Both the English Law Gazette and the JLSS have information on Sweet & Maxwells trial of a new eReader, the iRex Iliad Reader.
Now, while they seem like fun, the downsides (like lack of search and index) do make it look like it’s going to still be a good few years yet before this sort of thing is commercially available, and the fee earners start demanding them / similar technology, which gives me plenty of time to try and work out, for a commercial law firm, the following questions:
- Are the ebooks individual plug in elements? Or downloadable files?
- Will we have to provide every solicitor with an eReader, or would we need a library eReader that would be borrowed out on demand? Given their attachment to their other devices such as Blackberries, I can’t visualise them being happy to share a resource like that.
- How many copies will we need of standard texts? I can only imagine this’ll lead to every solicitor wanting their own copy of each available relevant text…the other alternative would be for the eBooks and eReader to stay in the library, and be borrowed out like normal books. Again, demand could mean this would lead to the Library needing multiple eReaders…
- And the copies issue leads onto the cost issue…what pricing structure would the publishers be using? Would each eBook cost the same as a book? Would there be discounts for buying multiple copies?
- Would there be a way to disable the annotating function if the ‘library of eBooks’ option was what was used? Or wipe out ALL annotations in one shot, without trawling through the pages? People DON’T like to read other peoples random scribblings on books!
- Are pages printable?
- Would printouts of these pages be acceptable in court?
Anyone got any ideas?