As I stated before, the first e-book proposals involved buying a copy of a book that you OWNED and could sell, trade or lend it. Because these books on a memory chip were to be packaged and sold through bookstores, it would have preserved bookstore sales as well as your ownership rights to your purchase.
Publishers turned this down completely, and have repeatedly stated for years that they want to do away with used books and that the "licensing" of e-books is how they expect to achieve it. They believe that this will force everyone to license their own copy. Since apparently they have been doing just fine financially with used books floating around, this is can only be viewed as another form of greed.
Regardless of what a publisher says, the fact is that there is a much larger profit margin in the sale of an e-book than in the sale of a physical book and there is no excuse for the current high price of e-books.
Personally I cannot afford $8-10 and up per book. I am one of many millions who are in this situation. I use the library and I buy used books. Unfortunately, the library here is totally inadequate, which is the basis for my desire to be able to check out an e-book from any library that has it.
I can order any physical book from another library via Inter-library Loan. Why is checking out an e-book different? Gee, did I just hear someone say, "Because publishers want to force every library to get its own "licensed copy", thereby "licensing" more copies under whatever rules the publishing industry chooses to make.
Go to any online bookstore, not just Amazon, and you will see that you are told you are "buying a book". The books are listed as: $ to buy, put it in your shopping cart, etc. If the word "license" is being used in reference to "buying" an e-book it's hidden somewhere in the fine print. I believe this is not unintentional.
I applaud the stand from Overdrive to put the Harper Collins books in a separate category. I also applaud the librarians who are outraged and have stated they will not be ordering any more Harper Collins books. However, the next step in this war will be for all the large publishing houses to join HC in this stand. Then what?
Either Congress makes the publishing industry conform to copyright law or there will be widespread piracy. I've checked out the torrent sites, and as yet piracy is not a big issue for e-books. This could rapidly change if the book-reading public feels it is being cheated.