HarperCollins Puts 26-Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations

From Library Journal, some alarming news:

In the first significant revision to lending terms for ebook circulation, HarperCollins has announced that new titles licensed from library ebook vendors will be able to circulate only 26 times before the license expires.

If a lending period is two weeks, the 26 circulation limit is likely to equal roughly one year of use for a popular title. For a three-week lending period, that stretches to a year and a half.

For librarians—many of whom are already frustrated with ebooks lending policies and user interface issues—further license restrictions seem to come at a particularly bad time, given strained budgets nationwide. It may also disproportionately affect libraries that set shorter loan periods for ebook circulation.

While HarperCollins is the first major publisher to amend the terms of loan for its titles, two other members of the publishing “big six”—Macmillan and Simon & Schuster—still do not allow ebooks to be circulated in libraries, much to the consternation of librarians.

Read more: HarperCollins Puts 26 Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations.

2 thoughts on “HarperCollins Puts 26-Loan Cap on Ebook Circulations

  1. I don’t ebook, so I have no horse in the race. I think there needs to be some cap on the number of times an ebook can be loaned by the library, but don’t know if the arbitrary 26 is the right one. MMP have a much shorter life in the library than hardbacks. So if a book is only in MMP, then a shorter license makes sense. But hardbacks hang around for years. Time will tell, I guess.

  2. Hmmm. I don’t know. A MMP book can still last for years, and as you said, hardcovers are pretty much forever. 26 take-outs on an e-book could be half a year, tops, and at full price. I think the key is that libraries need to get involved in e-books, more than they already have, and providing e-books to the public for free is as much the library’s mission as providing regular books… so it needs to be possible, and feasible.

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