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Old 03-04-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
robko
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Harper Collins Canada to charge librarys after 26 dowloads

Yikes!! This doesn't bode well for e-books long term. I know I'll be avoiding all things Harper Collins over this.

ARTICLE FROM CANOE.CA:
HarperCollins eBook policy irks libraries
By Sheena Goodyear, QMI Agency

A popular publisher is telling libraries they have to re-purchase e-books after 26 checkouts -- a move librarians say is too costly.

OverDrive, an e-book provider used by many libraries across North America, sent word to its customers last week that HarperCollins would be placing this restriction on all new books purchased starting March 7.

This marks the first time a publisher has placed a limit on how many times an e-book can be checked out.

After a book gets checked out 26 times, HarperCollins will restrict access to it until the library buys it back. The rationale is that libraries must replace paper books due to wear and tear, so the same should go for e-books.

Anne Marie Aikins, a spokeswoman for Toronto Public Libraries, told QMI Agency the new policy will have a real impact on Canadian libraries, many of which use OverDrive.

HarperCollins publishes popular authors like Janet Evanovich, Michael Crichton and Neil Gaiman.

"This announcement from HarperCollins really doesn't work for libraries. It's really too short a time period. We'd really like to work with publishers to develop a model that suits us both," she said.

Aikins said many of the library's paper copies of HarperCollins titles are in fine condition despite having been checked out more than 26 times.

The Pioneer Library System of Oklahoma uploaded a video to YouTube that shows popular HarperCollins books which have been checked out more than 26 times -- some more than 100 times -- that are still in great condition.

"First, replacement of books in libraries is based upon the condition of the book, not the number of times it has been checked out. It is not unusual for popular books to be checked out 100 times or more before the wear and tear of circulation takes its toll and the book has to be replaced or repaired," the Pioneer Library System said in an open letter to HarperCollins.

"Second, eBooks, too, eventually wear out. The electronic file formats become obsolete in a matter of years as technology progresses and customer interests change. Remember the switch from VHS to DVD or cassette to CD?"

Aikins said the digital publishing world is a rapidly changing environment, and both libraries and publishers are trying to come up with a model that works for everyone.

"It benefits libraries to have strong publishing industry as well," she said.

HarperCollins didn't immediately respond to QMI Agency's request for comment.

However, in a statement issued to LibraryJournal.com and the New York Times, it said: "We believe this change balances the value libraries get from our titles with the need to protect our authors and ensure a presence in public libraries and the communities they serve for years to come."
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:18 PM   #2
La Coccinelle
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Well, I can understand it from HarperCollins' point of view, too... but 26 check-outs is a bit ridiculous. Change that to 100 or so, and I'd maybe be a little more sympathetic to them. I can pretty much guarantee that most paper books in the library are just fine after 26 check-outs. I've been 40th on the waiting list for some books, and while they're not brand spanking new by the time I get my hands on them, they're not falling apart, either.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:13 PM   #3
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Man...just when I was gettin' all comfy with borrowing library books. The hold periods are pretty ridiculous already - now something tells me they'll get a whole lot worse, as libraries will probably not be able to afford as many digi copies of books if they have to keep re-purchasing them every 26 checkouts...sheesh...
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