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I care about digital content in libraries.  And I am about to lose my cool in a big way.  No more patience, no more waiting for advocacy groups to do their work, and certainly no more trusting vendors to negotiate good deals for us with the publishers.   I am angry, I am informed, and I am ready to fight.

Overdrive CEO Steve Potash distributed a “State of Overdrive” letter that includes three highly controversial pieces of news, all highly unfavorable to libraries.  This letter from Overdrive (after quite a bit of going on about how wonderful things are) then quietly drops the three bombs.  Below are the excerpts, along with my commentary:

OverDrive is advocating on behalf of your readers to have access to the widest catalog of the best copyrighted, premium materials, and lending options. To provide you with the best options, we have been required to accept and accommodate new terms for eBook lending as established by certain publishers. Next week, OverDrive will communicate a licensing change from a publisher that, while still operating under the one-copy/one-user model, will include a checkout limit for each eBook licensed. Under this publisher’s requirement, for every new eBook licensed, the library (and the OverDrive platform) will make the eBook available to one customer at a time until the total number of permitted checkouts is reached. This eBook lending condition will be required of all eBook vendors or distributors offering this publisher’s titles for library lending (not just OverDrive).

Sarah’s comments: Josh Hadro at Library Journal got the scoop that the publisher is HarperCollins, and their demanded limit is 26 lifetime uses per copy.  Just to be clear, this means that eBook ownership now expires after a set number of uses.  Libraries no longer “own” the rights to the purchased titles for perpetuity.  This is a radical change in library collection development and removes the thin veneer remaining of our ability to act as preservation entities for digital content. How could you even put this content in your catalog? You’d have to track circulation and then remove the title from your catalog once you hit your cap.  Can you imagine the workload impact? This creates a dangerous precedent that other publishers are likely to want to follow. This change, yet again, creates another dividing line between how the same title is treated differently in print and in digital format.  It also creates a dividing line between how libraries and consumers are treated radically differently for digital content, but not for print content.  Remember though that libraries do not have the right of first sale with digital content — we never have.  What we need is for digital copyright laws to change (libraries need an exemption for digital content, just as we have for physical content).  We also need legislation introduced that specifies that libraries, as public lending institutions, are not required to comply with consumer-intended terms of service.

More from Overdrive’s letter:

In addition, our publishing partners have expressed concerns regarding the card issuance policies and qualification of patrons who have access to OverDrive supplied digital content. Addressing these concerns will require OverDrive and our library partners to cooperate to honor geographic and territorial rights for digital book lending, as well as to review and audit policies regarding an eBook borrower’s relationship to the library (i.e. customer lives, works, attends school in service area, etc.).

Sarah’s comments: Requiring stringent jurisdictional borrower authentication is another huge change. Here’s an example from California.  Any California resident can get a library card at just about any public library in the state. Getting cards from libraries other than your own is not rampant, but of course many people live in one jurisdiction but only use a library in another jurisdiction—perhaps closer to work or school.  In our town (San Rafael), some library customers belong to the actual San Rafael Public Library jurisdiction while other customers fall under County Library jurisdiction…all based on who we pay our taxes to.  But we’re all in one library consortium, so it doesn’t matter for lending. But if we are required to authenticate at the residence address level for Overdrive or other digital content vendors, it will only increase customer confusion and prevent people from even trying to use this content.

And finally from the letter:

Another area of publisher concern that OverDrive is responding to is the size and makeup of large consortia and shared collections. Publishers seek to ensure that sufficient copies of their content are being licensed to service demand of the library’s service area, while at the same time balance the interests of publisher’s retail partners who are focused on unit sales. Publishers are reviewing benchmarks figures from library sales of print books and CDs for audiobooks and do not want these unit sales and revenue to be dramatically reduced by the license of digital books to libraries.

Sarah’s comments: I don’t even know where to start with this one. Consortium collections are the only thing making digital collections feasible for those of us in public libraries with consortium lending agreements. From discussions with Overdrive about our consortium’s contract, it looks (unconfirmed) as though they are going to flat out refuse any cooperative buying and lending models–or charge an arm and a leg for them.  Let me also point out that the last sentence (bolded) seems to indicate that the publishers want to make sure that libraries choosing to buy digital copies aren’t doing so as a replacement for physical copies.  And if so, apparently we’re being bad and the publishers will come punish us with more restrictions and fees.  What’s so bad about putting more money each year into your digital purchases in order to meet growing demand and user preferences?  It would seem we’re being discouraged from digital format purchases, outright.  And that, friends, is pure bullshit.  That doesn’t benefit libraries, library users, or Overdrive.  The publishers seem to think it benefits them, but they’re wrong.  Add restrictions and lose customers.  It would almost seem as if they’re trying to force us back to print only. Oh what a sad day for publishers. You are killing your own businesses.

