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New OverDrive DRM terms: "This message will self-destruct"

New OverDrive DRM terms: "This message will self-destruct"
"This goes a step worse so that each digital "copy" effectively self-destructs after a set number of reads in your system or consortium. That is to say, if you wanted to help blunt the crushing demand for a popular title, this would only help you slightly, if at all. And only one user at a time. And only if your users are faster than the rest of the consortium. After that you (and the rest of your consortium) are straight out of luck. Guess you should have bought more print copies?"


Okay...libraries have pointed out how previously enforced/contemplated restrictions on e-book lending hurts our patrons (especially those who couldn't otherwise afford to obtain e-book content) and undermines our fundamental mission. Now the latest salvo from a publisher in what's becoming a slow-drip, retrograde negotiation between libraries and publishers over how e-book sales will be handled in the library market. Now they want to restrict how LONG a library can KEEP a title in its collection before it goes *poof*. They'll no longer sell to us...they'll only RENT to us.

I guess the ultimate test of this latest brilliant idea is how much sales Harper Collins is willing to lose in the library market and whether or not that translates into more direct sales to individual readers. Shame on you, Harper-Collins. As a public library director I'll be paying much closer attention to who publishes a given title and, believe me, that factor will influence which e-books (and hard copies) I'll spend money on.

I can't think of any other way to put this: You guys suck.

Why do they suck? Because they are trying to make money? Publishers are not a charity. They sell books.

Yes, publishers sell print books. And as soon as they sell them, First Sale Rights come into play, which is why libraries can lend them, people can sell used books, you can give them to other people...

Publishers don't sell ebooks: they license them. And now they're making it clear that they want libraries to pay for each and every circulation--which is removing an affordance that helped make public libraries workable in the U.S.

And yes, that sucks.

In other countries they have a Public Lending Right where authors are compensated for every time a book is lent. See:

I assume you disagree with this also Walt.

so the rule is that a library can circulate an ebook 26 times before the electrons spin out of control to create a Tek War novel.

so what we should do is provide our own data that says that libraries circulate a normal hardcover book over 100 times before we consider replacing it with a new copy.

with that data, we now have a reason to digitize and distribute our own ebooks from our print copies to make up the 74+ user difference. all within the scope of fair use, since we are only making a back up copy for when the publisher force-retires the ecopy.

the argument is that the publisher is trying to establish a form of planned obsolescence for ebooks which is not supported by the print format. unless they're also trying to add in planned theft, as if they say that they would like to steal back our books that we buy... which is kind of insane and probably wouldn't stand up in court (IANAL, but I can show you where the law books are).

Story at NYT ReadWriteWeb about this.

This Library E-Book Will Self-Destruct After 26 Check Outs