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LETTER TO ALL OPL CUSTOMERS

17/10/2019

Your access to eBooks is in jeopardy

Ottawa Public Library is committed to providing access to all kinds of books, ideas, information and resources. Our goal is to connect you with titles you want to read – whether it’s in print, eBook or audiobook format. Recently, Macmillan Publishing, one of the large multinational publishers, announced a business change that will have a direct impact on your ability to access popular eBooks.

Effective Friday, November 1, all public libraries, will only be able to buy one copy of any new Macmillan eBook release, and will have to wait eight weeks before they can buy additional copies. This means much longer wait times for eBooks from authors such as Louise Penny, Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, Liane Moriarty, and many more.

Through this embargo, not only will Macmillan limit the public’s access to popular eBooks, but they will create a barrier for customers who cannot afford to purchase digital content, and for those who rely on their public library to access digital information. This particularly impacts people with visual or learning disabilities who use eBooks for the ease of changing font size. MacMillan’s new model for eBook lending will make it difficult for libraries to ensure access for all – which is central to our mission.

Libraries are a critical connector between authors and readers, and we fundamentally believe in open access to books, information and ideas. In response to Macmillan's action, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), Urban Libraries Council (ULC), American Library Association (ALA), public library leaders, and other key stakeholders have joined together in opposition to Macmillan’s policy change.

We are asking all eBook lovers and those who believe in equal access to information, to stand up for libraries’ ability to buy and lend the digital content you expect to find in libraries. You may wish to sign the petition below, eBooks for All, to demand that Macmillan work with libraries to provide inclusive access to new eBooks digital content barrier-free.

Sign the Petition

Thank you for supporting OPL as we continue to stand up for your right to access information in all forms, including newly released eBooks.

Sincerely,

Danielle McDonald
CEO, Ottawa Public Library

Comments

Macmillan Publishing's policy on ebooks is completely unreasonable and abuses its large share of the industry. For decades, book publishers have benefited greatly from selling any number of their physical books to libraries in order to help create demand for their product. By deliberately setting a policy that effectively chokes access to their books in a medium that plays an important role in the modern information age and significantly benefits those with limited access, mobility, or eyesight, Macmillan is showing disrespect for these customers.

I hope Publishers reconsider their Ebook access for Libaries. Many people like myself rely on our Library to borrow Ebooks for various reasons, not to mention people can't always afford to purchase new Ebooks.
I hope all publishers continue to provide ebooks to library and do not restrict access for people like me.
Thank you.

The new MacMillan Pricing of ebooks and reduction of availability is appalling. It gouges those who choose not to accumulate goods, cannot afford them, or cannot read paper-based books. It is capitalist gouging of the worse kind.

In the university world we are having a similar fight against publishers who are leveraging their monopolies to restrict access and raise prices. There are some gleams of hope with different consortia of universities, libraries and funding agencies pushing back. Copyright and patents are meant to strike a balance between creators and users but companies who own intellectual property have been very successful at shifting the public discourse so it is focusing primarily on the rights of producers (and distributors).

MacMillans decision to limit the number of books that libraries can purchase makes perfect sense to me.
If I were them I wouldn't allow libraries to have access to any books at all.
Library patrons borrow books because they know that if you read a book once, then it just sits on the shelf until it is given to good will or passed on to family members either before or after death of the purchaser.
I use my library pass to access ebooks because I do not want to pay for them for just 3 weeks of use.
The further fact is that I can zoom in on small print books with my computer or tablet to see the words better than if it was a fixed print size as in regular books.
My wife and I are retired persons living on a Canada pension with only $2000 a month total for the 2 of us coming in so if I didn't have access to the ebooks that MacMillan sells to the library then I definately wouldn't buy them online or purchase the hard copies in the store to read.
Even now without the limitation of one copy available, I have a holding wait time of several weeks and sometimes months for popular titles to become available to me so this will certainly impact my life.
We cannot afford little pleasures in life with our limited income because rent money takes $1400 per month and that leaves less than $600 for food, telephone, internet, TV, bus passes, insurance and non-covered prescription medicines.
It was one of lifes pleasures to be able to read ebooks for free, but now we will have to skip that because when the ebooks become available to us after being on hold for several months we will both probably have passed on together.
Thank you MacMillan publishing, for the many years of allowing libraries to purchase multiple copies of ebooks.
So sorry it has to end this way.
We will be seeing you on the other side, if there is another side after life.

The library can still get lots of copies, people can still borrow them for free, but MacMillan will get 8 weeks of exclusive rights to sell their book. Patents are good for 20 years, and copyright is for the life of the author plus 70 years.

People who want it for free will have to wait just 8 weeks. No big deal.

If it's only 8 weeks to start to borrow, I'm OK with that. If it's urgent, I'll have to buy the book. My choice.

