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Hachette to change library ebook licensing terms

In the US, Hachette will change its terms for library ebook licensing terms—the third Big Five publisher to do so in the past year, reports Publishers Weekly.

From 1 July, Hachette will switch from perpetual access licenses, whereby libraries pay a higher price but retain access to the ebook forever, to a two-year metered model which provides lower prices on ebook licenses that expire after two years.

In a statement, Hachette officials said the move will lower the prices of the ‘vast majority’ of Hachette library ebooks. A spokesperson said most Hachette books will likely be priced under $65, with no limit on the number of lends within the two-year period on a one-copy/one-user basis.

However, American Libraries Association president Loida Garcia-Febo said while libraries will welcome the reduced upfront costs, ‘the increased cost over time hurts our ability to support a vibrant ecosystem that benefits readers, authors and publishers’.

Library ebook vendor OverDrive also criticised the change. ‘We believe publishers and authors are best served by enabling flexible and multiple ebook lending access models for libraries, and that unbiased research supports this belief,’ the company said in a statement. ‘Implementing a two-year term limit caps the ability of libraries and schools to support the authors published by Hachette Book Group.’


Category: Library news International