Originally Posted by randyflycaster
...I can, however, see why publishers are concerned. It's not like they have big profit margins to begin with, and I'm sure ebooks are scaring the heck out of them...
Publishers are scared because, although e-book sales are individually more profitable than traditional books, they are collectively dangerous to the affordability of producing print books. As more people choose e-books instead of print books, print books become increasingly more expensive per unit. There are two obvious solutions: either switch to a primarily digital distribution model, only producing print books for the most popular titles _or_ treat printed editions as luxury items, dramatically increasing the sales price. Instead of going for the obvious choices, publishers try to reduce e-book sales by artificially inflating prices and imposing restrictions on how digital editions may be used (e.g. no resale, little or no device portability, little or no lending).
In my opinion, going after digital library loans is just another way for publishers to try to keep e-books from becoming too mainstream.