Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boycott HarperCollins?

"Furious librarians are calling for a boycott of publisher HarperCollins over its decision to put a limit on the number of times its ebook can be loaned," reported the guardian.co.uk

A new policy announced by  distributor Overdrive explained that libraries will only be able to lend out each purchased ebook published by HarperCollins (HC) a total of 26 times before the book's lifetime expires. Uhm. Sounds a bit weird since you purchased the ebook. Shouldn't you have a right to lend out your printed books to anyone you please? As such, shouldn't the same go for ebooks? Talk about ten steps forward and ten thousand steps back. A book is a book. If you pay for it, it's yours. At the same time, however, I don't think boycotting a company is necessarily the best way to go. Sadly, I can't think of an alternative that will yield more positive results. 

Many readers seem to share my view. More passionate people have even started a site promoting the boycott. I must admit that all print media is struggling. It is unfortunate and publishing houses need to survive in order to maintain the quality of books that reach the consumer. Unfortunately, people find creative ways to steal, disrepecting the hard work of writer by dishonoring the copyright laws. This makes it hard for publishers to make a profit. But really, you should get what you pay for. If you buy the book, it's yours.

There is also a Facebook page promoting the boycot.  Yah. Everything and everyone has a Facebook page, so this should come as no surprise. Right? Well, the profile image shows a fairly scandalous picture of OJ Simpson. Text explains that the HarperCollins is publishing a book on O.J. Simpson's account of how he would have killed his ex-wife, had he done it. I wonder if that is even true. These things have a way of spiraling out of control.

What do you think about this whole thing?

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