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Old 03-10-2021, 09:15 PM   #1
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Amazon Withholding Books From Libraries

Amazon is withholding ebook and audiobook versions of works it publishes through its in-house publishing arms from US libraries, according to a new report from The Washington Post.

Edit: Related article from Verge if you hit a paywall.

Thanks Patrik for also sharing this link.

Last edited by Pizza_Cant_Read; 03-11-2021 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 03-11-2021, 12:42 AM   #2
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So? Is it bad? Is it good?
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Old 03-11-2021, 01:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza_Cant_Read View Post
Amazon is withholding ebook and audiobook versions of works it publishes through its in-house publishing arms from US libraries, according to a new report from The Washington Post.
Another article behind a paywall. I would be curious as to what the Washington Post's angle would be, since Bezos owns the paper.
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:15 AM   #4
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Old 03-11-2021, 07:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rcentros View Post
I would be curious as to what the Washington Post's angle would be, since Bezos owns the paper.
From the article:

Quote:
That’s right, for a decade, the company that killed bookstores has been starving the reading institution that cares for kids, the needy and the curious.
I'm far from Amazon-friendly, partly for the exact reasons in that article. However, as a Washington Post subscriber, I think Bezos's funding infusion has improved the paper. The good-newspaper wall between the business side, including ownership, and editorial, is maintained. The range of views, that can be found in opinion articles, is wider than in the other papers I subscribe to (New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer).
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rcentros View Post
Another article behind a paywall. I would be curious as to what the Washington Post's angle would be, since Bezos owns the paper.
My apologies! I didn’t hit a paywall when I clicked. I updated the post with an alternate link.
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Old 03-11-2021, 08:46 AM   #7
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It will be interesting to see if we see the howls of outrage that we saw with one of the big 5 publishers delayed releasing eBooks to libraries or if it's more move along, nothing to see here since it's Amazon.

My basic take is the same as before - If you really want to read it as an eBook, then buy it. If you are a grown adult with a job, then it's a just matter of priorities.
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Old 03-11-2021, 09:58 AM   #8
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There is a great way to get back at Amazon and lose Kindle sales in a rather big way. Overdrive can drop Kindle ebooks and just have ePub. That would boost sales for Kobo and B&N and lose sales for Kindle when Kindles no longer work with Overdrive.

I'm in favor of that. I'd love to see Amazon get taken down. Overdrive has helped Amazon in a big way. But Amazon refuses to help Overdrive. So (IMHO), screw you Amazon.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
There is a great way to get back at Amazon and lose Kindle sales in a rather big way. Overdrive can drop Kindle ebooks and just have ePub. That would boost sales for Kobo and B&N and lose sales for Kindle when Kindles no longer work with Overdrive.

I'm in favor of that. I'd love to see Amazon get taken down. Overdrive has helped Amazon in a big way. But Amazon refuses to help Overdrive. So (IMHO), screw you Amazon.
Yes, let's punish a company for making it harder for people to get books by making it even harder for people to get books!
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:47 AM   #10
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Wasn't there an article recently that they were in negotiations with libraries to bring some of their ebooks over? I believe it was discussed here on MobileReads

From my impression, Amazon has never released their in-house published e-book to libraries in the past, correct? I agree it would be nice if they did since they publish quite a bit now, and will likely keep expanding.
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Old 03-11-2021, 10:56 AM   #11
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Back in 2019, before the pandemic, Congress was investigating this as anticompetitive behavior. I don't know what the current status is.

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/...ry-market.html
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The ALA comments break down what it sees as potentially “anticompetitive” behavior in the digital realm into two sectors—public and school libraries, and academic and research libraries. And no surprise, the two issues topping the list of ALA’s concerns: Amazon’s exclusive digital content, which is not available to libraries; and restrictions by the major publishers in the library e-book market.

“The worst obstacle for libraries are marketplace bans: refusal to sell services at any price,” ALA officials notes, pointing to Amazon Publishing. “The e-book titles from Amazon Publishing are not available to libraries for lending at any price or any terms. By contrast, consumers may purchase all of these titles directly from Amazon. This is a particularly pernicious new form of the digital divide; Amazon Publishing books are available only to people who can afford to buy them, without the library alternative previously available to generations of Americans.”
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Old 03-11-2021, 11:00 AM   #12
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Wasn't there an article recently that they were in negotiations with libraries to bring some of their ebooks over? I believe it was discussed here on MobileReads

From my impression, Amazon has never released their in-house published e-book to libraries in the past, correct? I agree it would be nice if they did since they publish quite a bit now, and will likely keep expanding.
Yes, it's mentioned in both the articles linked in the OP that Amazon is negotiating with the Digital Public Library of America. Here's DPLA's statement: https://dp.la/news/update-on-dplas-d...zon-publishing

Amazon books from DPLA would be available through the SimplyE app, not via Overdrive or in your browser or on your Kindle. The reviews of the SimplyE app are pretty bad, and it's one more platform for librarians to learn and support.

Last edited by CathyA; 03-11-2021 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:32 PM   #13
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It will be interesting to see if we see the howls of outrage that we saw with one of the big 5 publishers delayed releasing eBooks to libraries or if it's more move along, nothing to see here since it's Amazon.

...
You're probably right, the demand for Amazon ebooks by libraries is probably pretty low, so there isn't really anything to see.

I wonder if well see Big 5 and Apple apoligists start stirring the pot and making a mountain out of a molehill.
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:42 PM   #14
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Yes, let's punish a company for making it harder for people to get books by making it even harder for people to get books!
As long as we let them know why they can no longer get Kindle eBook from Overdrive then maybe enough people will complain to Amazon so they will change their policy.

But the problem could be that for Amazon's eBooks, chances are that they won't be in ePub and that will not be good for those who are not using a Kindle and read ePub. It would mean I would have to remove the DRM and convert to ePub. But most people would not be doing that. They'd just be pissed at Amazon for not supplying ePub versions of their eBooks.
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Old 03-11-2021, 04:04 PM   #15
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There is a great way to get back at Amazon and lose Kindle sales in a rather big way. Overdrive can drop Kindle ebooks and just have ePub. That would boost sales for Kobo and B&N and lose sales for Kindle when Kindles no longer work with Overdrive.

I'm in favor of that. I'd love to see Amazon get taken down. Overdrive has helped Amazon in a big way. But Amazon refuses to help Overdrive. So (IMHO), screw you Amazon.
Who needs who more at this point?
Yes, Overdrive availability probably was a boost to Kindle sales originally, but now?
I think it is more likely that if this happened (which it won't) people with Kindles would buy more books from Amazon, and more would sign up for Kindle Unlimited, rather than switch to Kobo.
Meanwhile Overdrive would lose a huge chunk of their US userbase.
(And Amazon could just partner with a different library network, like the NYPL's SimplyE, CloudLibrary, RBDigitial,... No harm to them, kills Overdrive. But they don't need to, library access has served its purpose.)

Amazon only distribute books through Overdrive in the US, they have no library access elsewhere, but that hasn't stopped them dominating other markets, has it?

Last edited by murraypaul; 03-11-2021 at 04:07 PM.
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