WTF, Harper Collins? Limited Checkouts on eBooks for Libraries?

Black font on white background - a ligature for the three letters W T FTell HarperCollins: Limited Checkouts on eBooks is Wrong for Libraries

Categories: arts & entertainment, ethics & philosophy, technology

Tags: ,

5 replies

  1. If they’re going that route, does that mean they’re going to repossess all their physical books that have been read by 26 people? Makes about as much sense. After all, if a library paid for the physical book, they have the right to lend it to as many people as want to read it. If they purchased the e-book, they also have the right to lend that e-book to as many people as want to read it.
    Sounds to me like Harper Collins is getting greedy because they think physical books aren’t going to be around much longer. I hate to disabuse them, but there are still people who would rather read a physical book than an e-book, so I think physical books aren’t going the way of the dodo any time soon.

  2. I was a bit surprised a while back to find that publishers allow lending of ebooks in the first place. With the barrier to borrowing much lower than with physical books (don’t need to leave your home) they’re probably worried about it affecting ebook sales.
    They really need to find a new business model or they’re going to disappear. Perhaps one alternative would for there to be a much lower upfront cost of books for libraries and a very very low fee (say a cent or two) each time the book is lent.

  3. I tend to put books I want on hold at the library, which costs me 80c per book (I think it covers transport from library to library etc). If it cost me 80c per ebook, i’d be just as happy – it’d be much much better than buying them at the ridiculous prices they’re sold at, anyway (in australia, at least).

  4. @alien tea
    It costs you money to order and hold books at your library??? I just go online and reserve, and my library gets them in and emails me when they’re in, and then I have a week to go pick it up and check it out, no cost incurred. It boggles me that you pay money for these things. I love the WA library system, I really do.
    Harper Collins closed their ebook store at Christmas with little warning. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise it was all Harper Collins’ ebook stores (not just the au one) so I had to rebuy an ebook last month. And now this. They are really bugging me now.

  5. @ Julie – I never really thought about it! If a book I wanted was at another library, I just paid my 80c thankful that I didn’t have to spend $30 buying it.

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