[Michlib-l] eBooks: Consumer Pricing Vs. Library Pricing

Jim Flury jflury at tln.lib.mi.us
Wed Dec 22 08:26:05 EST 2021


You are no doubt aware of the huge price discrepancies that exist when it comes to the price of a consumer eBook vs. the price of a library eBook. ALA and the state library associations, MLA included, have been working with legislators in an effort to find a solution. The goal is not to put publishers/authors/aggregators (OverDrive, etc.) in financial peril which serves none of us well but rather, to come up with a fair and equitable solution that benefits all, including libraries. 

Below are links to three articles related to this issue. 

The Axios article summarizes an eBook price equity law that is scheduled to go into effect in Maryland on January 1. The Association of American Publishers has filed an injunction for emergency relief in an effort to overturn the MD law. In New York, a similar law is on the Governor's desk. It will go into effect if signed, or even if the Governor takes no action. I have read of similar efforts taking place in Rhode Island. The article also mentions Massachusetts. 

On a national level, Senator Wyden (OR) and Representative Eshoo (CA) sent letters both to publishers (September, 2021) and to aggregators (OverDrive, etc. November, 2021) asking them a series of questions related to this issue. Summaries of these letters, as well as links to the letters themselves, can be found in the second and third link. 

I've yet to see any information released when it comes to the answers to these questions. 

[ https://www.axios.com/libraries-enlist-states-in-fight-over-ebook-rules-f165794c-ffb7-4f0d-a6b8-498e8786c8f1.html | https://www.axios.com/libraries-enlist-states-in-fight-over-ebook-rules-f165794c-ffb7-4f0d-a6b8-498e8786c8f1.html ] 
[ https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/wyden-eshoo-press-big-five-publishers-on-costly-overly-restrictive-e-book-contracts-with-libraries | https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/wyden-eshoo-press-big-five-publishers-on-costly-overly-restrictive-e-book-contracts-with-libraries ] 
[ https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-and-eshoo-press-for-answers-on-restrictive-e-book-agreements-that-limit-libraries-digital-lending | https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-and-eshoo-press-for-answers-on-restrictive-e-book-agreements-that-limit-libraries-digital-lending ] 

The Michigan Library Association is doing a great job of keeping on top of this. 2022 could prove to be an interesting year on the eBook front! 

Happy Holidays to all. 


Jim Flury 
Technical Services Manager 
The Library Network 
41365 Vincenti Court 
Novi, MI 48375 
248-536-3100, ext 133 
Fax 248-536-3098 
jflury at tln.lib.mi.us 

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