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Old 12-11-2011, 10:36 PM   #1
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Unhappy OverDrive Bait and Switch?

I found an interesting article here

It links to a more complete report here.

Apparently Overdrive allows libraries with less restrictive library card policies access to fewer books. As near as I can tell they charge the libraries the same price and don't warn them they're getting fewer books.

I just e-mailed a friend who is on the local library's board, asking her to pass the word to the Director of my local library.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
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It looks like Random House is the publisher in question.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #3
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So, a library agrees to a contract without thoroughly reading it, thoroughly understanding it, or knowing what they would be receiving. Not so much bait and switch as dumb library.

As far as restricting what titles are available, lets consider it from a different perspective. If I belong to a library that shares access with other regional libraries, and, because of this, my closest or 'home' library isn't allowed to duplicate ebooks that are already held by these other libraries, ebooks I ALREADY HAVE ACCESS TO, and must chose different ebooks, giving me, the patron, access to even MORE ebooks, how is this a bad thing?
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_e View Post
So, a library agrees to a contract without thoroughly reading it, thoroughly understanding it, or knowing what they would be receiving. Not so much bait and switch as dumb library.
But it's vague and application seems arbitrary. My library (Seattle Public Library) has one of the largest ebook libraries in the world. It also has an extremely generous reciprocal policy with other library systems in western Washington. It also allows residents of Washington outside of its borrowing area to purchase a non-resident card for $85. In other words, Seattle is doing the same thing Chesapeake is doing (except CPL allows out-of-state residents to get a card and SPL doesn't).

With that in mind, I checked to see if Seattle offered any of the books that Chesapeake was being denied and it was. So why is Chesapeake being singled out and Seattle isn't?
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:09 AM   #5
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With that in mind, I checked to see if Seattle offered any of the books that Chesapeake was being denied and it was. So why is Chesapeake being singled out and Seattle isn't?
Pure speculation on my part, but as popularity spreads and new libraries are brought into the Overdrive system, changes are made to the way books are made available? As this is a relatively new business, I would expect them to constantly be refining what they are doing and finding more ways to make money.

Also, from a money making POV, I recall from other threads that there is limit to the number of times an ebook can be lent before the license must be renewed, 26 lends if I am recalling correctly. If one library that participates in sharing already has this title, and it is a popular title, the money made in renewing that specific license may be greater than the money made when bringing a new library into the system, especially if there is some initial discounting going on for new libraries / customers. (hope that makes as much sense as it does in my head)
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by david_e View Post
Also, from a money making POV, I recall from other threads that there is limit to the number of times an ebook can be lent before the license must be renewed, 26 lends if I am recalling correctly.
That only applies to HarperCollins and its imprints. More and more, the Big 6 are cracking down and restricting ebook lending. Macmillan and Simon & Schuster don't allow ebook lending at all, Hachette and Penguin don't allow frontlist ebook titles to be loaned out, HarperCollins has the 26x rule for ebook lending, and now Random House is starting to prohibit ebook lending from libraries that reciprocate and provide cards to non-residents.

And this is going to prevent piracy? These publishers don't have their heads screwed on straight.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
That only applies to HarperCollins and its imprints. More and more, the Big 6 are cracking down and restricting ebook lending. Macmillan and Simon & Schuster don't allow ebook lending at all, Hachette and Penguin don't allow frontlist ebook titles to be loaned out, HarperCollins has the 26x rule for ebook lending, and now Random House is starting to prohibit ebook lending from libraries that reciprocate and provide cards to non-residents.

And this is going to prevent piracy? These publishers don't have their heads screwed on straight.
Thank you for clarifying this for me.

I agree that the publishers seem to be going against common sense but I tend to be forgiving. I think they were completely caught unaware as to how popular the market would be and how quickly it would expand.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_e View Post
So, a library agrees to a contract without thoroughly reading it, thoroughly understanding it, or knowing what they would be receiving. Not so much bait and switch as dumb library.

As far as restricting what titles are available, lets consider it from a different perspective. If I belong to a library that shares access with other regional libraries, and, because of this, my closest or 'home' library isn't allowed to duplicate ebooks that are already held by these other libraries, ebooks I ALREADY HAVE ACCESS TO, and must chose different ebooks, giving me, the patron, access to even MORE ebooks, how is this a bad thing?
Regarding the first paragraph--if you think what was actually in the contract was clear enough, or even interpretable by a person not starting out knowing OverDrive's intent, we disagree on this.

Regarding the second paragraph--e-books are restricted, not when library patrons have access to more e-books from other libraries, but when the library accepts patrons from outside the area that provides the biggest chunk of public funding. For example, the Jefferson City Public Library accepts patrons from all of Jefferson County, but (if I understand correctly) gets the biggest chunk of its funding from Jefferson City (a small town in Jefferson County). If our e-books are restricted in this way it doesn't follow that I can check out e-books from the library of Dandridge (another small town in Jefferson County). And if I could, because the library of Dandridge also accepted patrons from outside the city of Dandridge--they would be from the same restricted set.

What the heck good does that do me?
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:15 AM   #9
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Thank you for clarifying this for me.

I agree that the publishers seem to be going against common sense but I tend to be forgiving. I think they were completely caught unaware as to how popular the market would be and how quickly it would expand.
I agree, but isn't it their job to know this market? I mean, this is their back yard right? I was showing off my kindle Fire to some friends, trying to convert them to eBook reading, and they were all excited until we started searching our local library for titles for their kids who like to read titles from Rick Riordan. The library had ONE title for the Haddix series and it was an MP3 audio book. They decided to pass on eBooks.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:40 AM   #10
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I agree, but isn't it their job to know this market? I mean, this is their back yard right? I was showing off my kindle Fire to some friends, trying to convert them to eBook reading, and they were all excited until we started searching our local library for titles for their kids who like to read titles from Rick Riordan. The library had ONE title for the Haddix series and it was an MP3 audio book. They decided to pass on eBooks.
I just checked my libraries and they have a bunch of his ebooks; most with waiting lists. Evidently, a popular author (I never heard of him until now).
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:38 AM   #11
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It is confusing, but it looks like the real issue is not the reciprocal/overlap relationship with other libraries, but with offering out-of-region library cards? Am I reading that right? But then how does Singapore Library, Philly Free Library, etc. get away with that? I agree, it is probably a new restriction and other libraries are "grandfathered in." I have long thought that the days of out-of-region library cards (or at least ebook access with such cards) are numbered.

eP
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #12
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It is confusing, but it looks like the real issue is not the reciprocal/overlap relationship with other libraries, but with offering out-of-region library cards? Am I reading that right? But then how does Singapore Library, Philly Free Library, etc. get away with that? I agree, it is probably a new restriction and other libraries are "grandfathered in." I have long thought that the days of out-of-region library cards (or at least ebook access with such cards) are numbered.

eP
I belong to numerous out of system libraries. So far, my three primary libraries haven't been affected.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:34 PM   #13
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I called Seattle Public Library and they could no longer issue out of state cards because of Overdrive's terms from the publishers.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:40 PM   #14
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I called Seattle Public Library and they could no longer issue out of state cards because of Overdrive's terms from the publishers.
I never knew they could. Funny how FLP gets away with it.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:02 PM   #15
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I called Seattle Public Library and they could no longer issue out of state cards because of Overdrive's terms from the publishers.
That's terrible news. But perhaps more terrible is the fact that one needs an access card in order to read what they wish.
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