There’s not much more that I can say about this topic, other than, though I am a champion of eBooks and other digital media, the Digital Age still frightens me. Whether it’s digital books, comics, music, or movies, I’m frightened of the “licensing” model of digital materials, which negates the Right of First Sale…I just wish the public understood that you don’t actually own digital content, you’re paying for the license to consume it. Choose digital for the convenience factor, sure, but be informed of your choice. Hell, it even makes a little happy that eBook sales are declining, though that may be the cause of all this mess.
My fears, and the fears of many other librarians are coming to fruition with Macmillan’s choice (following a troubling trend among major publishers) to limit library patrons’ access to eBooks, something they could not legally due with print materials thanks to the Right of First Sale. Not cool, Big Five. Not. Cool.
The publishers claim they are taking such actions because libraries are cutting into their eBook profits. Our friends at Library Journal speak to the contrary, via the graphic below. I think it’s also worth mentioning that, if Twitter is a believable sampling, the vast majority of authors who work with these publishers are ardent library supporters and not fans of such action.
Anyway, all of this is to say…you should sign this petition to make your voice heard. Support libraries, support your fellow library patrons, and let Macmillan and the other publishers know that you have a right to read, regardless of format!