Penguin stops lending of e-books to Libraries, then reverses stance

About a week ago Penguin Group USA announced that they were pulling new e-books from libraries; in addition, it was not lending any e-books to libraries through the Kindle.

Lending an ebook?In a statement provided to Library Journal‘s Digital Shift blog, Penguin stated that due to security concerns, it finds it “necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners.”

No doubt it is unusual among the “big six” publishers in that it allows e-books to be borrowed through libraries at all. Here is a summary of the big six. Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not distribute any e-books to libraries. Hachette Book Group does not allow new titles to be lent as e-books, and HarperCollins only allows new e-books to be borrowed 26 times before the library has to buy a new copy.

Unfortunately, this leaves Random House as the only “big six” publisher currently allowing access to its e-books through libraries.

Then, a few days later Penguin Group USA reversed their stance and decided not to pull the e-books from the libraries. We will keep an eye on this dynamic news story!

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