NY Times: Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War

Posted on December 24, 2011 by


From The New York Times:

Ms. [Maja] Thomas [a senior vice president of the Hachettte Book Group, in charge of its digital division] of Hachette says: “We’ve talked with librarians about the various levers we could pull,” such as limiting the number of loans permitted or excluding recently published titles. She adds that “there’s no agreement, however, among librarians about what they would accept.”

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Robin Nesbitt, technical services director at the Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan library, says she does not object to HarperCollins’s limit. “At least HarperCollins allows me to have access to their titles,” she says. “I don’t mind buying a title and then might have to buy it again — I do that now with print.

“I know many libraries are mad because they think the 26 loans is too low — well, how do you know 26 is too low until you try it?”

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The publishers that are holding back are watching for an industrywide approach to gel. But agreement doesn’t seem imminent. David Young, Hachette’s chief executive, says: “Publishers can’t meet to discuss standards because of antitrust concerns. This has had a chilling effect on reaching consensus.”

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