Is this true?

Not fair to discriminate against visually impaired individuals who can’t borrow and read books. I do not think this is the right thing to do

Not fair to discriminate against visually impaired individuals who can’t borrow and read books. I do not think this is the right thing to do

Not fair to discriminate against visually impaired individuals who can’t borrow and read books. I do not think this is the right thing to do

Not fair. Question - who read the most? Kids and retirees. When my kids were young, I didn’t have money for books but thank god the Library was available. Today, I have a bit more money but my eyesight is going. What do you think I am doing? Since I have a tablet, I can use the larger prints otherwise, if it was a book I couldn’t do it. Permalink before you cut our access through our library, PLEASE THINK TWICE!

Because of a medical condition I have trouble physically getting to a library. E-books are very important to me.

The writer gets very little from any book sales, but these days has to provide their own editorial service, format their work for ebooks, sometimes provide artwork, get everything ready for the publisher to run it through their proprietary formatting and slap on DRM. Ultimately, nobody who matters wins -- not the creator, not the reader. The middle-man skims it all and then has the gall to limit library access this way? I hope more writers decide to go the self-publishing route including ebooks, and sell DRM-free to whoever they choose. Libraries need our support in the effort to provide better access to ebooks for all.

There is nothing worse when people are taken advantage of. If the writer doesn't get much from the work that they made, I don't believe that's right and should be getting more than they are. I can say that as a creative writer for my own enjoyment that making a plot and all that stuff that authors have to do, is NOT easy in the slightest and quite honestly am amazed at the amount of creativity they must have to do that. People are just trying to rip them off by making copies of eBooks.

Books are our inspiration, our great escape, our link to the past and future...Access to eBooks, as with Books, should never be denied. History I believe supports this... let us not go down that road. There are many reasons why someone would need or choose to access eBooks! Shame on those whose greed permeates the true intention of the author. I feel like my rights are being violated and not only should we support our libraries, but hold the Publishers Accountable for their proposed actions. The voice of many of us will most certainly be heard demanding why you are proposing this and what is the real intention. The truth always comes out eventually. My opinion... this will Not be well received by readers and those customers who buy from Publisher. But this is just my opinion................

Books are our inspiration, our great escape, our link to the past and future...Access to eBooks, as with Books, should never be denied. History I believe supports this... let us not go down that road. There are many reasons why someone would need or choose to access eBooks! Shame on those whose greed permeates the true intention of the author. I feel like my rights are being violated and not only should we support our libraries, but hold the Publishers Accountable for their proposed actions. The voice of many of us will most certainly be heard demanding why you are proposing this and what is the real intention. The truth always comes out eventually. My opinion... this will Not be well received by readers and those customers who buy from Publisher. But this is just my opinion................

Should pnot be limited. Reading is important and many just cannot afford to purchase
Do not limit

Shouldnot be limited. Reading is important and many just cannot afford to purchase
Do not limit

Should not be limited. Reading is important and many just cannot afford to purchase
Do not limit

I think this "problem" is blown out of proportion. In the case of movies, films are released to theatres first. This provides income to the theatre industry. A few or several months later, the movies show up in stores (foreign films often a year or more later). At some point the libraries order a few copies which are usually placed on Express (first-come-first-served). After which, depending on demand, they may order more and eventually the films are made available to users to place a Hold. With books the publishers often release a hard cover book first at a higher price. Many people will wait to get a paperback. I am not sure when e-books are first released within this process. However, in the grand scheme of things the libraries have tens of thousands of books, many of which are likely as good as or better than a current hyped best seller. How difficult is it to wait a few weeks, until the initial excitement is over, to get an e-book copy?

If MacMillan is restricting the # of ebooks thinking the readers will go out and buy books, they will realize that the readers will find other ways of reading books, like sharing or swapping books. MacMillan and other publishers have benefited from ebooks I that I have bought books because of ebooks. One ebook was too complex so I bought a hardcover to read the story. Other times I download an ebook to test out the author. If I like the author, I then buy their books. Not everyone can afford to buy lots of books and the library provides a vital service - that of expanding opportunities for growth and access to knowledge. MacMillan, please do not construct access, for you will ultimately discourage growth of readership.

These should not be limited. I read ebooks all the time. It is easier for me to use an ereader than read a book. Don't stop people like me by restricting ebooks.

do not agree with new policy. very restrictive

do not agree with new policy. very restrictive

I do not agree with new policy.

Why should we have to wait 8 weeks for access to a copy when we can get it immediately and read it as soon as it comes out? As a book fan myself I would want to read it at the same time as the first person. Especially from an eBook format. I don't condone to this behaviour and think that MacMillan needs to get a serious grip on the way that they are doing things. If they decide to proceed with this method I believe that their decision will backfire on them.

#ebooksforall

What a thing to do to libraries.