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Old 08-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #31
usuallee
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"Quote:
. . . how come print publishers didn't refuse to sell books to libraries?

The question cannot arise because anyone, including the government, can legally buy paper books."

Exactly the problem. Why are ebooks treated differently? Who got to decide that these overbearing, intrusive restrictions on ebooks are okay?
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:19 PM   #32
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Hmm... why were public libraries established in the first place? Was it intended that
they become an entertainment facility? Is the library there to dispense government
approved leisure activity? (Perhaps to the Greeks and Romans, but why were they
included in modern societies?)

I always thought, at least here in the USA, they were intended to provide for an
informed citizenry, a place of study to allow access to the knowledge and history
contained in the very rare and relatively expensive tombs of the day. (I doubt that
the "Penny Dreadfuls", and Panflits were allowed in the earlier libraries.)

It may be that the current afterschool daycare facilities that we are calling Libraries
have devolved to a point that they can not in anyway compete with the internet as
a source of the information and study material for today's citizenry.

I personally do not rate the services provided by our current community based library
system, with a small library in every neighborhood, as anywhere as effective as access
to the intenet, for the original purpose of providing for an informed citizenry. I find it
troubling that we should want them to be provided to us as a source of "free"
entertainment, from our governmental structure.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:27 PM   #33
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If you don't like your library stocking DVDs, you are free to lobby your library system to stop carrying them. It's small government in action. The purpose of libraries has always been to provide books. Whether they should expand into DVDs, music and internet access is a decision the library system can make, in some cases, it's a decision made at the county level, at others at the city level.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #34
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A very interesting assessment of the current situation with ebooks in libraries. We'd all like to see more available but expansion is facing some constraints.

What if public sentiment turned so strongly against the "selfish and greedy" publishers that the public demanded libraries to ignore the publisher's restrictions and make ebooks widely available as a public service? Unlikely in the US, perhaps, but feasible in jurisdictions with a more socialistic bent? This thing could go political!

(Think: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore")
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:56 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Sure it's possible. They don't have to make that part of the website accessible to computers outside the library network.

It would be a nightmare though given Adobe's registration limits and how difficult it can be for them to add more registrations to your Adobe ID account.
The answer seems simple to me: only allow checkouts from in the library network, only allow downloads from outside it.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #36
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The answer seems simple to me: only allow checkouts from in the library network, only allow downloads from outside it.
Yes, that would probably work best.
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post

For the sake of libraries, I wish this was commonly true. But the question is worded so that if you vaguely recall buying one book twenty years ago, that's a yes.

Personally, there are two authors I can think of whose other book or books I bought after library reading -- Alex Dryden and Nury Vittachi. In both cases, it was because the authors wrote books only published outside the US, and thus almost impossible to get through libraries. I don't think this, or other rare situations, are going to give publishers the warm fuzzies.
Well, that's anecdata.

Voracious readers of genre fiction and fiction series do this all the time. I can't speak as much for other readers. I really cannot even quantify the number of authors' books I have bought after discovering the author at the library--the number is too high.
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Old 08-30-2012, 04:57 PM   #38
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Well, it's easy enough to deal with publishers refusing to sell ebooks to libraries, if that's what we want to do.

All we need is a simple legislative act: "No publisher, author, seller or reseller of ebooks may refuse to sell to a public library any copy of an ebook offered for sale to the general public." Or maybe: "There will be a 100% sales tax on the sale of any ebook which is not offered for sale to public libraries." Or: "DRM may not be used on any ebook not offered for sale to public libraries." Or: "The protection of copyright shall not extend to any ebook not offered for sale to public libraries at the same price as offered to other buyers." Or: "It being against public policy to restrict sales of books to libraries, no publisher which does so may, directly or indirectly, enforce such restriction in a court of law."

It's not that I don't recognize the legitimate concerns of the publishers about feeding what amounts to a competitor the ability to lend out multiple ebooks at the same time for free, based on the purchase of only one ebook. But there are ways to handle that concern.

I don't see any reason that ebooks can't be dealt with by libraries on the same footing as pbooks are. The publishers are way overreaching in their refusal to sell ebooks to public libraries.

So if the publishers insist on continuing in that vein, maybe we should start pushing for a law stating that libraries may purchase ebooks from any source, and lend them without restriction on any terms they see fit, including without DRM.

Last edited by Harmon; 08-31-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Hmm... why were public libraries established in the first place? Was it intended that
they become an entertainment facility? Is the library there to dispense government
approved leisure activity? (Perhaps to the Greeks and Romans, but why were they
included in modern societies?)

I always thought, at least here in the USA, they were intended to provide for an
informed citizenry, a place of study to allow access to the knowledge and history
contained in the very rare and relatively expensive tombs of the day. (I doubt that
the "Penny Dreadfuls", and Panflits were allowed in the earlier libraries.)

It may be that the current afterschool daycare facilities that we are calling Libraries
have devolved to a point that they can not in anyway compete with the internet as
a source of the information and study material for today's citizenry.

I personally do not rate the services provided by our current community based library
system, with a small library in every neighborhood, as anywhere as effective as access
to the intenet, for the original purpose of providing for an informed citizenry. I find it
troubling that we should want them to be provided to us as a source of "free"
entertainment, from our governmental structure.

Luck;
Ken

I agree
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:20 PM   #40
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Konrath and Crouch talk libraries, too:
http://jakonrath.blogspot.ca/2012/08...libraries.html

Quote:
Blake and I are willing to sell our entire ebook catalog to the Harris County Public Library, and to any other libraries that are interested, under these terms:


1. Ebooks are $3.99

2. No DRM.

3. The library only needs to buy one ebook of a title, and then they can make as many copies as they need for all of their patrons and all of their branches.