I responded to this story when it quietly broke late yesterday, and am quoted in Hadro’s article.  I reproduce my statement here because the summary of my anger and riotous outrage is more toned down that I can manage at present:

Consumer market eBook vendors like Barnes & Noble and Amazon don’t let publishers get away with the amount of nonsense that we get stuck with through library eBook vendors. I fault the publishers for not realizing what a huge mistake they are making by not realizing that new formats are opportunities–not threats to be quashed. I fault the library eBook vendors for not standing firm and saying “no” to asinine demands. And I fault the library profession for, to date, not standing up for the rights of our users. Our job is to fight for the user, and we have done a poor job of doing that during the digital content surge.

I cannot over-emphasize that we are in trouble my friends.  The lack of legislative leadership and advocacy in the last decade has created a situation where libraries have lost the rights to lending and preserving content that we have had for centuries.  We have lost the right to buy a piece of content, lend it to as many people as we want consecutively, and then donate or sell that item when it has outlived its usefulness (if, indeed, that ever happens at all).

I call on as many libraries as possible to contact Overdrive (email the CEO at spotash@overdrive.com) about the information contained in its letter.  Ask questions, express discontent, and suggest alternatives.

I call on as many libraries as possible to contact HarperCollins (email them at library.ebook@harpercollins.com) and express dissatisfaction.  Beyond that, if have decision-making power at your library I suggest you boycott their content completely–or at least boycott it in digital format.

I call on as many libraries as possible to seriously consider dropping digital content vendors with restrictions and move toward only providing open access titles and formats.  Yes, that means forgoing most popular titles.  But you know what? Unless we take a firm stand we will not be heard.

Many voices have come out at once recently about libraries and digital content.  If you want your voice heard, check out the following groups, get involved, and scream out loudly:

“Library eBook Revolution, Begin”

  1. Bob Says:

    Perhaps if users realized that any digital content they purchase for their own use (digital music, digital books) they do not own. They are only licensing the content. When the distributor decides they want it back, they have the right to remove it from the user’s iPod, Kindle, or whatever digital device they use.

    If more people realized the implications of this (most don’t even realize their lack of ownership), perhaps they would think twice about paying for digital content.

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  3. Liz Rea Says:

    I wrote a post about this situation because I got so mad I couldn’t keep it inside anymore. I outline a possible model that libraries could advocate for, I wonder what you think: http://wizzyrea.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/content-middlemen-we-need-your-help/

    I’m also tired of being abused by multinational corporations, I know there’s a way we can do this so everyone gets paid (because that’s really what it’s about for them) and library users are still served on the devices of their choice. It’s simply ludicrous that it’s not us dictating the terms to *them*.

  4. Barbara Says:

    I very much like your reasoned anger. It is positive and constructive. I myself would like to see libraries boycott HarperCollins ebooks. And I personally will not purchase a HarperCollins ebook from my B&N Nook. Not until they lift the cap and in some way revise it so it is more reasonable, if that is even possible. I truly think if libraries do not say no now, we will live to regret it greatly. If HC does it and gets away with it, every other publisher will do it because it is all about the clinking coins. A boycott will be a nice silent message.

  5. Cathy H. Says:

    I think it should be stated, that if they’ll limit our use, they may limit single buyers “use” as well. They’re not really buying the product, either. They’re licensing it, just like we are. The Amazon deletions experience should have taught them that. After so long, eventually, that copy of a book may need to be rebought, too.

  6. Rebecca Says:

    Money talks; I say that librarians not only boycott HarperCollins ebooks buy also their print materials. How hard would it be to only buy only print materials from HaperCollins that are requested by patrons. Libraries spend a lot of their budgets on authors that are not high interest or undiscovered; we could simply decrease our orders of HC titles to show how we feel about restricting library lending of ebooks.

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  8. ray mitchell Says:

    I am a library nerd. More patron than librarian, although I shelved books for work study in college. Thank you for your eloquent deconstruction of this madness. I hope that more people begin having this same type of allergic reaction to shortsighted corporate greed.

  9. Shawn Says:

    “I call on as many libraries as possible to contact Overdrive (email them at support@overdrive.com — anyone know a better address?) about the information contained in its letter. Ask questions, express discontent, and suggest alternatives.”

    How about spotash@overdrive.com? I’ve received emails from that address…

  10. Chad Mairn Says:

    Well, eBook piracy will increase. Do a quick torrent search and you will find gigabytes of DRM-free eBooks. Why? Because the restrictions on eBooks and other eContent sucks for the most part! Remember Napster? Book publishers are not learning from the mistakes of the music industry — at least not today, and this is pathetic. I have seen signs of vendors trying to bypass libraries for quite a while and sell directly to consumers who unfortunately don’t understand the licensing issues. This is horrible and I agree that libraries should boycott these publishers/vendors. Librarians unite!

