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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Penguin US pull eBooks from Libraries

In what seems like a backward step, Penguin  USA have stopped selling eBooks to libraries -
Penguin announced the cessation of sales to Overdrive Inc, a Cleveland OH based distributor and major supplier of digital books to libraries, citing concerns about sales being affected by lending eBooks. This seems odd though as publishers have never claimed that selling physical books to libraries have harmed sales.OverDrive CEO Steve Potash said that his company was still working with Penguin to come to better terms and potentially continue sales to libraries, but offered no further word on the progress.

Those in the know feel that Amazon's Kindle and its relationshop with libraries may have had a lot to do with Penguin's decision - The following comes from Paidcontent.org



Since Penguin announced  that it is ending its partnership with OverDrive and will no longer provide e-books or digital audiobooks to libraries, it’s become clear that OverDrive’s relationship with Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) played a part in the decision.
Back in November when Penguin stopped offering new e-books to libraries, it also stopped offering e-books to library patrons using Kindles. A few days later Penguin restored Kindle access, but also noted, “Penguin informed suppliers to libraries that it expected them to abide by existing agreements to offer older digital titles to libraries only if those files were held behind the firewalls of the suppliers.”

if you have a Kindle and check out a library book on it, clicking “Get for Kindle” sends you straight to Amazon’s website instead of having you check out the book from within the library’s site. Kindle borrowing is done over the air, so if you check out a library book on Kindle it will be delivered wirelessly to your device, just like a book you buy from the Kindle Store.

That wasn’t how it was supposed to be. “OverDrive does NOT have permission to first authorize the lending of an ebook to a library end user and then forward the request for actual distribution and tracking of the title to Amazon.com or ANY other retailer,” writes InfoDocket today. “Similarly, in most situations, publishers do not permit retailers to lend e-books directly to end users.”

Libraries that already have Penguin e-books and digital audiobooks will be allowed to keep them and patrons will able to keep borrowing those books. But there’s no more wireless borrowing. InfoDocket reports that OverDrive sent this e-mail to its library partners last night:

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