Writers won’t lose out if libraries lend ebooks

The Observer – “Should public libraries lend ebooks? The Society of Authors has called on culture minister Ed Vaizey to address concerns that library e-lending is “undervaluing retail pricing” and encouraging piracy. The writers’ union says it remains “strongly of the view that remote lending of ebooks is not an essential or primary role of an efficient library service”. Many publishers share this coolness towards e-lending, with only Random House and Bloomsbury still signed up to OverDrive, the library ebook platform. Hachette’s CEO, Tim Hely Hutchinson, spoke recently of his worries that library lending could lead to “ebook giveaways for all”. The theory goes that if people can borrow ebooks for nothing, they will have no reason to buy them. The same argument was used against libraries until it turned out that library users spent more on books than anyone else.”

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