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  12. willem Says:

    Until libraries can make an economic argument for their existence they will remain vulnerable. Publishers wish them to go away and most authors are indifferent at best. I would like to live to regret my words but twenty years from now, I am positive, libraries will be as common as bricks and mortar bookshops, that is just about extinct.

    Tim Spalding is looking more prescient every day.

  13. Sarah Says:

    @bob – I think you’re right that most individuals do not understand that they don’t own the digital content they’re buying. In explaining that to a family member after buying her a eBook Reader, she was rather irritated at not owning her books anymore…but like most users, since it’s easy she’ll go along with it. That’s why I think libraries have a unique role here to speak -for- the user and advocate not only for ourselves but for individual consumer rights as well.

    @shawn – thanks for the better email address for Overdrive! Duly revised.

    @chad – yes, book piracy will increase. haven’t we already seen that with Amazon’s locked down structure? One of the first things I did when I got my Kindle was figure out how to hack it and hack library content to get it onto the Kindle.

  14. Tom Peters Says:

    Good post, Sarah. I really wish we had had a bill of rights for ereaders (the people, not the devices) and libraries for the dawning ereading era in place (through ALA OITP, for example) before this terrible announcement from HC. Librarians and library users need to band together and assert their rights. If we don’t, someone else will usurp those rights. The gloves are off now.

  15. LoftyDreamer Says:

    If you think public libraries and their patrons will suffer, just think of school libraries. My budget has been ZERO for the past two years and will be for at least two more. We are being left behind because we can’t even afford to buy ebooks, much less re-buy them after 26 circulations. I believe that this will ultimately migrate to personal purchases too–after a certain amount of time, your “purchase” will be rescinded and you’ll have to repurchase the book if you’d ever want to read it again. I’m predicting it here.

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  19. Benhamihs Says:

    Please do get angry about access to knowledge, it’s the only thing worth getting angry about IMO.

    RE: “What we need is for digital copyright laws to change (libraries need an exemption for digital content, just as we have for physical content). We also need legislation introduced that specifies that that libraries, as public lending institutions, are not required to comply with consumer-intended terms of service.”

    I would go further, copyright needs to be abandoned, at least for books, (what is a book?) Everyone with a computer and access to the network has the capability of functioning as a library, at least in the classical sense. Would you agree? Should all users thusly be exempted from copyright restrictions since they would function then as public lending institutions?

    -The Giggler

  20. If I Can’t Own a Book, I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution | mooreroom Says:

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  21. Scott Says:

    The pessimist in me looks at the money/resources available to the companies that own the big publishers, compares that to what even the biggest library sets aside for material purchases, and doesn’t like the result of that equation.

    To really have any leverage with publishers will require a huge amount of libraries banding together and carrying out boycotts of specific publishers (including their related companies, and including all formats), and then sticking with those boycotts even if the next Harry Potter is being released by one of those publishers.

    The optimist in me hopes that libraries are willing to do this…

  22. Bad News for eBook Lending | The Nerdbrarian Says:

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  24. Bryce Says:

    Sadly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a boycott by libraries is exactly what they’re hoping for. If they figure that each sale to a library eliminates the need for a couple of sales to private individuals, then it’s in their interests to stop sales to libraries, the culture be damned.

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  26. Krista Says:

    Great post Sarah – enough to make your head spin.

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  29. Eric P. Says:

    I agree the only recourse at this time is to stop purchasing titles from any publisher that tries to enforce the 26 checkout rule. Our only leverage is our collection development dollars and if we spend money with friendlier publishers, the others will fall in line as long as we don’t give in to their demands. Let’s start to boycott these publishers.

  30. Printed books vs. e-books: Should publishers impose borrowing limits on e-book copies even though there aren’t equivalent limits on paper copies? | LibraryCity Says:

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  31. Ryan Says:

    There are guerilla tactics available to libraries, namely by indirectly educating users on the eBook licensing issue with specific attention paid to the platforms used by people to overcome these licensing restrictions and share digital content…like bit torrent, etc. It’s not like we’re advocating the use of these networks. We wouldn’t want to do that. We’d just be educating the public on the license issues. And by doing so, putting pressure on the publishers to start working with us. ;)

  32. Judith Lopez Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. Your post is very timely because my school is in the process of deciding whether or not to subscribe to Overdrive. As a School Library Media Specialist, I will be banning HarperCollins from my collection development, writing to HC in protest, and will start spreading the word. Librarians and all fellow readers, let’s stand together against HarperCollins!

