Harper Collins controversy three years later

I am a bit late weighing in on this topic but I will go with better late than never.

I have read many articles that were in support of and against the revised e-book purchasing system that Harper Collins put in place for libraries. Library workers and patrons were in an uproar about the change. Harper Collins’ new policy would only allow an e-book to have 26 electronic check outs before the library would be required to purchase another license at a discounted (paperback book) rate. The concern was the cost of repurchasing new e-books. Harper Collins found this to be a fair process and the standoff began.

A movement began to boycott Harper Collins. Like any good boycott, the purpose was to ensure Harper Collins would feel the financial hit from consumers to get them to change their minds. They did not. But some of the libraries changed theirs when they saw what was offered from some of the other publishers.

After reading several articles, I found myself supporting Harper Collins. Some of my reasons are as follows:

1.) Authors, publishers, editors, advertisers and IT departments all get a portion of the proceeds. The publishing companies add-on an additional cost when the decided to offer books via e-book. They did not quit offering paper copies of books, they added another process, additional employees and resources in the form of programmers, servers etc. What is the cost to them? Who should they pass the costs too?
2.) They do not have a forced renewal program based upon time for all of the books they offer. You renew a title, at a discounted rate, after the maximum number of usages is reached. Some other publishers don’t offer the books immediately. Libraries what to offer popular books when they are first available on the market, that is the draw the them and satisfaction of their customer.
3.) Libraries are realizing they are not as negatively affected as they thought they would be. They are not running out of their initial 26 checkout options at the rate they thought they would.

Harper Collins stuck to their business model and libraries are coming around and seeing it’s not such a terrible model after all. Not all have embraced the changes but they are adapting and accepting the change.


Kelley, M. (2012, February 17). One Year Later, Harper Collins Sticking to 26-Loan Cap, and Some Librarians Rethink Opposition – The Digital Shift. The Digital Shift. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/02/ebooks/one-year-later-harpercollins-sticking-to-26-loan-cap-and-some-librarians-rethink-opposition/

Kelley, M. (2012, October 24). Giving HarperCollins’s Ebook Model Some Credit and More Thought | Editorial. Library Journal. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/10/opinion/editorial/a-modest-ebook-proposal-a-big-six-publisher-has-already-provided-a-model-to-build-on/#_

Vaccaro, A. (2014, June 27). Why It’s Difficult For Your Library to Stock Ebooks. Boston.com. Retrieved July 27, 2014, from http://www.boston.com/business/technology/2014/06/27/why-difficult-for-your-library-stock-ebooks/rrl464TPxDaYmDnJewOmzH/story.html

Gin and Tonic

Gin and tonic
Tonic and gin
You have quite the reputation
They said you make people sin
I heard a guy say something
I’m not sure what it meant
He said you would help a man get in
So now you have people?
Are you handing out passes?
Is it only to those with highball glasses?
Hangovers, hangouts, hang ups and hang downs
What kind of people are you hanging around?
Chose your friends carefully
You’re building quite the reputation
That girl who fell down the stairs
Called you, gin, her only liberation
Was she being held captive?
Did you really set her free?
Or did you capture her when she was weak
Gin and tonic
Tonic and gin
The friendship that just won’t end
You are strong
You provide courage
But it’s only for while
Then life, that was out of focus
Comes back without the hocus pocus
Friend of no one
Loved by many
At the end of the day
A headache and regrets is what awaits