Will e-book access determine the fate of libraries?

Doug Noon, Aug 09, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I guess if you can have movie rentals from iTunes you can have eBook loans from libraries. But publishers don't like the idea and as Doug Noon reports they have changed the rules regarding libraries a lot, including: "Limiting the number of circulations before needing to be repurchased, selling for a hugely inflated cost (5X the cost of a print title), leasing rather than selling ownership of titles, and refusing to sell to libraries altogether are some of the conditions major publishers have imposed on library sales - especially of popular titles." I'm not really sure libraries make sense in the digital age - no, not replaced by eBook rentals, but rather, replaced by free and open content. Of course, publishers like that idea even less.

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