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  35. Lis Carey Says:

    @Bryce, you have stated what publishers believe–that free loans hurts sales–but in fact there’s ample data to the contrary: free or cheap access, even to some degree piracy, boosts sales of legal copies. Publishers as different as Baen Books and National Academies Press have used free or very cheap ebook access to boost sales of print copies. Widespread ability to share pirated copies didn’t stop music lovers from flocking to iTunes when it became available.

    People use free access to try things out, or to access more books and music and whatever than they can afford to buy, but given a choice, when they can, they buy. Library lending and used book stores let them discover the writers whose books they’ll later buy new.

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  41. Cynthia Says:

    Hi Sarah – The only thing I disagree with in your post is that you seem to think the publishers do not know what they’re doing “I fault the publishers for not realizing what a huge mistake they are making by not realizing that new formats are opportunities–not threats to be quashed.” I believe that they know exactly what they’re doing – I call it their revenge against libraries – they’ve always hated our ability to share a book with an unlimited number of patrons and now they’re changing the rules of the game, knowingly and deliberately. And most people don’t care. I personally don’t own an ebook reader precisely because I cannot “own” ebooks forever and ever Amen. Nor can I easily loan an “ebook” to my friends and family. Most people do not see this or if they do, they do not care. Case in point: My sister recently lost some of her purchased iTunes library in a computer crash, some of her library was unrecoverable – yet computer restored, she continues to buy music from iTunes. People are opting for ease and convenience, I repeat they do NOT care.
    I am an academic librarian and I see ebooks for academia going the same way that ejournals did – many vendors, many interfaces, subscribing to many journals we don’t need in order to get access to the ones we need. We’re a smaill community college, for now my approach to ebooks is purchase on an individual basis but that leaves many out of the mix and they are much more expensive then they should be – again, the publishers’ revenge – but at least we own them. As my POW moves further and further into a blended learning environment and the need for e resources increases, I’m sure I’ll have to start subscribing to collections of ebooks and in some cases that’s OK, happy to let go of health sci titles instead of weeding print copies when they’re out of date. For public libraries and fiction – that should be ownership not limited subscription style access. I doubt that libraries have the clout to win this fight and I’m heartsick (and yes angry) about that.

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  43. Tim Says:

    There are some good ideas here, but a lot more fear than leadership. If the library cannot redefine the service it provides to match the 21st century, and quick, the relevancy of a library might turn into that of the set top television recorder. I also don’t see how this should be a surprise to anyone,,, libraries have been asking for a NetFlix model for a while. I guess this is an example of be careful of what you ask for…

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  45. Scott Says:

    @Tim – While there are obvious similarities between the Netflix and Overdrive models (both are subscriptions, you don’t own the titles), there are also some substantial differences (a flat rate covers ALL the available content, keep the content as long as you like as long as your total number of titles doesn’t pass a set limit).

    You’re absolutely correct that this not a surprise (many in the field have been warning about the problems the model of subscription+contract+DRM would cause libraries for some time. If you believe that a core role of libraries is providing access to all kinds of information, finding a way to avoid those problems is going to be a hard nut to crack.

    There are many libraries (and library leaders) working very hard at redefining what the role(s) and service(s) of libraries should be in the 21st century. But there is as yet no consensus among libraries/librarians (let alone the public that supports libraries) as to what thos services should be (let along whether libraries should drop large parts of their old services in order to adopt new ones.)

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  48. Barbara Says:

    “What we need is for digital copyright laws to change (libraries need an exemption for digital content, just as we have for physical content). We also need legislation introduced that specifies that that libraries, as public lending institutions, are not required to comply with consumer-intended terms of service.”

    Hmm. Legislation? Exactly who would figure out the legislation, draft it and then pass it. You are not thinking Congress, are you?

  49. Peter Atkinson Says:

    This is just my opinion but I believe that a boycott is a mistake. From the publisher’s perspective, if we stop buying their books, people will have no choice but to buy books which is exactly what they want. We need to engage them in another way. We have two fundamentally different goals. Ours is the greater good, theirs is profit. We can be technically right or morally right and it’s irrelevant to a corporation; they are legally obligated to maximise profit. If we can show that free digital content drives sales of paid content, then this issue will disappear and you’ll see the relationship with publishers bloom. Unfortunately right now I think that’s a mixed bag; yes for films, yes for some musical groups, no for digital music in general.

  50. Carl Says:

    This is obviously bad for libraries, and I’m not sure how that changes, aside from changes in legislation. Legislation changes usually involve lobbyists and money, something we have a lot less of than publishers do. I’m not saying it’s hopeless; I just don’t know the answer.

