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Accessing Law ebooks

A guide to finding and using legal ebooks and publisher platforms

What is an ebook?

An ebook (short for electronic book) is a book length publication in digital format. Ebooks can be read on computers, dedicated ebook readers, tablets, mobile phones and other mobile devices. 

Ebooks come in a number of formats and file types, which display slightly differently. Some ebooks are pdf files that have been scanned from a paper text. These offer limited search options and do not easily resize to adapt to different device screens.

Other ebooks are take full advantage of the digital environment. They can resize, remember your place in a book, hold notes and bookmarks, allow searches and have in text links to supporting material.  


Benefits of ebooks

Ebooks have a number of advantages, such as:

  • Access to a title whenever you want or need it
  • Can be read online or downloaded to your device
  • Books to be shared amongst a number of users at one time
  • Convenient in-text searching 

One great advantage many ebook platforms offer users if the ability to make notes, highlight passages and create bookmarks. You will need to create your own user log in with the ebook platform to take advantage of this feature. 

About digital rights management

Digital rights management (DRM) is a term used to describe the technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers and copyright holders in order to limit the use of digital content. 

When it comes to ebooks, DRM determines how many users can access content and what can be done with it. DRM sets the terms for how many users can access content, whether it can be downloaded and if downloaded is possible, any expiration period. Content that can be downloaded and has an expiration date will be automatically wiped from a device once the expiration date has been reached.