) violates their copyrights—though library experts agree that the practice of CDL mirrors traditional library practice. More than 1,000 authors including Neil Gaiman, Hanif Abdurraqib, Chuck Wendig, and Naomi Klein signed a letter calling for an end to the attacks on libraries, and on their digital ownership rights.

BRIET is a project designed by rights holders to help protect libraries:

  • BRIET lists books that libraries can buy for keeps, not via temporary licensing, from independent and small publishers
  • BRIET uses open library data standards to make its catalog and individual works findable on the open internet
  • BRIET facilitates permanent ebook sales  of ebooks to CDL-practicing institutions, guided by terms of first sale developed with librarians and legal experts
  • BRIET helps get ebooks into the hands of library patrons through safe and tested CDL programs, using e-reader apps that have long been in use by hundreds of participating libraries.

Many ebook titles are offered by big publishers and distributors only under restrictive licensing terms, or at outrageous price points. BRIET offers a sane alternative: we sell books to libraries one at a time, and permanently, just like the physical books they’ve been acquiring for centuries—without costly licensing deals. With our partner organizations like Library Futures, BRIET aims to help libraries serve their patrons, protect their budgets, and keep information accessible. If you’ll be in Columbus on Tuesday, come and meet the Brick House’s David Moore and Jacob Ford and talk with us about how BRIET can boost your ebook business, whether you’re a small press looking to sell books to libraries, or a librarian looking to expand your ebook offerings at low cost. 

You can also get in touch with BRIET by filling out this short form:

  • Publishers interested in listing works on BRIET for libraries to purchase
  • Librarians who want to get on board with BRIET and buy books for your institution 
  • Technologists who’d like to help us in development of open data standards for library catalogs and browsing offerings available for purchase on Briet and other places
  • Readers who’d like to keep up with BRIET and other Brick House projects, including the Flaming Hydra cooperative newsletter

Get in touch with Brick House and BRIET if you’d like to learn more.