    From the consumer’s perspective, if it’s easier to pirate content than to buy it, people will pirate. The more barriers, restrictions, unreasonable pricing and other hassles publishers put on e-book content, the less people will bother paying for it. The music industry had to learn this the hard way, with piracy running rampant. Now it’s easy, relatively cheap and hassle-free to buy music from Amazon or iTunes (and soon) Google. The music is (or can be converted to) a standard format that can be moved around to various devices, shared within a household, and yes, even distributed to other people. People *do* pay for music on those services, even though they could get it for free.

    Publishers don’t get it. As long as e-book formats are non-standard, you can’t share them among devices and people in a household, and things like usage limits exist (or are implemented) people will just download pirate e-books. This may not directly help the cause for libraries, but it is eventually going to force change in the publishing industry, which will otherwise go broke. It happened in the music industry and it will happen again in the book industry. Eventually, standard, DRM-free e-books will become the norm. The publishing industry will have to decide if it wants to actually sell those DRM-free e-books, or whether people will download them for free.

  51. Philip Says:

    @Bob. Bull. Your analogy about music and video is wrong, you are thinking more of software licensing and the EULA. Apple doesn’t care about your purchases nor would anyone in the music industry (as greedy as they are) try to take back a “purchased” copy of a song. You buy a song, either a la carte or a whole album, it is yours to keep. Only thing is, if you lose that song, your computer crashes, etc, tough luck, you have to buy it again. Same with downloadable movies. Thats why its your responsibility to back your stuff up, period. This doesn’t apply to rentals of any kind. Once you are done viewing/listening/or the time expires, its gone, or will not be accessed again. I think that’s fair. ebooks and audiobooks fall into the latter catagory in regards to the DRM model on devices like Nooks, iPads/Pods etc.. Fine by me. But, libraries or consortiums who buy a copy, it should remain theirs, and HarperCollins saying that after 26 checkouts (I’d love to see the algorithm they used to come up with that number) you have to buy a new one? Lame. How would you feel if Apple all of a sudden said, “Guess what, you can’t play that song you just bought after 30 days. You wanna listen to it again, go buy it again. Yeah, good luck with that. How about a compromise then: we’ll buy another copy HC, but at 80% off. How’s that?

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  53. bob2 Says:

    All this from a lady who proudly owns a Kindle. Libraries have already lost this fight. Anyone who thinks control is not something vendors want, and will only give up if forced (and who thinks angry blog posts and letters from people the vendors are making obsolete count as force), is deluding themselves.

  54. Barbara Says:

    http://www.boycottharpercollins.com/ A link for those libraries and librarians who wish to go the way of the “B” word – yes, boycott!

  55. BeyondtheBath Says:

    This just reinforces the reasons why I have no desire to own any sort of eReader. Seriously. I was dubious about them before, but once the whole ‘Amazon’ thing hit, I went from being wary of them, to being totally against any sort of digital reader. This is the final nail in the coffin for me, when it comes to digital readers. I think I’ll stay with my non-digital content. At least I know I own those items, and don’t have to worry about any sort of licensing agreement.

  56. J.AaronPrufrock Says:

    Herbert Schiller wrote the following in 1996 in his book Information Inequality:

    “American libraries and the profession of librarianship are confronted with a structural transformation in the overall economy. It is nothing less than thorough privatization of the information function. The production, processing, storing and transmitting of information have been scooped up in to private, for-profit hands. Social sources and repositories of information have been taken over for commercial use and benefit. It is not because American libraries and library schools have fallen behind in the mastery of the new information technology that their existence increasingly is called into question. It is their bedrock principles and long-term practices that collide with the realities of today’s corporate-centered and market driven economy. To the extent to which librarians insist on free and untrammeled access to information, they will be treated by the privatizers as backward-looking, if not obsolete, irrelevant, and unrealistic.”

    Up until this point in time, libraries have been able to share the boat with e-content providers. Rations have become more limited, however, and we have now become an inconvenient passenger, and the corporations will squeeze us out in order to maximize profits. Eli Neiburger has assessed the situation correctly. Ownable, Sharable, Local copies are our stock-and-trade, and econtent providers will make the library experience (and eventually the print experience) more unpleasant and inconvenient. (Also see Closing the Book on CBC, released January 31, 2011). Many authors will also welcome this protection of their intellectual property because intellectual property is not a public right, it is a private commodity. Whether or not libraries prevail in the current boycott will, I think, be largely determined if those associations that speak with “national voices” speak loudly, quickly, and constantly. I do not expect this to happen, and any victory would only be a temporary one, anyway. I suspect most libraries will refuse to “cut their noses off to spite their face,” worrying that if they don’t go along with Overdrive, their customers will become displeased with them and will more rapidly embrace other avenues (both legitimate and illegitmate) to get their digital copies more quickly. Whether or not Overdrive foresaw a library boycott movement is unknown, but whether they expected such a response or not, I doubt they are afraid of us.

