In “Libraries and Ebooks,” posted in Locus Online yesterday, author and blgger Cory Doctorow argued that publishers should find a better model for selling ebooks to libraries. He spoke with American Library Association strategists this summer and believes the industry needs to cut libraries a break.
Doctorow says publishers should set lower prices for libraries, who pay as much as five times the regular ebook price to keep digital copies available to their patrons. He also thinks they should not be protected by DRM, since libraries must invest in expensive software to make sure only one customer checks out each digital copy of a book at a time. (The author has spoken and written about his opposition to DRM many times before.)
He calls out HarperCollins for making libraries discard digital copies from this imprint after twenty-six uses, a number chosen “as having some parallel to the fact that many library books eventually disintegrate and have to be discarded. But this is both wrong and perverse.”
But beyond the factual problems with a 26-circ cap, there is the fundamental perversity of celebrating and importing the limitations of physical media into the digital world. It’s like insisting that electric bulbs be limited to outputting …read more

Via: Melville House Books