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'Publishing Giants Are Fighting Libraries on E-Books' by David Moore
David Moore writes the following for Sludge:
Librarians have been warning that large publishers are squeezing licensing terms on digital works, pushing for libraries to merely rent digital works, rather than allowing them to own copies as they do physical books.
‘Libraries simply can no longer be forced to rent their e-book collections with restrictions and pricing that are designed to minimize the libraries’ ability to provide access to the public, while maximizing publisher profits over that library mission,’ said Jennie Rose Halperin, executive director of Library Futures. …
In the second pandemic year last year, e-book prices for libraries and schools stayed high as digital distribution allowed publishers to set terms that academic librarians in the U.K. called ‘price-gouging.’ …
Bills seeking to establish fair licensing terms for e-books are under consideration in six states, with the language of bills in Massachusetts, Missouri, and Rhode Island designed much like the Maryland bill that is now being challenged in court.
As it fights against these bills, the [Association of American Publishers] and its affiliated groups, backed by massive corporations, have far more money and resources to apply to their legal work, and have spent far more on lobbying efforts and political contributions. …
‘It’s unconscionable that trade organizations that purport to support artists and creators are spending so many resources fighting librarians who are simply trying to get better access to resources for their communities,’ said Halperin. … ‘We’ve seen a coordinated effort by industry to silence or scare librarians over time, particularly from big vendors threatening their jobs or patron resources.’ …
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