Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Penguin Group Has Halted Library Lending For E-Books

The Digital Shift blog is reporting that as of today, Penguin Group USA will no longer permit any library lending of its new e-book titles. Overdrive, which powers the back-end of e-book lending for thousands of libraries, has confirmed that Penguin is no longer allowing library lending of its new titles. This decision does not effect any e-book titles currently in library circulation.

Penguin sent a statement to Digital Shift (which is a blog under the Library Journal umbrella) stating that the decision to halt new e-book lending stems from concerns over “the security of our digital editions.” The decision doesn’t appear to be a permanent one, but rather Penguin states that it will be holding off on allowing lending again until such time as they have “a distribution model that is secure and viable.”

Additionally, while older Penguin books will still be available in certain eBook formats for lending, none will be available for library lending for the Amazon Kindle. This decision comes just a few weeks after Amazon’s library lending partnership with Overdrive and public libraries came online. It’s also been made, perhaps more tellingly, a few days after Amazon announced its new lending library program for Amazon Prime customers. Amazon’s relationship with publishers over e-book publication on its Kindle e-readers has been contentious at times, but it’s yet to be seen if this is one of them.

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