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    [...] via Library eBook Revolution, Begin | Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan. [...]

  58. 26 Checkouts, 99 Problems « Derangement and Description Says:

    [...] help! When ebook publishers put limits on the number of times an ebook can be checked out, they undermine libraries’ role in preserving access to information. If you’re an archivist, that ought to ruffle your [...]

  59. andrea Says:

    It’s hard to believe that these demands are coming from a company (OverDrive) whose software is so ridiculously clumsy and ugly, makes me cringe to use it every time I try and download a library e-book.. it makes the insult of their letter even more insulting, wow.

    Anyhow, although I think boycotting is a strategy that could have some kind of limited impact, *maybe*, I think it also locks us (public libraries) too easily into the role of consumer. That’s something that we should be, and should have been all along, wary of happening. The only power a consumer has is through their purchasing power, right? Well, libraries hold a much higher role in society than just that and the public expectations of a library are much higher as well. Why are libraries and librarians acting as if that stronger role, greater power, and more substantial potential to demand change for the good of the public doesn’t exist?? The backbone we are looking for is right in front of our noses: in the roots of what librarianship is all about, namely information equality. (Or however you want to term it.)

    Librarianship as a profession needs to have a major reset in terms of how we view our relationship to society as a whole. We talk about all these great ideals and goals in library school and among each other, but when it comes down to an actual fight, too often we fall back on limited tired strategies like a boycott – as if HarperCollins cares about libraries, beyond basic lip service! Of course they would much rather prefer every individual buy their own book, and shoot, if they can get away it, make each individual then repurchase that book after x readings of it. The public, I believe, won’t let the publishers ultimately get away with that. I’m afraid that libraries, on the other hand, will. And are. Sad stuff.

  60. Treasure Hunt party game with Easter theme suitable for all ages. | barbie girls games Says:

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  61. Barbara Says:

    http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2011/03/01/a-message-from-overdrive-on-harpercollins-new-ebook-licensing-terms/
    This is the newest from Overdrive on the HarperCollins license.

  62. Jokes for friends » Candle Making Handbook Says:

    [...] Library eBook Revolution, Begin | Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah … [...]

  63. amy Says:

    I’d like to suggest a modified boycott — instead of not buying any HC print books at all ….. buy a used copy via Amazon Marketplace, or your local used bookstore.

    I heart right-of-first-sale.

  64. Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans | Spinner News Says:

    [...] h&#1077r blog th&#1072t HarperCollins’s &#1089h&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 a “&#1088&#1077r&#1110&#406&#959&#965&#1109 precedent” th&#1072t others w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 follow, blaming publishers f&#959r n&#959t realising [...]

  65. Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans | e News Online Says:

    [...] Jan of San Rafael Public Library, wrote on her blog that HarperCollins’s decision created a “dangerous precedent” that others would follow, blaming publishers for not realising that new formats are opportunities, [...]

  66. gefitz Says:

    Boycott? Whatever. Very entertaining, but the amount of money a boycott by libraries costs a publisher like HarperCollins would be minimal. And when all of the publishers do the exact same thing? Library patrons no longer have access to the service they want. And the library further regresses into the past. We need to think longer-term here, folks.

    Listen. Publishers are BUSINESSES. Their shareholders expect profit. At what level does the librarian not understand that business will not simply provide a service to libraries out of some sense of largess, or out of the goodness of their hearts. Not until law requires them to do so.

    Unless that happens, any amount of whining and kicking and screaming about these things (which includes, I’m afraid, any boycott). Energy should be spent at this point towards legislators, and schooling them on what’s going on and where this could lead. It also should be spent finding some sort of middle-ground, where publishers and educators are satisfied to some extent. Libraries, though, even in presenting compromise, need to tread carefully here, as they are in a very weak position to provide any sort of concession or incentive to a publisher.

    What we can present to them is a disincentive to pirating this content. We all know publishers of any digital content haven’t had the greatest of luck in securing their content against the inevitable DRM-cracking. At minimum, libraries are a place where people can get digital content for free, and in a legal way. Perhaps there’s something in this for the publisher. I don’t know…but we need to have something for the publisher here, or we simply don’t have a leg to stand on.

  67. Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans | Downloads56.com Says:

    [...] Jan of San Rafael Public Library, wrote on her blog that HarperCollins’s decision created a “dangerous precedent” that others would follow, blaming publishers for not realising that new formats are opportunities, [...]

  68. Sharon Gurney Says:

    In Australia we have the Public Lending Right program which compensates authors for loss of sales on books that are purchased by public libraries. Wouldn’t it make sense to look at a similar compensation program for e-books and other digital content?

