Penguin Exits OverDrive Pending Evaluation

Over the weekend, librarians and library users posted worried tweets that Penguin titles seemed to no longer be available for library lending on the Kindle.

That was confirmed today in a memo from the Penguin Group (which includes, Putnam, Viking, Berkley Trade and, of course, Penguin Press). One small ray of hope; Penguin is not calling this a done deal, but a “delay” in making titles available, while they evaluate “new concerns about the security of our digital editions” so they can “resolve these concerns with our business partners.” (The full statement, sent to EarlyWord by Penguin, is below). The final line of the statement may not be that comforting, “we want to assure you that physical editions of our new titles will continue to be available in libraries everywhere.”

Meanwhile, OverDrive has also issued a statement, which clarifies that “existing Penguin eBook titles in your library’s catalog are still available and additional copies can be added” in other formats. This means, for instance, that library users still have access to digital versions of The Help (but not on the Kindle).

OverDrive Statement

Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalog and disable “Get for Kindle”  functionality for all Penguin eBooks. We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible.

All existing Penguin eBook titles in your library’s catalog are still available and additional copies can be added.

Penguin Statement:

Penguin has been a long-time supporter of libraries with both physical and digital editions of our books.  We have always placed a high value on the role that libraries can play in connecting our authors with our readers. However, due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners. Penguin’s aim is to always connect writers and readers, and with that goal in mind, we remain committed to working closely with our business partners and the library community to forge a distribution model that is secure and viable. In the meantime, we want to assure you that physical editions of our new titles will continue to be available in libraries everywhere.

3 Responses to “Penguin Exits OverDrive Pending Evaluation”

  1. Cynthia Dennis Says:

    This does not make sense in light of the fact that Penguin’s digital titles for Kindle are still available for sale on the Amazon site

  2. Stan Says:

    I agree that it is a bad move, but it does make sense that Penguin’s eBooks are still for sale at Amazon. If you buy the eBook from Amazon, Penguin gets paid for the title.

  3. Jack McGhee Says:

    It’s the “security concerns” part that doesn’t make sense. Library books for Kindle use the same DRM and delivery mechanisms as the paid books. If that were really the issue, they’d be gone from Amazon as well. But they’re not. Because Penguin’s lying.

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