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Publisher puts new limits on library e-books
Old 03-06-2011, 07:06 AM   #1
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Publisher puts new limits on library e-books

Not good news for e-book readers.
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The public library has long attracted avid readers with an unrivaled pitch: Check out a best-selling book for free and renew it multiple times.

But as more people ditch printed books in favor of e-books that can be downloaded directly to a computer, the rules are changing.

As of Monday, HarperCollins, publisher of authors such as Anne Rice, Sarah Palin and Michael Crichton, will not allow its e-books to be checked out from a library more than 26 times.

After that, the license on the e-book will expire and libraries will have to decide whether to buy a new one.
Libraries face e-book challenges - chicagotribune.com
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
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In our library, that would mean buying new licenses every week!

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Old 03-06-2011, 09:08 AM   #3
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In our library, that would mean buying new licenses every week!

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?

People at your library check out and return the same book in 6 hours?

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Old 03-06-2011, 09:29 AM   #4
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No, the county library system is heavily used, and lots of people want the same book. When we ask for a popular book, we usually find out we are 72nd in line and will have to wait for weeks.

Now, that is for paper books, which have to be physically returned before the next person can read them, so the wait would be shorter for e-books. But the numbers of patrons wouldn't change for e-books. With e-books, if each customer in a queue of 72 constitutes "one take-out" and the limit on the license is 26, then the limit would be reached rather quickly.

Unless the license works differently, in which case I would like to know more about that.

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?

People at your library check out and return the same book in 6 hours?

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Old 03-06-2011, 09:34 AM   #5
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That seems unreasonable. 26 checkouts per year per license might closer approximate physical books but an absolute limit would mandate a repurchase of each heavily read ebook license annually. Even heavily read physical books last many years.

When companies are greedy it prompts similar reactions in their customers. Serves them right if people start widely using account sharing techniques to download each other's libraries.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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This was inevitable. Publishers at a minimum do not want to loose revenue.

For that matter, I am not sure the local e-library even makes senses. It would be easy to aggregate all of the local libraries at the state level. That would provide reduced expenses and economies of scale.

Libraries will be able to negotiate reasonable rates with publishers. But the rules of the game have changed... nobody wants to be taken advantage of on either side.

Many libraries lend videos and music also... the same will apply since the e-libraries allow those media to be checked out also (but not as much content so far).

Brick and mortar Libraries (as we know them) could go away. As local communities and state wrestle with spending reductions... It would not surprise me to see many physical libraries closed over the next 10 years. Some of the libraries have extended their services and tried to turn into an entertainment or community center. While it is a nice thought... when we have to split hairs on what we will pay taxes to support.... that might be paired back dramatically
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Now, that is for paper books, which have to be physically returned before the next person can read them, so the wait would be shorter for e-books.

...

Unless the license works differently, in which case I would like to know more about that.

Amethyst
I'm quite certain that the ebook licences are modeled after the physical books. If the library has one licence, only one person can check out the ebook at one time.

Otherwise, you would never see the notice that the ebook is already checked out, but we do. If someone else knows differently, please jump in.

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Old 03-06-2011, 09:48 AM   #8
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For that matter, I am not sure the local e-library even makes senses. It would be easy to aggregate all of the local libraries at the state level. That would provide reduced expenses and economies of scale.
From what I can see, there is not much duplication of efforts. The libraries enroll in Adobe's system, and it is all managed there. The local libraries just decide what and how many licenses to buy, just like they chioose books.

Libraries are funded on a local level, I'm not sure how a Sate level library would work.

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Old 03-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #9
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...

Libraries are funded on a local level, I'm not sure how a Sate level library would work.

-ERD50
Yes, but that model is changing. Our state has a statewide e-book library. You sign-in using your local library credentials and get access.

I am not sure how it works in terms of funding. It could be that local libraries have to kick in some money to the state to make the resource available to the local libraries patrons... might be a subscription fee based on some factor (number of books checked out or total number of library patrons in the local system).
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:34 PM   #10
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Sounds more than reasonable, in fact I"m surprised the limit is 26. Authors write books to make money (Nords notwithstanding, and he's expecting to turn a profit for charity), not to subsidize a free public service.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:40 PM   #12
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First, I don't now how libraries work with regards to hard copy. However, I don't think there is a 26 lend limit on a hard copy. They may wear out, but should not at 26 lends. So why is it reasonable to enforce that limit on e-books?
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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Sounds more than reasonable, in fact I"m surprised the limit is 26. Authors write books to make money (Nords notwithstanding, and he's expecting to turn a a profit for charity), not to subsidize a free public service.
Do you feel the same about the physical books? Lend them out 26 times and then burn them? Or do you think the very concept of libraries being able to purchase books and then lend them to the public is wrong headed?
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #14
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Sounds more than reasonable, in fact I"m surprised the limit is 26. Authors write books to make money (Nords notwithstanding), not to subsidize a free public service.
You might be interested in the activities of Corey Doctorow. He's a published author who releases digital/e-book versions of his novels under a Creative Commons or similar license. For free. At the same time they are in print. Oddly, his books are often on the New York Times bestseller lists.

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For me, the answer is simple: if I give away my ebooks under a Creative Commons licence that allows non-commercial sharing, I'll attract readers who buy hard copies. It's worked for me I've had books on the New York Times bestseller list for the past two years.
On second thought, you'd probably hate him.

He's an interesting character as well as a good writer. A real troublemaker...
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Old 03-06-2011, 04:00 PM   #15
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I check out e-books through my local library, "Books to Go" and read it on my iPad. They have a fixed number of licences and patrons reserve a copy which is downloaded as a copy is available. Many popular titles have long wait lists. At the end of 14 days (in my case) it disappears. I can 'return' it earlier.
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Old 03-06-2011, 04:10 PM   #16
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I check out e-books through my local library, "Books to Go" and read it on my iPad. They have a fixed number of licences and patrons reserve a copy which is downloaded as a copy is available. Many popular titles have long wait lists. At the end of 14 days (in my case) it disappears. I can 'return' it earlier.
That's how it should work, and that's how physical books work. It can exchange hands any number of times, but it can't be used by more than one person at a time. As long as a particular "copy" of an e-book can't be checked out to more than one person at a time, there are no copyright issues.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #17
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First, I don't now how libraries work with regards to hard copy. However, I don't think there is a 26 lend limit on a hard copy. They may wear out, but should not at 26 lends. So why is it reasonable to enforce that limit on e-books?
So, what should the limit be? thirty two? Eleven thousand? Why would the recipients be expected to decide? The author and publisher should reserve the right to how their intellectual property is distributed, even in "free" format. Putting it into the public domain without restrictions is giving their income stream away, but I'm sure many of our social welfare engineering fans here expect that. (Those filthy rich authors can afford it, it's their moral obligation to give that income away......)
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:06 PM   #18
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Or do you think the very concept of libraries being able to purchase books and then lend them to the public is wrong headed?
Where did you get that?
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:07 PM   #19
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He's an interesting character as well as a good writer. A real troublemaker...
Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:12 PM   #20
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I think 26 checkout is reasonable starting point for negotiations. I'd hope that libraries could get double that limit, i.e every 2 weeks for 2 years.
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