  69. Meanland: In the future, they’ll be called ‘book deletings’ « Overland literary journal Says:

    [...] librarian-blogger Sarah Houghton-Jan writes in her incisive post, ‘Library ebook revolution, begin’: This is a radical change in library collection development and removes the thin veneer [...]

  70. And so the war begins… | The Digital Immigrant Says:

    [...] Librarian in Black also covers this story and includes contact information for OverDrive. ‘We have lost the [...]

  71. Oh eBooks, where are you going? « My Library World Says:

    [...] pipes in a FEW DAYS, and they put up a fuss (as you can see from the linked twitter feed above).  Here are a couple of examples.  Then HC replied and OD replied.  The first was what you would [...]

  72. As We May Think (& Other Points of View) » Blog Archive » eBook User’s Bill of Rights Says:

    [...] reaction from the library community. Sarah Houghton-Jan wrote about this decision on her blog Librarian in Black and explains how libraries will be affected: “this means that eBook ownership now expires after a [...]

  73. Why I Love Librarians, and Publishers Should, Too | Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    [...] Houghton-Jan, the Assistant Director for the San Rafael Public Library, arguably said it best in calling for a revolution: ”Unless we take a firm stand we will not be [...]

  74. Harper Collins fires a shot at libraries « librarian tea Says:

    [...] one of the main vendors to libraries for downloadable e-books, came out with their own statement that implies more than one publisher has the same thinking as Harper Collins.  This, of course, [...]

  75. eBooks and e-content licensing models « mmit blog Says:

    [...] has been a bucketload of commentary about the recent announcement by HarperCollins about limiting the lending of eBooks [...]

  76. elvenrunelord Says:

    This is an example of capitalism at its nastiest we as a nation have ever seen.

    I do not have all the answers but the time has come for me to share with all of you something I started working on last year.

    If you click my name you will go to a page on one of my blogs that promotes an idea called the National Digital Library.

    Like I said before I do not know all the answers, but I think this is a good start for all people concerned about this issue to rally around.

  77. Links of interest: March 4, 2011 « A Modern Hypatia Says:

    [...] at Librarian in Black has a detailed response. She has also published an excellent ebook reader’s bill of rights, and there are some other [...]

  78. Sue J Says:

    I’m afraid a boycott might not bother them one whit. HarperCollins would have to perceive a sharp uptick in something they don’t like, such as piracy.

  79. Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans Says:

    [...] Jan of San Rafael Public Library, wrote on her blog that HarperCollins’s decision created a “dangerous precedent” that others would follow, blaming publishers for not realising that new formats are opportunities, [...]

  80. Ebook restrictions: a link fest « The Room of Infinite Diligence Says:

    [...] Houghton-Jan, Librarian In Black’s clear post Library eBook revolution and eBook User’s Bill of [...]

  81. Angry Librarians: The eBook User’s Bill of Rights « Says:

    [...] the US publishing house HarperCollins introduced a limit of 26 lifetime uses per copy (see “Library eBook Revolution, Begin“). To be clear: per ebook copy. Such an attempt of using private licensing agreements [...]

  82. Christian Wachter Says:

    I feel with you. When I buy and consume a book, then I want to have all the rights. But on the other hand I’m working in a publishing house and I’m watching our business modell running off.

    Librarians wages are paid by tax payers. It’s easy for them, to ask for all the rights. Their legitimate interests or others than the legitimate interests of publishing houses.

    It’s popular to argue against capitalism, if not say populistic. It’s hard to create a modell, how to produce books further on without the producers right of first sale. Do you have any positive answer?

    Best regards
    Christian

  83. Grundrechte für eBook-Leser : netzpolitik.org Says:

    [...] überlegt, wie man das mit dem Verleihen auch wirklich gänzlich verhindern kann: Und zwar soll jedes eBook nur 26 mal gelesen werden dürfen, und sich dann selbst unbrauchbar machen. Pamela Samuelssons Dystopie des pro-Seite-Bezahlmodells [...]

  84. HarperCollins ebook fallout | Library Technology @ UNL Says:

    [...] authors, but I wasn’t consulted and I had to read about this on Library Journal and on the blogs and tweets of my librarian sources. This isn’t what I want, e-books with evaporating powers! [...]

  85. Maria Says:

    I just bought a Nook. I am able to download ebooks in seconds from the BN site. In order to use an Overdrive book from the library, I have to get on the long waiting list, then I may check it out for 7 days (not long enough for a 500 page book), no renewals. To put it on my device, I have to download it to software on my computer, then plug in my portable device to move the file from my computer to the reader. Then it goes into a “documents” folder instead of my library where the BN ebooks are stored. Until libraries figure out a way to make it painless to check out ebooks, and a way to allow for renewals or enough copies to begin to meet reader demand, why even bother? Stick with the print books until Overdrive has the sophistication and pricing structure of commercial vendors like Barnes and Noble or Amazon. BTW, I strongly suspect that most of the ebooks checked out on Overdrive (audiobooks, too) are never read or listened to, but there are no early returns allowed so little is ever on the shelf for checkout. Sorry for the rant!

