Penguin cancels Kindle library lending - others may follow

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Penguin cancels Kindle library lending - others may follow

Nov 22 2011

Overdrive, which distributes ebooks to libraries, announced yesterday that Penguin Group USA has instructed them to "disable 'Get for Kindle' functionality for all Penguin ebooks". Penguin also told them that "it is reviewing terms for library lending of their ebooks" and has suspended availability to libraries of new ebook releases.

Publishers have been expressing quiet concern since OverDrive added the ability to download books that could be read on a Kindle in September. One of the sticking points appears to be that it was assumed that Overdrive would serve Kindle compatible files directly to patrons, thus protecting patrons' confidential information (as promised by Overdrive in April). Instead, Overdrive sends patrons to Amazon to complete their transaction.

PaidContent.org comments that that while Penguin "is unusual among the 'big six' publishers in that it allows e-books to be borrowed through libraries at all. Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not distribute any e-books (new or old) to libraries. Hachette Book Group does not allow new titles to be lent as e-books, and HarperCollins allows new e-books to be borrowed only 26 times before the library has to buy a new copy. This leaves Random House as the only big six publisher currently allowing unfettered access to its e-books through libraries."

Nov 23 Update: OverDrive have announced that Kindle availability for Penguin eBooks has been restored in library catalogs, but new releases remain unavailable.

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