Penguin and Libraries; Common Ground on Kindle Lending

A new theory on why Penguin has pulled the plug on library lending of their ebooks came out in today’s Publishers’ Lunch. Surprisingly, it’s an issue that also concerns libraries.

According to the story, publishers are upset because OverDrive sends library users to Amazon’s site for Kindle downloading, essentially making Amazon the administrator of library lending and thus not “governed by publishers’ contracts with Amazon or OverDrive.”

Libraries, also, have expressed concern about sending users to Amazon. California librarian Sarah Houghton recorded a comment on the subject in October, in which she states, “when you check out a Kindle book from Overdrive, it dumps you out on the Amazon web site, and you conclude the transaction there. The transaction ends with a pitch for you to buy more books.” She also expresses concern about the data that Amazon gleans from library users. This subject was also explored by librarian Bobbi Newman on her blog post, Public Library eBooks on the Amazon Kindle – We Got Screwed.

2 Responses to “Penguin and Libraries; Common Ground on Kindle Lending”

  1. Troy Johnson Says:

    >>She also expresses concern about the data that Amazon gleans from library users.

    I have a Kindle and I want to check out a Kindle book from the library. Because I have a Kindle I already have an account with Amazon. They have my address and credit card. I gave this to them when I bought a Kindle.

    Now when I want to get a Kindle book from the library what personal information am I supposed to be worried about Amazon “gleaning”?

    Going to the Amazon website to get your book is not a conspiracy. If I don’t go to Amazon how do I get the Kindle file that is formatted for my Kindle? Am I supposed to give the library my Amazon login? Some may try to argue that the Amazon encryped file is also a conspiracy by Amazon. But the publishers want the book encrypted. They are not going to allow the library to give out un-encrypted ebooks.

  2. Everyone loves e-books, but no one wants to lend them — Tech News and Analysis Says:

    […] some cases (as with Penguin’s refusal to join the public-library program), this seems to be in part a result of a fear of losing control over the content, and in part a fear of being disintermediated by Amazon. And in the case of the Authors’ […]