Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Librarians boycott Harper Collins

One of the biggest stories in ebook news right now is Harper Collins's 26-patron checkout limit on their ebooks.  Apparently the new policy just went into effect on Monday.  Of course, the idea that limiting ebooks to 26 checkouts makes them more like physical books is ludicrous, as these librarians proved.

Now there's new information.  Apparently some libraries are banding together and declaring a boycott on Harper Collins books.  Some libraries are only boycotting their ebooks, which makes sense anyway, because they simply can't afford to replace them year after year (26 checkouts means only about a year in the catalog if the checkout limits are only 2 weeks).  Other libraries are actually going so far as to boycott the publisher's physical books as well, although they have said that they will get Harper Collins titles for their patrons via interlibrary loan if requested.

Now, this boycott is only going to do any good if individuals join forces with the libraries.  Otherwise, people will just go out and buy the books, which is what Harper Collins wants anyway.  For days now I've been disregarding any Harper Collins titles, instead of putting them on my wish list or requesting them at my library as I usually would.  If it's something I absolutely have to read, and my library already has it, I might get the physical copy through them, but I'm hesitant to check out the ebook and prevent another patron from getting their turn.  Heaven knows, I have enough ebooks right now to provide a couple of years' worth of reading material, thanks largely to free ebooks on Barnes & Noble and Project Gutenberg, not to mention the many wonderful titles available through my library.

In other words, I won't miss any Harper Collins titles if I officially join this boycott (which I unofficially already have).  What about you?  Will you help out, and do a little voting with your wallet?

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