Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Is it a bug or a feature?

You've probably heard that HarperCollins are changing their contracts so that libraries can only lend their ebooks 26 times before they self-destruct. This is based on HarperCollins assessment of the usual lifespan of a physical book.

This Guardian article explains that ebooks' longevity is not a bug it's a feature. It's an interesting article.


Simon Kewin said...

Interesting. But doomed I feel. Readers/listeners/viwers resist DRM schemes like this and somehow someone will surely get round it.

Isn't one of the points of the eBook that it can be copied/transmitted so easily? Restricting one to 26 lendings like this because that's what used to happen to paper books seens ludicrously backward-looking to me.

Old Kitty said...

I am being very simple and stupid here but I need to ask - does this mean the library borrower must already have an e-reader then they can download (or borrow) from the libary's ebooks database? I'm trying to figure out how libraries lend ebooks?!?! I'm confused!!!

Also how many copies per ebook - and how do library users reserve an e-copy? And what if they don't renew - do they get an overdue fine? How confusing!!

Ok, I shall go and take more painkillers now! take care

D.J.Kirkby said...

I didn't know and it is an interesting concept - the lifespan of a usual book I sort of makes sense why they would want to put a limit on their eBooks.

fairyhedgehog said...

Simon, I think the publishers are running scared and see ebooks as a terrible threat rather than a new opportunity.

Kitty, I'm not sure how it works but you can read most ebooks on your pc by downloading free software! I don't know if the file self-destructs after two weeks but I have a feeling it does.

DJK, I can understand their thinking but to me it's very backwards-looking and isn't going to work. I hope!

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