Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The ebook saga continues........

HarperCollins, OverDrive Respond as 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Debate Heats UpEmail Print | Reprint/License | Subscription | RSS |
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By Josh Hadro and Francine Fialkoff Mar 1, 2011

In the wake of sustained criticism following HarperCollins's decision to limit to 26 the number of times an ebook can be lent—as first reported by LJ on Friday—both OverDrive and Harper took steps to repair the damage.

Today OverDrive released a statement on its Digital Library blog indicating that "[u]ntil we have time to review the effect of these new terms with our library partners, HarperCollins eBooks will not be listed in our Library Marketplace." Instead, librarians "will be able to review and order HarperCollins eBooks from a separated catalog."

OverDrive CEO Steve Potash directly tackled librarians' criticism that the company "failed to stand up for you and your readers," defending his company's role in moving ebooks and e-audio into libraries, in supporting the EPUB standard, and in developing mobile apps for library ebooks.

Potash also pointed out that he has been working with librarians for ten years now to make ebooks accessible in public libraries and that he will "continue to innovate, invest, and advocate for libraries so readers will have the best options for accessing digital books, anywhere and everywhere."

HarperCollins responds
After stating on Twitter that the company is "reading your posts & listening to our authors," HarperCollins has followed up with a statement of its own (reproduced below), expanding on the brief remarks initially provided to LJ. The letter contends that HarperCollins's previous policy of "selling e-books to libraries in perpetuity, if left unchanged, would undermine the emerging e-book eco-system, hurt the growing e-book channel, place additional pressure on physical bookstores, and in the end lead to a decrease in book sales and royalties paid to authors."