Saturday, February 26, 2011

Overdrive, HarperCollins, and eBooks in Libraries

I've been following this story closely since it broke a couple of days ago, and it's just getting more and more heated in the library side of the internet. Check out this post and its comments for a lot of information about the subject.

The basic gist of the story is that HarperCollins wants library copies of ebooks to expire after 26 checkouts. Further, some unnamed publisher, possibly HarperCollins, wants libraries to turn over patron information to Overdrive so they can be certain that libraries are not lending ebooks to people who live out of the service area of the libraries.

The first is ridiculous, the second is unforgivable.

The response has been raging over the 'net in many forums and blogs, including the Amazon Kindle forum, Slashdot, Boing Boing, MetaFilter, and many other places.


Matt Weaver said...

A little clarification on a couple of points. One, it is Harper Collins. Two, regarding patron information: Harper Collins doesn't want patron information. They couldn't have it in most cases anyways, because in Ohio and many states, it is illegal to provide patron information of any kind to anyone without a court order. What HC wants Overdrive to do is "review and audit" libraries' cardholding policies. This is actually creepier. Policies about membership are fundamental to libraries' interactions within their communities.

Right now, everyone is discussing the 26 checkout limit, and it is important. But I am more concerned about a publishing giant strong-arming a vendor to insinuate itself into the operations of public libraries across the country.


Roger Owen Green said...

btw, can't open 1st link 'this story'

Tegan said...

First link is a PDF file.