An excellent letter written by Dan Drake. See also scifi writer Charlie Stross's comments:
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- One thing I didn't address at all is mentioned on Charlie Stross' post: he mentions that Microsoft will be turning off the DRM servers for Microsoft Reader. How long will the vendor that the MAA uses for its DRM keep the servers running? Imagine coming to your office one morning and discovering that all books more than 10 years old were now blank!
Given the way technology works, few companies are capable or willing to support a DRM platform for even 10 years. But as a younger mathematician, I think in terms of 30 years or more.
This perhaps ought to be a special concern to mathematicians, since math books and papers seem to have a pretty long half-life.May 1, 2012