HarperCollins Wants To Limit Library Ebook Lending To 'Protect' Authors From Libraries

from the can-i-check-out-a-clue? dept

Colin was the first of a bunch of you to send in the news that publisher HarperCollins has bizarrely decided to cripple the ebooks they let libraries lend by adding a clause in their contract that says books can only be lent out 26 times before the license "expires." Why? Because they can, apparently, and don't realize how this will simply piss off people. Also, once again, I do wonder how supporters of a move like this can still claim that a digital copy of content is "just like" a physical copy. HarperCollins could never make such a claim with a physical book.

Where it gets really ridiculous is HarperCollins' "defense" of the move:
HarperCollins is committed to the library channel. We believe this change balances the value libraries get from our titles with the need to protect our authors and ensure a presence in public libraries and the communities they serve for years to come.
Yes, seriously. They think they need to protect authors from libraries. That's -- to put it frankly -- insane. It seriously makes me question whether authors should be comfortable with HarperCollins as a publisher, when it seems to be making moves that clearly go against an author's best interest. The article does note that two of the big publishers -- Macmillan and Simon & Schuster -- don't allow any lending of ebooks, which is unquestionably worse. However, this kind of move doesn't make HarperCollins look good or like it has any recognition of the digital world. It should be a major turn off to authors who do recognize where the market is headed.

Filed Under: ebooks, libraries, protection
Companies: harpercollins


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Freedom, 28 Feb 2011 @ 8:49am

    Scan ???

    I'm curious, if I buy a paperback book, scan it to a digital form and then destroy the paperback, and then ultimately only loan the 'ebook' out to one person at a time, have I violated any laws, licenses, or ????

    Also, if the landscape is changing for publishers, then it would seem to me the smart move would be to partner with as many entities (like the libraries) as possible. This way, you can still provide value to an author that would otherwise just self publisher and by-pass you. For instance, the publisher can ensure that your book(s) are available at the library under a master license agreement that includes all the publisher's titles, etc. and you don't have to worry about how to get your book at the local library, etc.

    Freedom

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.