  86. Grundrechte für eBook-Leser | MexxBooks – Mach ein Buch Says:

    [...] überlegt, wie man das mit dem Verleihen auch wirklich gänzlich verhindern kann: Und zwar soll jedes eBook nur 26 mal gelesen werden dürfen, und sich dann selbst unbrauchbar machen. Pamela Samuelssons Dystopie des pro-Seite-Bezahlmodells [...]

  87. Greed vs. Library eBook Lending - Man of la Book Says:

    [...] Library eBook Revolution, Begin | Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan (librarianinblack.net) [...]

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  89. Earleen Says:

    I just stumbled on this blog/discussion by accident, but a number of responders and the author have all brought up concerns I have had from the outset. I do own a Kindle and am grateful for its convenience, but I am fully aware that I don’t own much of the content.

    I don’t know if this is appropriate for this discussion, but I am buying some content from an indie publishing site that allows me to download to any device, pays the author a greater percentage and has wide distribution. Oh! I forgot to mention that the price is below a third of that charged through most distribution avenues because the author is allowed to set the price. Granted, the works are not run through the big publishing house process, but some are really, really excellent reads. After having recently read one such work on the Kindle, I purchased two print copies: one for my personal library and one for my local library. Here’s why: The more exposure the author has (i.e., the library), the greater her success and the more she will write. I’m all for it. Knowing I don’t own digital content prompts me to buy a print copy of anything I find desirable and want to own, loan and/or share.

    I hope those of you who are steamed, informed, and have a voice win on this issue. I’m cheering for you!

  90. Authors Sign Petition Against HarperCollins Library eBook Policies - GalleyCat Says:

    [...] authors, but I wasn’t consulted and I had to read about this on Library Journal and on the blogs and tweets of my librarian sources. This isn’t what I want, e-books with evaporating [...]

  91. Scattered Thoughts « Eric S. Riley Says:

    [...] to 26 cycles and then that item will remove itself from your selections list.  This has caused a firestorm among librarians, and prompted a number of libraries to start taking action in direct response.  I’m with the [...]

  92. Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans | microslurps.com Says:

    [...] Jan of San Rafael Public Library, wrote on her blog that HarperCollins's decision created a "dangerous precedent" that others would follow, blaming publishers for not realising that new formats are opportunities, [...]

  93. OverDrive steps in the right direction? (maybe) | The Digital Immigrant Says:

    [...] I suspect this has partially to do with how librarians reacted to OverDrive and HarperCollins infamous 26-checkout-limit dust-up. (LIB has a nice summary) [...]

  94. Really Simple Syndication: “DVR” for the web « Brooklyn Biblio Says:

    [...] albeit opinionated, Librarian from the West coast. I began to follow this blog after seeing this impressive post about that whole Harper-Collins kerfuffle earlier this [...]

  95. Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans | Richard Hartley Says:

    [...] Jan of San Rafael Public Library, wrote on her blog that HarperCollins's decision created a "dangerous precedent" that others would follow, blaming publishers for not realising that new formats are opportunities, [...]

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  123. Do You Require Authorization to make use of That Quote with your E book? | Twitter Says:

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  124. Ann C. Reed Says:

    As a university reference librarian, this means I have to stop demonstrating to individual students at the Reference Desk just how easy ebooks are to use… I see many university students who never bother to use them until I encourage them thru a personal one-on-one demonstration. Continuing to do so will mean the usage won’t be there for someone who will really use it. Also…the 26 user rule doesn’t take into account how many times a patron takes a book off the shelf, does a quick “look-see” and puts it back on the shelf… with ebooks now a quick “look-see” will count as 1/26 of usage… this is such a rip-off of libraries.

  125. Libraries roar! HarperCollins is limiting e-book check-outs to 26 | Marygrove Library News Says:

    [...] Libraries are losing “the rights to lending and preserving content that we have had for centuries.  We have lost the right to buy a piece of content, lend it to as many people as we want consecutively, and then donate or sell that item when it has outlived its usefulness (if, indeed, that ever happens at all)” (source) [...]

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  127. iLibrarian » E-Books and Libraries: 25 Resources Says:

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  130. 25 E-book Resources for Libraries « Librariopolis Says:

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  132. Resources for April 27 Meeting « Palliser Regional Library Staff Blog Says:

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  134. The First Sale Doctrine: e-Books, and the Impact on Libraries – Part 2 | Charlotte Law Library News Says:

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  136. E-Books and Libraries: 25 Resources - OEDB.org Says:

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