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Old 10-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
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Random House Says Libraries Own Their Ebooks

Teleread is reporting this today. From the original article:

Quote:
For those who have been paying close attention, this is not news. It came up at the Massachusetts Library Association conference in May, it was bruited about at the American Library Association (ALA) annual meeting in Anaheim in June, and it was mentioned in a “corner office” interview I had with Skip Dye, Random House’s vice president of library and academic marketing and sales, during LJ’s virtual ebook summit on Wednesday. But the potential implications of Random House’s stance are not receiving enough attention and consideration.

“This is our business model: we sell copies of our ebooks to an approved list of library wholesalers, and those wholesalers are supposed to resell them to libraries. In our view, this purchase constitutes ownership of the book by the library. It is not a license.”
http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/10...ks-lj-insider/
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:28 PM   #2
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That's been my stance all along too!
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:03 AM   #3
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If libraries actually own books then it would mean they can do whatever they want with it. like change the text or the author's name, copy and resell to make money, even demand that the publishers stop selling their "property" ...

Makes no sense to me, though I'm ok with it
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quexos View Post
If libraries actually own books then it would mean they can do whatever they want with it. like change the text or the author's name, copy and resell to make money, even demand that the publishers stop selling their "property" ...
Does the fact that libraries own physical copies of books mean they can do any of those things? No.
He means own their eBooks, not own the rights to the book itself.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
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He seems to be talking about the delivery vehicle: the files.
And I suspect what he means is that libraries should be able to take those files out of whatever lending service they use (*cough*Overdrive*cough*) and move them to another service, even one they build and operate themselves.

This is a question that has been open for a while now because of the recent overdrive price increases that have prompted some libraries to look to 3M or other solutions.

In practical terms, what RH is saying is that just because a library bought their ebooks through overdrive they are not necessarily stuck with Overdrive forever. *They* have no problem with a library demanding their collection and taking it elsewhere.
Now Overdrive and *their* contracts...
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quexos View Post
If libraries actually own books then it would mean they can do whatever they want with it. like change the text or the author's name, copy and resell to make money, even demand that the publishers stop selling their "property" ...

Makes no sense to me, though I'm ok with it
Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Does the fact that libraries own physical copies of books mean they can do any of those things? No.
He means own their eBooks, not own the rights to the book itself.
I think he meant it as a joke see the smilie
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Does the fact that libraries own physical copies of books mean they can do any of those things? No.
He means own their eBooks, not own the rights to the book itself.
Exactly. And this is the crucial issue in understanding what electronic products are and how they must be managed for the future. Basically there is no difference in a physical product an an electronic product from a legal standpoint.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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Which is what having a license on something is all about ...
When you actually own, it's yours in every possible way.
if not, then you don't own the stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Does the fact that libraries own physical copies of books mean they can do any of those things? No.
He means own their eBooks, not own the rights to the book itself.
A semi-joke if you don't mind.
Obviously they cannot fully own the books to the extent of what I said but insisting on them owning the books makes me question what owning actually means.

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Originally Posted by Apache View Post
I think he meant it as a joke see the smilie
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Last edited by Quexos; 10-21-2012 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Quexos View Post
Which is what having a license on something is all about ...
When you actually own, it's yours in every possible way.
if not, then you don't own the stuff.
That's not true at all. Ownership is always a collection of rights to your property, but rarely all of them.

I own my house and the land it sits on, but I can't tear it down and build a gas station due to zoning requirements. I can't refuse to sell it to someone based on their race. I can't grow marijuana on it. I can't let it become dilapidated. If I do repairs, they have to be up to a certain standard and meet code; for more serious repairs and renovations I would need pre-approval by the city. For certain work I would need to hire a licensed contractor and have the work inspected by the city.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
That's not true at all. Ownership is always a collection of rights to your property, but rarely all of them.

I own my house and the land it sits on, but I can't tear it down and build a gas station due to zoning requirements. I can't refuse to sell it to someone based on their race. I can't grow marijuana on it. I can't let it become dilapidated. If I do repairs, they have to be up to a certain standard and meet code; for more serious repairs and renovations I would need pre-approval by the city. For certain work I would need to hire a licensed contractor and have the work inspected by the city.
In most european countries you wouldn't even own any minerals or resources underneath your property.
Property rights are important and protecting them is a cornerstone of modern economies but they are never absolute simply because property doesn't exit in a vacuum.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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This coming from one of the big publishers makes HarperCollins appear just that much more off-base (and greedy) with their stance of 26 reads per purchase for libraries.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:30 PM   #12
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I hope the big publishers continue make each other look bad. After all, they have done enough to make all of them very d**n bad looking.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:06 AM   #13
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Random House VP explains what he meant when using the term "own." It turns out the libraries don't own their ebooks. A license with benefits.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...own-them.shtml
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fbone View Post
Random House VP explains what he meant when using the term "own." It turns out the libraries don't own their ebooks. A license with benefits.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...own-them.shtml
As I said above, all they mean is the libraries can take the licenses they buy (which they do own) from overdrive to 3M or elsewhere. Unlimited lending was never on the table.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
As I said above, all they mean is the libraries can take the licenses they buy (which they do own) from overdrive to 3M or elsewhere. Unlimited lending was never on the table.
When a library purchases a license from Overdrive, they are entering into a contract with Overdrive. Wouldn't it be Overdrive who can say whether the license is transferable or not?

eP
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