Go Read This | PA sets out restrictions on library e-book lending | theBookseller.com

The import of this statement escaped me the first time I glanced at it

The Publishers Association has set out an agreed position on e-book lending in libraries that will see library users blocked from downloading e-books outside of the library premises. Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page announced the new guidelines this morning (21 October) at the CILIP Public Library Authorities conference in Leeds.

Page told conference delegates that “all the major trade publishers have agreed to work with aggregators to make it possible for libraries to offer e-book lending” with the addition of certain “controls”. He said the guidelines had been developed because of concerns over free e-book lending offered by some libraries to lenders “wherever you are” in breach of publisher contracts.

via PA sets out restrictions on library e-book lending | theBookseller.com.

Now, I can’t decide if this is the stupidest thing I’ve read all day, all week, all month or all year. Heck it could even be the stupidest thing I’ve read all decade.

Publishers should be embracing ebooks. Embracing ebooks in libraries even more and certainly not trying to lock library services into stupid and unworkable restrictions.

If they are worried about lending beyond territories that publishers have contracts for, then some other method could easily have been found rather than to take away one of the most impressive features of ebooks from libraries.

I’m appalled!
Eoin

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2 comments

  1. Eoin, I have to agree with you – this is a stupid, but typical, attitude that will hasten the “demise of publishers”. I see the advantage of ebooks to libraries is that (1) they don’t have to pay (much) for storage space, often for books that are little used and (2) they can lend “more” copies of a book than they actually have – why shouldn’t a library lend 30 copies of an ebook at the same time (ie pre-exams), rather than just the one, provided there’s a payment mechanism attached (sorry, there’s always a commercial aspect!). Then publishers would want their ebooks in lots of libraries, so that they could be borrowed easily. Certainly, as a publisher, I’d sign up to a per loan (or per loan/per day or per loan/per access) basis for libraries, making books available to as many libraries as wanted them. All it needs is a little software to track the books / loans (Gareth Cuddy, are you listening??). Brian

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