Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Publisher starts annual e-book licensing for libraries, attempts blood extraction from stone

Public libraries are en vogue again now that e-readers and e-books are so popular, and publishers are wary of the trend. To the dismay of many and the surprise of few, HarperCollins Publishers has set its e-books to expire after 26 rentals -- effectively giving them around a one-year shelf life (assuming 2 weeks per rental x 26 = 52 weeks). So now cash-strapped public libraries have to pony up license fees on an annual basis because the publisher is concerned that "selling e-books to libraries in perpetuity, if left unchanged, would undermine the emerging e-book ecosystem." In other words, HarperCollins thinks lending e-books is costing the company money it could make selling them. The publisher is the first to treat library e-books differently from hard copies, and the policy change has caused some librarians to stop purchasing HarperCollins e-books. Should the new licensing scheme become a trend, we shall see if libraries are forced to stop the electronic lending party.

[Thanks, Scott]

Publisher starts annual e-book licensing for libraries, attempts blood extraction from stone originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 15 Mar 2011 23:44:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/15/publisher-starts-annual-e-book-licensing-for-libraries-attempts/

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