“In a surprise announcement today, Macmillan abandoned its controversial embargo on new release e-books in libraries, effective this week.
“There are times in life when differences should be put aside,” reads a brief memo from Macmillan CEO John Sargent addressed to librarians, authors, illustrators, and agents. “Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some e-book prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.” …
While the Covid-19 outbreak clearly played a role in Macmillan’s decision to abruptly abandon its embargo on new release library e-books, at press time it is unclear whether the move also coincides with conclusions drawn from other data gathered by Macmillan, or whether Macmillan executives will revisit the policy or explore another major terms revision for library e-books in the future….”
“As KX News reported in August, the North Dakota State Library joined the American Library Association in denouncing one publisher’s new lending policy.
Macmillan Publishers’ policy says libraries can only buy one copy of their e-books for the first eight weeks after it’s published, a rule that’s never been in place for actual books.
That went into effect, November 1st, making it so over 250,000 readers in North Dakota will have to share one copy.
Our state library responded by boycotting Macmillan e-books, originally through January.
As of February 1st, State Librarian Mary Soucie says the library has decided to continue the boycott, indefinitely….”
” In a memo to authors and agents last month, Macmillan CEO John Sargent all but blamed libraries for depressing book sales and author earnings. “Historically, we have been able to balance the great importance of libraries with the value of your work,” Sargent claimed. “The current e-lending system does not do that.”
I’m far from the first to observe this, but the claims in Sargent’s memo are questionable at best….
Do publishers and authors see the library’s relationship to them as more symbiotic, or parasitic?…”
There are dark hints that the hand of Amazon is at work in the current tensions over library e-book lending, including reports that Amazon reps have been showing publishers data to portray library e-book lending in a negative light….”
“America’s libraries are committed to promoting literacy and a love of reading with diverse collections, programs and services for all ages. Libraries are invested in making sure millions of people can discover and explore new and favorite authors through digital and print collections. Downloadable content and eBooks are often many reader’s front door to accessing material at their local library.
But now one publisher has decided to limit readers’ access to new eBook titles through their libraries.
Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers allows libraries—no matter the size of their city or town—to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release….”
“In the coming months, library patrons will likely experience extended wait times for new e-books. Readers can thank Macmillan Publishers—a “Big Five” publishing house with imprints including Picador, Henry Holt and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux—for the delay: As of November 1, the company only allows library systems to purchase one electronic copy of a book during the first eight weeks following publication.
The publisher’s new policy has generated widespread outrage among librarians and book lovers alike. Macmillan, however, argues that the moratorium is necessary to ensure the publishing industry’s survival in lieu of digital lending’s increasing popularity….”
“Libraries across the U.S. are furious with one of the country’s big five publishing houses. As of Friday, Macmillan Publishers Ltd. is drastically restricting the sales of its e-books to libraries.
For the first eight weeks after an e-book goes on the market, a library system can buy only one copy. So if you are used to getting your books from a library and you are an e-book fan who has been eagerly awaiting Hillary Mantel’s next book, The Mirror and the Light, for example, you may have a long wait when it comes out in March 2020.
Under the old rules, a large library system like New York’s or Chicago’s might have ordered hundreds of e-book copies. Now each system — large or small — can buy only one when it goes on sale….”
“Several large library systems across the U.S. plan to suspend purchases beginning Friday of all electronic versions of Macmillan Publishers’ new releases, in a protest against the publishing house’s planned restrictions on library sales….
Macmillan’s library embargo, which also begins Friday, will restrict public libraries and consortium of all sizes to buying a single copy of each newly released e-book for the first eight weeks of publication….
“By limiting the number of copies our library can purchase, Macmillan is allowing only a certain segment of our society to access digital content in a timely manner — those who can pay for it themselves,” he said in a statement. “And that’s unacceptable in a democratic society.”
Last year, nearly 67,000 Columbus library patrons checked out nearly 2 million items from our digital collection. Digital content downloads continue to trend upward….”
“If you haven’t visited your local public library lately, you might not realize that you no longer need to physically drop by to check out a book or a movie.
Thousands of public libraries now let their members check out e-books they can download on their smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. They also lend digital audiobooks anyone can listen to as they commute and streaming online movies to view on a computer, phone, or smart TV. Like other public library materials, they’re generally available for free to anyone with a library card….
This summer, publishing giant Macmillan announced that starting November 1, library systems will only be able to buy one digital copy of every book for the first eight weeks that it’s out….
Macmillan’s move drew criticism from major libraries and the American Library Association, which launched an online petition urging Macmillan not to implement the policy. So far, it’s drawn more than 89,000 signatures, but Macmillan hasn’t announced any changes to the program yet. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment….”
“SpringerNature, owner of Springer Open, Nature, and BioMedCentral, positions itself as a leader in the open access movement. However, Springer, Nature, and BMC are only 3 of the brands of the parent company, SpringerNature Group. The purpose of this post is to raise awareness about the dual approach of the parent company with respect to copyright and intellectual property – positioning itself as both a leader in open access and a leader in IP maximization, and to encourage those with a sincere interest in the goal of open access to learn about, and question, organizations with an interest in serving this area….”