Random House continues its commitment to unrestricted public library lending
Outside of one truly significant exception*, I think of Random House as one of the…wisest of the Big Six trade publisher in the USA.
Even when I was a bookstore manager, I looked forward to specifically what Random House and its imprints were going to release.
According to this
Random House has recently reaffirmed its commitment to making its books available to public libraries.
Your immediate thought might be, “Doesn’t everybody?”
As they liist n the article, Random House isn’t
“…limiting lends (such as HarperCollins) or title availability (such as Penguin, Hachette) or not lending at all (Macmillan and Simon & Schuster).”
To repeat that, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not license their e-books to public libraries at all.
There was some fear that Random House was going to put some big restriction in place. They stayed out of the Agency Model for almost a year, but then joined it in March of 2011. ..some were concerned that a similar about face was about imminent.
According to the PW article, they are not joining forces with the restrictors.
They are going to raise licensing fees, but people don’t seem particularly concerned about that. That sort of thing happens in the normal course of business, and e-books are a new enough mass market that people expect their to be a certain fluidity at this point.
Kudos to Random House for continuing this open policy.
I still think that what may happen in the future is that all of the publishers may allow e-book lending…and a needs-tested basis. In other words, for people who are “certified poor” in some way (one possibility would be proof of enrollment in some appropriate government program, such as food stamps), the publishers would allow them to borrow e-books for free.
Publishers could do that directly, or might do it through a public library system or even through retailers like Amazon.
Publishers have always donated books (and gotten write-offs for it), and I think they would participate in a program like that.
I do understand it would take some infrastructure, of course.
What do you think? Are you please with Random House for this? Worried about the rising prices for your library system? Angry at restrictors? Curious about why publishers would (or would not) restrict? Feel free to make a comment or ask a question.
* Random House led the way in blocking text-to-speech access in Kindle store books. I was very disappointed in them for that atypical behavior. I didn’t buy any of their products (e-books, paper, or otherwise) for some time because of that. Later, when they had removed the statement that they were blocking access in all of their e-books and I started noticing some that were not blocked, I changed that to not buy any books with the access blocked (from any publisher, of course).
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.