UK Publishers Association sets out restrictions on ebook lending – stupid!
October 21, 2010 | 9:23 am
By Eoin Purcell
The import of this statement escaped me the first time I glanced at it
The Publishers Association has set out an agreed position on e-book lending in libraries that will see library users blocked from downloading e-books outside of the library premises. Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page announced the new guidelines this morning (21 October) at the CILIP Public Library Authorities conference in Leeds.
Page told conference delegates that “all the major trade publishers have agreed to work with aggregators to make it possible for libraries to offer e-book lending” with the addition of certain “controls”. He said the guidelines had been developed because of concerns over free e-book lending offered by some libraries to lenders “wherever you are” in breach of publisher contracts.
Now, I can’t decide if this is the stupidest thing I’ve read all day, all week, all month or all year. Heck it could even be the stupidest thing I’ve read all decade.
Publishers should be embracing ebooks. Embracing ebooks in libraries even more and certainly not trying to lock library services into stupid and unworkable restrictions.
If they are worried about lending beyond territories that publishers have contracts for, then some other method could easily have been found rather than to take away one of the most impressive features of ebooks from libraries.