in the past, and the end result has always been in favor of privacy as a means of ensuring freedom.

However, it would be short-sighted to think that the only threat to the privacy of library patrons comes from governmental attempts to access library records in an attempt to discover what citizens are thinking or studying. As the format of the content that libraries offer their patrons becomes more and more digitally based, attempts by the providers of that content to ensure that they retain control of it may become as great a threat as that posed by the government, because of the financial implications of such control. While statutes like the USA PATRIOT Act may define the current battleground for the library community’s attempt to ensure patron privacy, DRMTs may well define the next battleground.



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