Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Penguin pulls e-books from Overdrive - from libraries

Barbara Galletly writes Publishers grapple with change as e-lending rises over at Digital Book World. Some publishers including Penguin seem to be obsessed with trying to thwart Amazon and will no longer allow their books to be part of Overdrive. Their excuse for pulling out of Overdrive is that as their files are transferred wirelessly to a user's Kindle, it's on the Amazon servers. Apparently I am out of luck when it comes to borrowing their books electronically via the public library. They will (also apparently) be ok with my going TO the library to check out their books in there print manifestation. They just want to make sure that I cannot download a book of theirs onto my Kindle without going through some twists and turns - or perhaps not reading on my Kindle at all. Dan Messer points out that the entire exercise to cut out libraries is probably futile anyway. If users can't get a book one way, they will probably figure out another way. See his post from February 10 at http://qcfriends.org/notallbits/penguin-pilfers-public-prefers-pointless-practices/. He's got a point! Even I personally am adept enough to find plenty of that software that strips out DRM and allows users to change file formats. Jared Newman at PC World has much the same take http://www.pcworld.com/article/249862/ebook_publishers_want_library_borrowing_to_be_difficult.html Is the move to skirt libraries going to drive me to purchasing their books through other avenues? Not likely. Yes, I'll go to a library to pick up a book in print if that's necessary. Otherwise I'm watching my budget carefully and just don't have a lot of spare change. I'm relying on the affiliations I have with our county public libraries and two academic institutions to do most of my reading. Some authors have probably lost me as a reader. It'll be just a lot of trouble to track down their work.

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