4. The library owns the rights to use that ebook forever.

5. The library can use it an any format they need; mobi, epub, pdf, lit, etc. And when new formats arise, they're’re free to convert it to the new format.

In short, the library buys one copy, and never has to buy it again.

Now I'll take questions. I'm sure they'll be a few.

Q: Joe, that's insane! You're only charging $3.99 an ebook? That ebook can be read thousands of times!

A: Good. I hope it is.

Q: And they can make copies!? Shouldn't you at least make them buy multiple copies of each ebook?

A: Why? Ebooks cost nothing to copy and distribute. Once a library purchases a copy, it should be able to make as many copies as its branches and partons need. How cool would it be if you never had to wait for a book at the library because had already been checked out? My ebooks will always be available, all the time.

Q: But you're losing sales!

A: No I'm not. They bought a copy. They can do what they want with it. And my hope is because I don't have restrictions, and keep my costs low, the library will continue to buy my new ebooks as I release them. There are a lot of libraries in the US, and a lot more globally. If I sell every library one of my ebooks for $3.99, that's a nice amount of money.
Heh!
He wishes.
There are 122,000 libraries in the US. At $3.99 per title, that is just short of half a million per title.

A pretty good deal for most any writer not named Rowling or King.

As I said, the libraries need to reconsider their book acquistion processes.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:39 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Laridae View Post
What if public sentiment turned so strongly against the "selfish and greedy" publishers that the public demanded libraries to ignore the publisher's restrictions and make ebooks widely available as a public service?
It's true that a lot of paper library books aren't available as eBooks, but there also are eBooks the library does not own in paper. The Overdrive collection for my county is has a lot more current books I am interested in than the new book shelves at my local suburban public library. And when I was in the central Philadelphia library about ten days ago, the new paper book shelves there were pitifully sparse -- certainly not as good as the Philadelphia Overdrive collection.

While the anger against big publishers is real on this board, some is the ramping up that's almost inevitable when opinionated and somewhat like-minded people get together. I can't believe the general public would feel so strongly about publishers as to make regulating them a big public issue. I suppose that if publishers start making Apple/Microsoft-style profit margins, public sentiment could turn against them, but don't count on it.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 08-30-2012 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:33 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
I can't believe the general public would feel so strongly about publishers as to make regulating them a big public issue. I suppose that if publishers start making Apple/Microsoft-style profit margins, public sentiment could turn against them, but don't count on it.
Correct.
To get that kind of action from the general public you would need extensive media-prodding (like the regular "unhealthy food" scandals) to grease the skids and that will never happen as the mainstream media is (incestuosly) in bed with the giant multinational publishers.
Also, the general public in many (most?) doesn't care enough about libraries to fund them properly or even use them much. Let's nor forget that the general public is composed of *three* segments: avid readers, casual readers, and non-readers. The latter make a plurality in most areas, if not outright majorities.
This is one case where counting on government to step in and "save us" isn't going to happen. If libraries are to be "saved" they'll have to do it themselves by banding together and leveraging their collective buying power.
(As I said above: 122,000 libraries. Add thir total book-buying budgets and the BPHs will listen. Or else.)

Last edited by fjtorres; 08-31-2012 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:07 PM   #43
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The purpose of libraries has always been to provide books.
I would say that they are there to provide information. In our day, this has expanded beyond books and printed periodicals to include audio, video, internet access and more.

And if you consider the reason for that information sharing to be, well, an informed citizenry, what do we consider "well-informed?" It is merely fact-based, non-fiction type info? If so, why have libraries traditionally carried fiction and other cultural-based items?

I think the answer is that is intended as a base for the community's intellectual exploration and growth in a wide variety of topics. This includes current cultural artifacts such as popular movies on DVD, CDs from contemporary musicians, and >shudder< the Twilight novels. It also includes traditional and modern classics in film, literature, politics, economics, science, etc. If some choose to only explore a small segment of the diversity this resource has to offer them, that's their loss.

As local entities, there is also a range success with managing the system.

In my area (Durham, NC) I find the county library system to be quite good.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:36 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHWright View Post
I would say that they are there to provide information. In our day, this has expanded beyond books and printed periodicals to include audio, video, internet access and more.

And if you consider the reason for that information sharing to be, well, an informed citizenry, what do we consider "well-informed?" It is merely fact-based, non-fiction type info? If so, why have libraries traditionally carried fiction and other cultural-based items?

I think the answer is that is intended as a base for the community's intellectual exploration and growth in a wide variety of topics. This includes current cultural artifacts such as popular movies on DVD, CDs from contemporary musicians, and >shudder< the Twilight novels. It also includes traditional and modern classics in film, literature, politics, economics, science, etc. If some choose to only explore a small segment of the diversity this resource has to offer them, that's their loss.

As local entities, there is also a range success with managing the system.

In my area (Durham, NC) I find the county library system to be quite good.
Can we just summarize it then that the purpose of libraries is to promote Literacy, in all its forms.
Publically funded like schools. After all, who can argue with Literacy? It ranks right up there with Motherhood and Apple Pie!
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:34 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laridae View Post

What if public sentiment turned so strongly against the "selfish and greedy" publishers that the public demanded libraries to ignore the publisher's restrictions and make ebooks widely available as a public service? Unlikely in the US, perhaps, but feasible in jurisdictions with a more socialistic bent? This thing could go political!

(Think: "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore")
Places with a more socialistic bent vary widely, but in the ones I'm familiar with tend to favor publishers and (especially) retailers over the consumer by a wide margin (i.e., with prohibitions against discounting from the list price). And, at least where I lived in Germany, libraries were much less a part of people's lives than they usually are in the US.)

So I don't think that any sort of library compulsion is likely in these countries.
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