Thursday, October 15, 2009

Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending; New York Times, 10/15/09

Motoko Rich, New York Times; Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending:

"Pam Sandlian Smith, library director of the Rangeview Library District, which serves a suburban community north of Denver, said that instead of purchasing a set number of digital copies of a book, she would prefer to buy one copy and pay a nominal licensing fee each time a patron downloaded it.

Publishers, inevitably, are nervous about allowing too much of their intellectual property to be offered free. Brian Murray, the chief executive of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, said Ms. Smith’s proposal was “not a sustainable model for publishers or authors.”

Some librarians object to the current pricing model because they often pay more for e-books than do consumers who buy them on Amazon or in Sony’s online store. Publishers generally charge the same price for e-books as they do for print editions, but online retailers subsidize the sale price of best sellers by marking them down to $9.99."

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