Yesterday I received an email from OverDrive with an attachment titled “OverDrive Partner Library Update from Steve Potash”, I glanced at it and filed it away in my to-read pile for a later date (which honestly means I may never have gotten to it). This morning Heather Braum brought it to my attention via this post by Joe Atzberger.
The contents of this document are spun in a positive way and there are some great things coming from OverDrive, but in between the good news is some bad news, some really bad news.
The first bit – ownership of ebooks will now expire after a certain number of check outs to patrons. Libraries may no longer own them forever and ever. This is unbelievable! And a HUGE step backwards in lending rights and library access.
The past several months have brought about dramatic changes for the print and eBook publishing and retail industries. Digital book sales are now a significant percentage of all publisher and author revenue. As a result several trade publishers are re-evaluating eBook licensing terms for library lending services. Publishers are expressing concern and debating their digital future where a single eBook license to a library may never expire, never wear out, and never need replacement.
OverDrive is advocating on behalf of your readers to have access to the widest catalog of the best copyrighted, premium materials, and lending options. To provide you with the best options, we have been required to accept and accommodate new terms for eBook lending as established by certain publishers. Next week, OverDrive will communicate a licensing change from a publisher that, while still operating under the one-copy/one-user model, will include a checkout limit for each eBook licensed. Under this publisher’s requirement, for every new eBook licensed, the library (and the OverDrive platform) will make the eBook available to one customer at a time until the total number of permitted checkouts is reached. This eBook lending condition will be required of all eBook vendors or distributors offering this publisher’s titles for library lending (not just OverDrive).
The second bit of bad news – publishers want to meddle in your library card policies.
In addition, our publishing partners have expressed concerns regarding the card issuance policies and qualification of patrons who have access to OverDrive supplied digital content. Addressing these concerns will require OverDrive and our library partners to cooperate to honor geographic and territorial rights for digital book lending, as well as to review and audit policies regarding an eBook borrower’s relationship to the library (i.e. customer lives, works, attends school in service area, etc.). I can assure you OverDrive is not interested in managing or having any say in your library policies and issues. Select publisher terms and conditions require us to work toward their comfort that the library eBook lending is in compliance with publisher requirements on these topics.
Update 1:05pm EST: HarperCollins is the publisher that forced this issue. From Library Journal HarperCollins Puts 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations
Update 3:45pm EST: If you wanna follow the outrage on Twitter the hashtag is #hcod
Update 3.1.2011 2:20 pm est A message from OverDrive on HarperCollins’ new eBook licensing terms – OverDrive publicly responds to the uproar.
Update 3.2.2011 5:45am est Open Letter to Librarians a message from HarperCollins
Update 3.1.2011 6:00am EST I am no longer updating this page with links. I am still bookmarking all posts on delicious. You can find new links under the tag hcod, you can find new links related to the boycott under the tag hcodboycott.
From Outside Libraryland
- Fury over ‘stupid’ restrictions to library ebook loans from The Guardian (added 3.2.2011 6:45am est)
- The 27th Patron from HarperCollins Author, Marilyn Johnson (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- HarperCollins’ digital lending cap sparks lively discussion – O’Reilly Radar (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- Limits on library e-books stir controversy, Christian Science Monitor (added 2.28.2011 2:45pm est)
- A Limit on Lending E-Books, New York Times (added 2.28.2011 5:25am est)
- Are Libraries Locked Out of the E-book World? (added 2.28.2011 5:25am est)
- HarperCollins Library eBook Policies Generate Protests
- Congratulations HarperCollins – you just guaranteed Amazon and Kindle will win the eBook & eReader war | Literary Sluts – We’ll go to bed with any book!
- HarperCollins in cagematch with Macmillan to see who can alienate readers better | Dear Author
- HarperCollins Seeks to Limit Digital Lending, Access Patron Data, Generally Piss Off Readers
- HarperCollins to Libraries: we will nuke your ebooks after 26 checkouts BoingBoing
- This Library E-Book Will Self-Destruct After 26 Check Outs Read Write Web
- On eating your corn seed from an author
- HarperCollins hit by several types of stupid stick by Phil Bradley (added 3.2.2011 6:45am est)
- On Boycotts and Readers’ Rights by Kate Sheehan (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- A Library Written in Disappearing Ink By Barbara Fister (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- What is a Limited-Check-Out eBook Worth?: Two Polls take these polls from Eric Hellman (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- Open Letter to HarperCollins & Readers of eBooks from Pioneer Library System (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- My thoughts on the Harper Collins/Overdrive controversy by Meredith Farkas (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- It Is Time To Negotiate Change by Char Mairn (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- HCOD, eBook User Bill of Rights and Math by Sarah Glassmeyer - a good look at some numbers (added 3.2.2011 5:45am est)
- Thank you Harper Collins (for making the path forward a little clearer) (added 2.28.2011 2:45pm est)
- My email to HarperCollins by Toby Greenwalt (added 2.28.2011 5:25am est)
- What eBook reaction best serves our patrons? by Heather Braum (added 2.28.2011 5:25am est)
- The Beginning of What Could Be the End: Harper Collins & OverDrive – The E-Book Debacle (added 2.28.2011 5:25am est)
- Terms of Service on Our Terms by Toby Greenwalt (added 5:40am est)
- Phallic Snorer and the number 26 by John Kirriemuir (added 5:40am est)
- 28 Days of Tech #26: eBook dilemmas from YALSA (added 5:40am est)
- Really, HarperCollins? by Kate Sheehan (added 2.26.2011 6:45pm est)
- My view: An open letter to OverDrive (added 2.26.2011 6:45pm est)
- Discriminating Against Libraries, 26 eBook Circs by Heather Braum (updated 2.26.2011 6:15pm est)
- The Publisher That Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Toby Greenwalt – (updated 2.26.2011 1:20pm est) leave a comment on Toby’s post if you contact any of the authors at HarperCollins, MacMillan or Simon & Schuster
- All Your ebooks are belong to us – for a fee by David Lee King at Library Renewal(added 2.26.2011 1:00pm est)
- A New eBook Challenge: Can Publishers and Libraries Find Compromise? (added 2.26.2011 11:00 am est)
- 26 Sad Steps by Tom Peters (added 2.26.2011 10:05 am est)
- Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal by Jason Griffey at Library Renewal(added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further by Matt Weaver at Library Renewal(added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- HarperCollins and the Suspension of eBook Disbelief by Eric Hellman (added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- HarperCollins’ Memento Plan: Short-Term Greed versus Long-Term Culture by Karen Schneider (added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- If I Can’t Own a Book, I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution | mooreroom(added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- Questions that Need Answers by David Lee King (added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- Silence = Death by Matt Hamilton (added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- Another Ebook Rant by Christina Pikas (added 2.26.2011 9:15 am est)
- Content middlemen, we need your help! « Things I’ve Learned
- Library eBook Revolution, Begin by Sarah Houghton-Jan
- A Bridge Too Far by Roy Tennant
- Quote that: | all these birds with teeth: this is not about science.
- The Publisher of Tolkien Has Taken a Business Lesson from Sauron by Andy Woodworth
- HarperCollins & DRM « The Information Activist Librarian by Anthony Molaro
- Let’s Play Rent-A-Book! by David Lee King
- HarperCollins Puts 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations by Josh Hadro
- It’s Always Something: “Publishing Industry Forces OverDrive and Other Library eBook Vendors to Take a Giant Step Back” (via Librarian by Day)